830 nm light-emitting diode low level light therapy (LED-LLLT) enhances wound healing: a preliminary study

Laser Ther. 2013;22(1):43-9. doi: 10.5978/islsm.13-or-06.


Background and aims: The application of light-emitting diodes in a number of clinical fields is expanding rapidly since the development in the late 1990s of the NASA LED. Wound healing is one field where low level light therapy with LEDs (LED-LLLT) has attracted attention for both accelerating wound healing and controlling sequelae. The present study evaluated LED-LLLT in 5 wounds of various etiologies.

Subjects and methods: There were 5 patients with ages ranging from 7 to 54 years, comprising 2 males and 3 females. The study followed 5 wounds, namely 2 acute excoriation wounds; 1 acute/subacute dog bite with infection; 1 subacute post-filler ulcerated wound with necrotic ischemic tissue and secondary infection; and 1 subacute case of edema and infection of the lips with herpes simplex involvement after an illegal cosmetic tattoo operation. All patients were in varying degrees of pain. All wounds were treated with multiple sessions (daily, every other day or twice weekly) using an LED-LLLT system (830 nm, CW, irradiance of 100 mW/cm(2) and fluence of 60 J/cm(2)) till improvement was achieved.

Results: Full wound healing and control of infection and discomfort were achieved in all patients, with wound condition-mediated treatment periods ranging from 1 to 8 weeks. No recurrence of the herpes simplex case was seen in a 4-month follow-up.

Conclusions: 830 nm LED-LLLT successfully brought about accelerated healing in wounds of different etiologies and at different stages, and successfully controlled secondary infection. LED-LLLT was easy and pain-free to apply, and was well-tolerated by all patients. The good results warrant the design of controlled studies with a larger patient population.

Keywords: Excoriation wounds; Herpes simplex; Ischemic necrosis; LED-LLLT; Scar prophylaxis; Secondary infection.