Background: In the early 1990s, the biological significance of light-emitting diodes was realized. Since this discovery, various light sources have been investigated for their cutaneous effects.
Study design: A Medline search was performed on light-emitting diode lights and their therapeutic effects between 1996 and 2010. Additionally, an open-label, investigator-blinded study was performed using a yellow light-emitting diode device to treat acne, rosacea, photoaging, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia.
Results: The authors identified several case-based reports, small case series, and a few randomized controlled trials evaluating the use of four different wavelengths of light-emitting diodes. These devices were classified as red, blue, yellow, or infrared, and covered a wide range of clinical applications. The 21 patients the authors treated had mixed results regarding patient satisfaction and pre- and post-treatment evaluation of improvement in clinical appearance.
Conclusion: Review of the literature revealed that differing wavelengths of light-emitting diode devices have many beneficial effects, including wound healing, acne treatment, sunburn prevention, phototherapy for facial rhytides, and skin rejuvenation. The authors' clinical experience with a specific yellow light-emitting diode device was mixed, depending on the condition being treated, and was likely influenced by the device parameters.