LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes have been around since the 1960s. Technically speaking they are small semi-conductors which release energy, by emitting light at various wavelengths or colours, when electrical voltage is applied to them. LEDs now have many uses in our everyday lives, and you will see these little lights glowing in all sorts of places.
But, the great news is that by creating LEDs that emit certain specific wavelengths they can be used in medical applications to target and treat certain cells within our bodies or even attack harmful bacteria that damage our bodies.
At Hilton Skin Clinics in Reading we use a device called Dermalux TriWave LED in a treatment known as phototherapy. Depending on the LED light used we can target lines and wrinkles, rosacea, photo-damage such as age spots, and overall skin rejuvenation as well as acne and other dermatological conditions.
LEDs have also been shown to promote wound healing, so can be a very useful tool when combined with other cosmetic solutions that we provide, to aid healing and enhance the results achieved.
All sounds great, but how can a tiny light do all that I hear you ask?
As you are exposed to the different wavelengths of light, the cells within your skin absorb that light. This has a similar effect as giving a toy bunny a better brand of battery, in that this energy helps speed up and boost the activity of those cells. This makes them get to work on things like repairing and renewing themselves, or killing off bacteria at a much quicker rate than if they had to do it without the extra energy boost. Clinical trials have shown that this added LED energy gives cells the ability to regenerate almost 200% faster than if they’re not exposed to the light source.
The Dermalux TriWave device can emit three different colours of LED light – red, blue and near-infrared – these can be applied on their own or combined to target multiple skin complaints in a single treatment. The LED lights are housed in an array on the device head which hangs over your face during treatment.
We use the red light LED for anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation treatments which are aimed at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, evening out redness and improving skin texture. The application of the light has the effect of increasing the blood flow to the area being treated which aids healing, producing a general improvement in skin health and a more youthful glow.
We use the blue light LED for targeting acne. It is now a well-published fact that the bacteria which are responsible for causing acne (propionibacterium acnes or p.acnes) do not like blue light – in fact, it kills them – good for us; not so good for the bacteria!
The application of blue light reduces the number of acne breakouts experienced by suffers, which in turn reduces the chances of those spots becoming infected. By killing the p.acnes bacteria the skin is given the opportunity to become less congested, large pores can be reduced and spot-prone skin becomes much less prone to ongoing breakouts.
Dermalux TriWave LED phototherapy treatment is pain-free, enjoyable (relaxing, almost sleep inducing!), and warming thanks to the increased circulation; meaning that you finish the treatment feeling destressed and in a good mood – oh and your skin is going to continue to improve as the days go on! I mean what’s not to love about that!
Normally you will require a programme of several treatment sessions, depending on the skin condition that we are treating, to achieve the best results. Many people then come back for regular top-ups to keep up their ‘glow’ or to stop those pesky spots from returning.