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The Light Fantastic: Photobiology and Light Emitting Diodes

Erin Madigan-Fleck February 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
The Light Fantastic: Photobiology and Light Emitting Diodes

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Light therapy is one of the oldest modalities used to treat various health conditions and, throughout its illustrious existence, has claimed success under various applications. The early physician, Hippocrates, was an advocate of the sun’s abundant healing properties and, as testimony to the efficacy of light therapy, many time-honored protocols are still in practice today.

The inception of the electromagnetic spectrum fueled the exploration of photobiostimulation, light and laser devices, and other similar light research. The annals of photobiology have endorsed the therapeutic value of light for a myriad of health, beauty and wellness applications. According to the constitution of The American Society for Photobiology: “Photobiology includes all biological phenomena involving nonionizing radiation (natural light). It is recognized that photobiological responses are the result of chemical and/or physical changes induced in biological systems by nonionizing radiation.”1

Light receives its energy in the form of photons, which are propagated in the form of waves, or wavelength. The photon energy of each wavelength varies with the different energies and intensities emitted. (See Electromagnetic Spectrum.)

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