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Article: Does blue LED light therapy cause hyperpigmentation?

Does blue LED light therapy cause hyperpigmentation?
For_Body care

Does blue LED light therapy cause hyperpigmentation?

IN THIS ARTICLE:

From skincare influencers to A-list celebrities, LED light therapy has become the go-to treatment that not only enhances your appearance but also treats a plethora of skin concerns. However, just like any trend that captures people's fascination, excessive use of LED light therapy can lead to adverse effects.

One concern is the potential skin discoloration caused by blue light. So, is discoloration a negative side effect of blue LED light therapy?

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is characterized by the darkening of a specific area of the skin, resulting in shades of brown, black, gray, or even reddish or pinkish tones. This darkening occurs due to an excess of melanin, a natural pigment present in the skin.

Hyperpigmentation can manifest on any part of the body, not limited to the face, and is independent of skin type or tone. Despite its common occurrence, many individuals tend to overlook it without delving into its underlying causes.

Common causes of hyperpigmentation include:

  • Sun damage - Excessive sun exposure triggers melanin overproduction
  • Genetics- Certain genes can contribute to increased pigmentation in specific areas of the skin
  • Skin injuries - Cuts, burns, or acne can cause inflammation, stimulating excess melanin production and resulting in dark spots or patches
  • Medical conditions - Disorders like Addison's Disease and thyroid issues can disrupt hormonal balance, contributing to hyperpigmentation
  • Hormonal fluctuations - Pregnancy, menopause, or other hormonal changes can stimulate melanin production
  • Certain medications - Some medications cause hyperpigmentation, specifically antibiotics, antimalarials, and hormonal drugs
  • Melasma - Brown or gray-brown patches on the face, known as melasma, are often influenced by hormonal changes and sun exposure
  • Vitamin deficiency - Insufficient intake of vitamins like C or B12 can contribute to hyperpigmentation. Maintaining a healthy diet can be a way to prevent this condition.

Can LED light therapy cause hyperpigmentation?

People may associate "light" with light that is potentially damaging to their skin such as sun rays. Before starting LED light therapy treatments, you may be curious about whether this potentially causes pigmentation and discoloration to the skin.

Research indicates that individuals of varying skin tones can safely undergo light therapy sessions. Unlike UVA or UVB radiation, which are known to induce skin damage, LED therapy treatments do not emit such harmful wavelengths.

Skin damage is known to occur from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light wavelengths from the sun, notably UVA and UVB. Increased pigmentation, dryness, wrinkles, fine lines, and—most concerning of all—skin cancer can result from this.

Can LED light therapy reduce hyperpigmentation?

In contrast to harmful UV rays, non-thermal and UV-free LED light is safer and offers various skin benefits. During the treatment, LED bulbs emit light energy at specific wavelengths that penetrate the skin's layers.

It is well known that LED light helps to minimize the appearance of uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

When using red light, it triggers collagen production in the dermis, promoting skin rejuvenation.

Blue light, on the other hand, is commonly used to combat acne by targeting acne-causing bacteria and reducing skin inflammation (think, blue LED light therapy for rosacea). Other blue LED light therapy benefits include reduced sebum production and minimized pores. 

Is LED light therapy safe for darker skin types?

LED light therapy typically does not lead to heightened hyperpigmentation for the majority of individuals. However, certain considerations apply. Individuals with freckles or those with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick III and IV) may experience aggravated pigmentation with blue light exposure. Nonetheless, a clinical study has demonstrated that near-infrared light usage can counteract or mitigate any potential hyperpigmentation resulting from blue light exposure. Hence, for those utilizing blue light therapy, it is advisable to follow up with a session featuring both red and near-infrared light settings.


The Takeaway 

As LED light therapy gains popularity in skincare, it's essential to understand its effects on hyperpigmentation. While concerns about LED light causing discoloration exist, studies suggest LED therapy is safe for all skin tones. LED treatments, particularly using red light, can effectively reduce uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation by stimulating collagen production. Blue light therapy, known for its acne-fighting properties, targets bacteria and reduces inflammation, leading to clearer skin. Overall, LED light therapy provides a safe and effective solution for tackling a range of skin concerns, including hyperpigmentation. With regular and consistent use, you can expect to see noticeable improvements in your skin's appearance.

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  written by Sophie Flair

 

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