Green LED Light Therapy: How Effective is It?

April 23, 2021 Green LED Light Therapy: How Effective is It?

In LED Light Therapy, depth of penetration is determined by wavelength. The longer the wavelength of light energy, the deeper it reaches into the tissue, within a well-defined range. In recent clinical studies on hyperpigmentation, near-infrared light energy was demonstrated to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation as it easily reaches the dermis, down-regulating hyperactive dermal melanocytes without side effects. Green wavelengths are simply too short to reach the melanocytes in the dermal layer.

These finding do not negate the fact that some skin care professionals can achieve favorable anecdotal results using green light to treat hyperpigmentation. However, this modality of treatment is not supported by robust, peer-reviewed and published clinical data. Red and near-infrared wavelengths of light energy are much longer than green light and therefor more effective in reaching the target tissue in the treatment of hyperpigmentation.

As the manufacturer of the most medically credentialed and most awarded LED device in medical aesthetics and pain management, we are committed to understanding the science of low-level light therapy and sharing its benefits though science based-education. We are frequently asked about the effect of green LED light therapy for hyperpigmentation. The fact is that very little has been published on the use of green wavelengths in photobiomodulation (PBM). It is therefore not clinically relevant to use green light since we still don’t have evidence-based proof to validate its efficacy.

Specific to our LED light therapy machines, Celluma emits three discreet wavelengths that are scientifically proven to effect a therapeutic response inside our cells and mitochondria: blue (465nm), red (640nm), and near-infrared (880nm). Yellow and green wavelengths have little or no scientific evidence to support their use which is why we choose NOT to use them in Celluma. No low-level light therapy device is FDA-cleared or has medical CE-Mark for treating pigmentation with or without the use of green wavelengths.

Although green light is further away than blue from harmful UV ionizing radiation, it does not penetrate deep enough in tissues to reach dermal chromophores; the molecules that absorb light energy. Several in vitro studies show that it can stimulate fibroblasts, hepatocytes (Castro 2003), neurons, adipocytes (Roche 2017, Jackson 2013), mitochondria (Kassak 2005) etc. However, academia is still waiting for a clear demonstration of its clinical efficacy. Furthermore, green is significantly absorbed by melanin in the epidermis increasing the risk of persistent hyperpigmentation!

Essentially, from the epidermis to the subcutaneous layer, where the root cause of the condition is compromised mitochondrial function (that is to say, when cells are not producing the energy required to drive normal cellular activity), Celluma light therapy devices are clinically proven to provide the energy that cells need to increase ATP production and get back to work. In medical aesthetics, this applies to a multitude of common skin conditions, including treating acne, wrinkles, managing pain, as well as increasing circulation and decreasing inflammation.

We urge you to beware of companies purporting to treat pigmentation with green wavelengths. Any claim of green’s effectiveness can be achieved by red + near-infrared which have the capability to reach the target cells located even deeper in the tissue. However, as a science-based company, we understand that new evidence is published all the time. If you have any credible scientific evidence to support otherwise, please pass it along!

Reference: Daniel Barolet, MD, FRCPC, Department of Medicine, Dermatology Division, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Stephen Freeland