Low-level light therapy
Low-level light therapy (LLLT) with Healite II involves the therapeutic use of light emitting diodes to enhance cellular function, improve healing time, relieve pain and promote skin rejuvenation. This treatment can be used as a standalone therapy or to assist the healing after other procedures.

Also known as

LLLT, LED phototherapy, photobiomodulation, light therapy

Conditions treated

How it’s performed

Clothing is removed or adjusted to expose the area to be treated. The Healite II light head is positioned approximately a hand width away from the treatment area. The light emitted by the device is safe for eyes, but the red light is bright, so some patients may prefer to wear block-out goggles or tinted glasses. Our operator selects the appropriate Healite II settings for the condition being treated and turns the device on. Each treatment typically last 10-15 minutes. After treatment, the patient dresses and is ready to go.

Preparation

Do not wear any cosmetics, tinted moisturiser or sunscreen on the day of treatment. Wear clothing such as singlet and shorts, that allow easy access to treatment areas.

Side effects and complications

There are no known significant side effects to low level light therapy. Some people find the light very bright or irritating and may prefer to wear protective glasses during treatment.

Follow-up

A series of at least 3-4 treatments is usually recommended. Otherwise there is no follow-up required.

Aftercare

No items found.

Contraindications

Photosensitivy is the main contraindication for Healite II procedures. This may be due to a medical condition such as migraine or epilepsy, photosensitising topical compounds or medication (for example, doxycycline).

Warnings

Pregnancy

It's safe to undergo this procedure while you are pregnant.
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Low-level light therapy (LLLT), also known as photobiomodulation or phototherapy, is the therapeutic use of light to enhance cell recovery. It reduces healing times, helps relieve pain and bruising, and results in better long-term cosmetic outcomes after procedures. LLT is painless, non-invasive and there is no downtime following treatment. It can be used as a standalone treatment or as part of a treatment combination such as photodynamic therapy or to speed healing and improve results after cosmetic radiofrequency mole removal, microneedling or surgical excision of skin cancers and suspicious moles.

We use the Healite II which allows precise control of treatment parameters such as wavelength, intensity and total dose to obtain optimal results.

How low-level light treatment works

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) give off light which is absorbed by skin and other cells.

Photons of red and near-infra red wavelengths are absorbed by mitochondria – structures within cells that control energy production. This stimulates several processes associated with cell growth, tissue repair and regeneration (Avci 2013).

As a result, there is:

  • production of growth factors (Glass 2021)
  • reduction of inflammation, improved circulation in the treated area, and stimulation of collagen production and growth of skin cells: keratinocytes, fibroblasts and melanocytes (Glass 2021)
  • faster growth of the epithelium (the tissue that lines the body's organs including the epidermis skin layer) (Avci 2013)

Results from low-level light treatment

LLLT is effective for managing multiple skin conditions such as acne, hair loss, dermatitis and psoriasis. (Ablon 2018)

At Spot Check Clinic, we mainly use LLLT in combination with other treatments in the management of skin cancers, mole removal and skin repair.

Wound healing and scar development

Low-level light enhances wound healing after skin procedures

Surgical wounds (for example after excision or radiofrequency removal of a mole or skin cancer) heal significantly faster with LLLT. (Min 2013) Crusting, exudate, and swelling resolve in half the time. (Ablon 2018)

Patients treated with LLT experience less pain, and it resolves faster (Mosca 2019)

Healing times following facial surgery

Treatment / indication Without Healite II With Healite II
Bruising 1 week 1-2 days (78% reduction)
Erythema / redness 15-16 weeks 1-2 weeks (87% reduction)
Oedema / swelling 5 days-1 week 2-3 days (58% reduction)

(Calderhead 2015)

Low-level light results in better cosmetic outcomes and less scarring

Results after skin procedures are generally better when LLLT is used. (Calderhead 2015)

In the days and weeks following treatment, there is less redness (Avci 2013)

After a course of treatment, the scar is stronger and the appearance is better (Glass 2021)

Low-level light helps prevent keloid scarring

Keloid and hypertrophic (overgrown) scars are less likely to develop if the skin is treated with LLLT following an injury or surgery (Avci 2013, Barolet 2018).

Cosmetic and skin rejuvenation effects

LLT can result in softening of the skin and reduction in fine lines (Avci 2013). Treated skin is more elastic (Glass 2021).

In general, a long course (several months) of repeated treatments is required to achieve results (Jagdeo 2018). For treatment of wrinkles and skin discolouration due to ageing and sun damage, we normally recommend other treatments such as:

When LLLT is used in combination with microneedling, results are achieved faster (Calderhead, year not stated) and the effects are far superior to those achieved by either microneedling or LLLT on its own (Calderhead 2014).

What to expect

Healite II low-level light treatment is comfortable and soothing. Most patients find it relaxing.

Treatment is administered from an array of LED globes, positioned a few centimetres away from the area to be treated. The Healite head “wraps around” the treatment area. For facial treatments, this can feel a little claustrophobic at first, but this feeling usually settles very quickly.

The Healite gives off a bright light, either red or yellow depending on the treatment wavelength. The light is not bright enough to require eye protection.

The light itself does not feel hot, but after a few minutes of treatment the skin feels warm as energy is delivered to the cells.

Each treatment session usually lasts 15-20 minutes.

Treatment course

When LLLT is used in conjunction with another treatment, the optimal treatment course is:

  • Pre-treatment 1-2 days before the procedure
  • Treatment immediately following the procedure
  • 2-3 treatments, 2-3 days apart, following the procedure

For a planned procedure such as cosmetic mole removal or excision of a suspicious skin lesion, LLLT administered 1-2 days before the procedure conditions the cells. It has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation after the procedure (Agrawal 2014). Treatment with LLLT immediately following skin procedures reduces downtime and adverse effects of the procedure. (Calderhead 2015)

Side effects

There are no significant known negative effects of low-level light therapy.

When LLLT is used by itself, there is no downtime, redness, peeling, blistering or pain. (Ablon 2018) There may be downtime as a result of other treatments administered at the same time as LLLT.

Contraindications

LLLT is not recommended if you have a condition or are taking medications that make you sensitive to bright or flashing lights.

Conditions that cause photosensitivity

  • epilepsy
  • metabolic conditions such as porphyria
  • light-induced rashes
  • autoimmune conditions such as lupus erythematosus
  • albinism
  • light-induced migraine

Photosensitising medications and other products

  • amiodarone
  • azapropazone
  • azathioprine
  • chlorpromazine
  • demeclocycline
  • doxycycline
  • nalidixic acid
  • certain essential oils, such as lavender, sandalwood, bergamot and many citrus fruit oils

References

Glass G
Photobiomodulation: A review of the molecular evidence for low level light therapy
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery volume 74, issue 5, May 2021, pages 1050-1060
2021
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjps.2020.12.059
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M
Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring
Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar; 32(1): 41–52
2013
https://www.scmsjournal.com/article/abstract/low-level-laser-light-therapy-lllt-in-skin-stimulating-healing-restoring/
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Ablon G
Phototherapy with light emitting diodes: Treating a broad range of medical and aesthetic conditions in dermatology
J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018 Feb; 11(2): 21–27
2018
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843358/
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Glass G
Photobiomodulation: The clinical applications of low-level light therapy
Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 41, Issue 6, June 2021
2021
https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjab025
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Min P, Goo B
830 nm light-emitting diode low level light therapy (LED-LLLT) enhances wound healing: a preliminary study
Laser Ther 2013;22(1):43-9.
2013
https://doi.org/10.5978/islsm.13-or-06
Date accessed:
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Jul 2021
Calderhead RG, Kim WS, Ohshiro T et al
Adjunctive 830 nm light-emitting diode therapy can improve the results following aesthetic procedures
Laser Ther. Dec 30; 24(4): 277–289.
2015
https://dx.doi.org/10.5978%2Fislsm.15-OR-17
Date accessed:
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Calderhead RG
LED photoactivation can enhance the results of microneedling radiofrequency treatment
Paper provided by Lutronic Australia
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Calderhead RG
Combining microneedle fractional radiofrequency and LED photoactivation
Prime Journal Dec 2, 2014
2014
https://us.aesthetic.lutronic.com/assets/PDFs/29c44a49aa/PRIME-Journal-Nov-Dec-2014-Volume-2-Issue-6.pdf
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Calderhead RG, Kim W, Ohshiro T et al
Adjunctive 830 nm light-emitting diode therapy can improve the results following aesthetic procedures
Laser Ther. 2015;24(4):277-289
2015
https://dx.doi.org/10.5978%2Fislsm.15-OR-17
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Barolet D
Photobiomodulation in dermatology: Harnessing light from visible to near infrared
Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], vol 6, no 1, Jan 2018
2018
https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v6i1.1610
Date accessed:
18
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Mosca R, Ong A, Albasha O et al
Photobiomodulation therapy for wound care: A potent, noninvasive, photoceutical approach
Advances in Skin & Wound Care: April 2019 volume 32 issue 4 - p 157-167
2019
https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ASW.0000553600.97572.d2
Date accessed:
18
Aug 2021
Agrawal T, Gupta G, Rai V et al
Pre-conditioning with low-level laser (light) therapy: light before the storm
Dose Response. 2014;12(4):619-649
2014
https://dx.doi.org/10.2203%2Fdose-response.14-032.Agrawal
Date accessed:
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Jagdeo J
Light-emitting diodes in dermatology: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
Lasers Surg Med 2018 Jan 22; 50(6): 613-628
2018
https://doi.org/10.1002/lsm.22791
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Aug 2021