How Light Therapy Works By Joseph M. Brown, MD, FACS on September 12, 2022

Light therapy is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment that can be used to address a number of skin conditions. Depending on the type of therapy you choose, light therapy can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, acne scarring, and differentiations in skin texture. So let's see how light therapy works.

How Light Therapy Works

This therapy works by using specially-designed LED lights to encourage the regeneration of skin cells. It is commonly combined with topical treatments and other non-surgical procedures to create the best possible results.

These results tend to be mild to moderate with gradual improvement over time. If you want more drastic results within a shorter time frame, then you may want to discuss plastic surgery in Tampa with your surgeon.

What Kinds of Light Therapy Are There?

Light therapy generally uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to produce the light necessary for this kind of treatment. With that said, LEDs can produce light in a variety of wavelengths. These are some of the most commonly used wavelengths in light therapy and their applications.
  • Blue: Blue light penetrates the skin by less than one millimeter. It is primarily used to treat the bacteria that are responsible for acne on the skin’s surface.
  • Yellow: Yellow light can reach a depth of up to two millimeters. As a result, this light therapy is more likely to be used to treat sun damage and scarring.
  • Red: Red light can penetrate your skin up to three millimeters. It is used to address deeper tissue damage caused by surgery and aging. As a result, it’s generally useful for deeper skin rejuvenation.
  • Near Infrared: Near infrared penetrates farthest of all, up to ten millimeters. This treatment is less likely to be used for cosmetic purposes unless there are deep wounds and scars.
When you meet with your plastic surgeon to discuss light therapy, they will base their recommendation on your personal concerns and their evaluation of your skin. Specific treatments used for cosmetic purposes may use more than one wavelength to create a better overall effect.

During the course of your consultation, your surgeon may suggest a broadband light photofacial in Tampa as one way of addressing multiple concerns unless you have particular needs that require a more targeted treatment.

How Can Light Be So Effective?

The concept of a light therapy treatment creating real changes in your skin may be hard to wrap your head around at first, but it’s supported by science.

Research has shown that LED light is able to affect the biochemical reactions occurring within your skin cells when it is absorbed. As a result, different LED light therapies are actually able to:

  • reduce inflammation
  • increase natural collagen production
  • destroy harmful bacteria
  • stimulate blood flow
  • promote healing
All together, these effects allow light therapy to help with a range of health conditions and cosmetic concerns with no surgery and virtually no recovery.

Choosing Light Therapy vs. Surgical Intervention

There is no denying that light therapy is an incredible tool that can provide real, lasting results, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily the right option for you. As with all cosmetic procedures, light therapy has its limitations.

While light therapy is an effective tool for treating acne, scarring, discoloration, minor wrinkles, and active wounds, it may be significantly less effective at treating other cosmetic concerns like deep wrinkles, pockets of fat, and sagging skin.

There are still many non-surgical options that may work for you, but you may also find yourself considering plastic surgery if you’re looking for more dramatic results. Either way, your board-certified plastic surgeon will help you to find the best solution to create the results you want.

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Dr. Joseph Brown

Plastic Surgery

A board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Joseph M. Brown strives to provide patients with transformative, yet natural results in a safe and comfortable environment. When you choose him as your provider, he will develop a patient-doctor relationship based on honesty, trust, and a clear understanding of a common goal. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
  • Florida Medical Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons

To get started, request an appointment using our form or call (813) 258-2425.

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