Red Light Therapy and Skin Rejuvenation
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of two novel light sources for large area and full body application, providing polychromatic, non-thermal photobiomodulation (PBM) for improving skin feeling and appearance. Background data: For non-thermal photorejuvenation, laser and LED light sources have been demonstrated to be safe and effective. However, lasers and LEDs may offer some disadvantages because of dot-shaped (punctiform) emission characteristics and their narrow spectral bandwidths. Because the action spectra for tissue regeneration and repair consist of more than one wavelength, we investigated if it is favorable to apply a polychromatic spectrum covering a broader spectral region for skin rejuvenation and repair. Materials and methods: A total of 136 volunteers participated in this prospective, randomized, and controlled study. Of these volunteers, 113 subjects randomly assigned into four treatment groups were treated twice a week with either 611–650 or 570–850 nm polychromatic light (normalized to ∼9 J/cm2 in the range of 611–650 nm) and were compared with controls (n=23). Irradiances and treatment durations varied in all treatment groups. The data collected at baseline and after 30 sessions included blinded evaluations of clinical photography, ultrasonographic collagen density measurements, computerized digital profilometry, and an assessment of patient satisfaction. Results: The treated subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling, profilometrically assessed skin roughness, and ultrasonographically measured collagen density. The blinded clinical evaluation of photographs confirmed significant improvement in the intervention groups compared with the control. Conclusions: Broadband polychromatic PBM showed no advantage over the red-light-only spectrum. However, both novel light sources that have not been previously used for PBM have demonstrated efficacy and safety for skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen increase when compared with controls.