At home Red Light Therapy, does it actually work?

If the at home red light therapy has the same specs, power, wavelength (630ish nm), voltage, etc, meaning it is seemingly the same thing as an in office light, A) will it have the same effect and B) do these actually work for promoting collagen growth? How far beneath the skin do they get? If one can get results from doing this therapy at home, are there any brands any doctors would recommend or any specifications that are critical to attaining results (light color, wavelength, voltage, etc)?

Doctor Answers 2

Red light at 630 vs Diode 810 vs other LEDs

Yes red light can work for certain applications - activating porphyrins, PDT, or photodynamic therapy, treating acne, skin cancer, etc. The clinical use of red light suggest it penetrates the skin deeper than blue light, and in clinical practice we know the exact dose delivered e.g.. 37J cm 2 over 7 minutes 30 seconds. Hence we know the power output of the machines. Most home devices will not have the same output compared to more expensive medical grade devices. Additionally if you want skin repair consider the 810 wavelength over the 630 red. I don't have any recommendations as only double blinded scientific studies of these devices needs to be taken into consideration. All the best, Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

At home Red Light Therapy, does it actually work?

Hello broosa7, 

Most at-home LED devices are modeled after the clinical machines; however, they often have a smaller treatment applicator or lower fluency.  I have reviewed the Tanda products and Quasar devices, and I feel they can deliver on their claims.

The clinical data on LED light therapy clearly shows it to be safe and efficacious, but only under the correct conditions.  By this I mean the device must have enough power and fluence and the patient must adhere to a strict regimen that takes several treatments before results are seen.  Most papers showing a benefit from red light treatments use devices that deliver at least 40-60mW/cm2 and with treatments delivered every other day for a month.  Red light specifically has shown an increase in collagen with a resultant decrease in fine wrinkles.  The mechanism appears to be an increase in mitochondrial ATP production that stimulates the collagen production.  I hope this helps.

Hunter Moyer, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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