Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Researchers Get Better Understanding of How Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Rejuvenate Skin and Reduce Wrinkles

WebMD Health News

Study Sheds Light on Wrinkle Treatment

Oct. 17, 2008 -- The same tiny lights found in electronic billboards and traffic lights might zap away wrinkles and lead to younger-looking skin without the need for cosmetic surgery or Botox, say researchers in Germany.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been used for more than 40 years to speed wound healing, and they are already being used in skin rejuvenation procedures, but until now, researchers have not understood exactly how they work. Now they do.

The research centered on elastin -- the protein involved in skin elasticity. With age, elastin fibers break down and the skin loses its ability to bounce back.

Researchers Andrei P. Sommer and Dan Zhu of the University of Ulm in Germany have discovered that during aging, water layers surrounding elastin fibers change and affect the elastin fibers. This may contribute to the formation of wrinkles.

The researchers theorized that they could use high-intensity visible light from LEDs to change the molecular structure of the water layer to free up elastin. They used an array of LEDs that gave off 600-720 nanometers of light. To prevent any adverse effects to the cells from the light penetrating the skin, the doses were adjusted to temporarily increase circulation.

After nine weeks of daily treatment, participants had a noticeable reduction in wrinkles. The LED therapy led to rejuvenated, younger-looking, and more resilient skin, according to the researchers.

Because elastin also provides elasticity to the blood vessels, heart, and other structures in the body, the researchers say LEDs might be useful for other therapies, as well. “We are justified in believing that our approach can be easily converted to deep-body rejuvenation programs,” they write in the Nov. 5 issue of the American Chemical Society journal Crystal Growth & Design.

URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices