It has been suggested that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can modulate inflammatory processes. The aim of this experiment was to investigate what effects red laser irradiation with two different wavelengths (660 nm and 684 nm) on carrageenan-induced rat paw edema and histology. Thirty two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups. One group received a sterile saline injection, while inflammation was induced by a sub-plantar injection of carrageenan (1 mg/paw) in the three other groups. After 1 h, LLLT was administered to the paw in two of the carrageenan-injected groups. Continuous wave 660 nm and 684 nm red lasers respectively with mean optical outputs of 30 mW and doses of 7.5 J/cm(2) were used. The 660 nm and 684 nm laser groups developed significantly (p<0.01) less edema (0.58 ml [SE+/-0.17] ml and 0.76 ml [SE+/-0.10] respectively) than the control group (1.67 ml [SE+/-0.19]) at 4h after injections. Similarly, both laser groups showed a significantly lower number of inflammatory cells in the muscular and conjunctive sub-plantar tissues than the control group. We conclude that both 660 nm and 684 nm red wavelengths of LLLT are effective in reducing edema formation and inflammatory cell migration when a dose of 7.5 J/cm(2) is used.