Green Light Therapy for Hyperpigmentation and Age Spots
Uneven pigmentation (hyperpigmentation) can take many forms. From acne discoloration to age spots to hormone problems, though, it is universally unwelcome and notoriously difficult to banish. Fortunately, green light therapy can eliminate hyperpigmentation and is a must-have in your skin-care regimen. Here I want to go into detail about sun spots, age spots, liver spots post acne discoloration and other types of hyperpigmentation and explain how green light therapy can help.
Causes of Hyperpigmentation – Can Green Light Therapy Fix Them All?
Hyperpigmentation is usually caused by excessive melanin production. This uneven or excessive melanin can be triggered by inflammation, sun damage, injuries, hormonal imbalance or illness. Those with darker skin are more prone to hyperpigmentation, but with enough age almost everyone will have uneven pigmentation or age spots at some point. Women are especially vulnerable to it, with about 90% of women suffering from uneven pigmentation.
Here are some examples of types of hyperpigmentation:
#1 – Age Spots, Liver Spots or Sun Spots – With age comes many unwelcome skin changes. One of them is that melanin-producing cells, melanocytes, aren’t as well regulated by the body. So their distribution becomes more uneven, leading to areas where there are more melanocytes. These appear to the visible eye as discolored spots. Since ultraviolet light (UV) increases the activity of melanocytes, UV usually increases age spots, also called sun spots. Green light therapy is a perfect solution for age spots.
#2 – Inflammation from Acne – Acne is incredibly common, and with it comes not only pimples but permanent or semi-permanent discoloration from the inflammation associated with acne. Although most of this post is talking about sun spots and age spots, the hyperpigmentation from acne can also be treated with intense green light therapy.
#3 – Inflammation from Injury – The inflammation that occurs with some injuries can cause uneven or increased pigmentation. Injured skin can include skin exposed to caustic chemicals as well. Green light therapy cannot be used to heal the injury itself but it can be used to combat the dark or uneven pigmentation from the scar or injury.
One surprising type of injury known to cause dark spots is as a side effect of laser skin procedures. Note that green light therapy and other types of light therapy are not the same as laser light, even though sometimes people refer to light therapy as “low level laser”. Green light therapy can help with pigmentation problems caused from laser treatments, but in a case like this, the user should take care to do several patch tests on hidden skin first and to increase use slowly as they may be sensitive to light in general.
#4 – Pregnancy – Pregnancy sometimes causes melasma, also known as chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy”. The discoloration usually appears on the face in a mask-like shape or on the belly. Unfortunately, this is one type of hyperpigmentation that should not be treated with green light therapy. Light therapy has never been tested on those who are pregnant and its effects on the fetus are not known. It would be unwise to attempt to treat a cosmetic condition at the expense of your baby. So keep green light therapy in mind for later, after birth.
#5 – Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in those with thyroid disorders, but it could happen to anyone. It is especially a concern for vegetarians and vegans. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes widespread hyperpigmentation and many other symptoms. It is easily treated by adding B12 to the diet, but it should be diagnosed by a doctor with a blood test first. Green light therapy is not a first-line treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency. It should only be used after the deficiency is corrected and with the approval of your doctor.
#6 – Freckles – Freckles are harmless, uneven pigmentation due to genetic causes. Green light therapy can help lighten freckles if desired, but it is not likely to make them disappear completely.
#7 – Celiac Disease – As many of us have heard in recent years, celiac disease is a serious condition caused by an intolerance or allergy to gluten, a wheat product. The hyperpigmentation in celiac disease can be severe, with large discolored spots or many discolorations over a large area. One notable discoloration seen in celiac disease is darkening skin in the underarm area. Step one to get rid of this type of hyperpigmentation is to get tested by a doctor for celiac disease and begin a gluten-free diet. If hyperpigmentation does not resolve on its own, you can begin using intense green light therapy afterwards.
#8 – Diseases Affecting Hormones – Diseases that affect hormones can sometimes cause hyperpigmented skin. Examples include Addison’s disease, Cushing’s disease or Graves’ disease. It is okay for people with these conditions to use green light therapy so long as their doctor approves.
How Intense Green Light Therapy Fades or Removes Hyperpigmentation
Green light therapy is a type of light therapy that involves using an intense source of green light in a specific nm range in close proximity to the skin. This type of light is ideal for breaking up clumps of melanocytes and helping to regulate their activity. Green light therapy uses diffuse light, or non-laser light. It penetrates the outer layers of the skin where pigmentation resides and provides instantaneous energy cells can use to repair and reorganize. This results in healthier outer layers of skin with smoother, more even skin tone.
Green light therapy is a gentle option that is well-tolerated by most skin types. It usually takes several weeks or months to see a difference. Results can be achieved faster and stay longer with the daily use of sunscreen and the use of vitamin C products at night. (Important: do not use vitamin C products before green light therapy. Always use them after your treatment session and after you are out of the sun for the day.) Regular, gentle exfoliation also speeds up results as it allows the damaged skin to be removed so newer, healthier skin cells can take its place.
Green Light Therapy Before and After Photos for Age Spots and Sun Damage
Below are my before and after pics from green light therapy. Although I am prone to freckles, most of these spots on my hands have come with age and my forgetting to put sunscreen on my hands. As we all know, with faces looking younger as we age these days, everyone looks instead to our hands (and necks!) to try to figure out our real age. I could see that my hands were betraying me.
Ever your willing guinea pig, I decided to do an experiment using the RubyLux All Green LED Bulb on my hands. I almost always used the Size Large, but sometimes I only used the Size Small. I used it once a day for 20 minutes on each hand.
After 4 months, these are the results. To see more detail, you can click on the image and it will open in a new tab in a larger size + see before/after photos of the other hand as well.
As you can see, most of the sun spots I had are now gone, especially on the back of my hand.
So Is Green Light Therapy Only for Sun Damage and Age Spots?
No, green light therapy can do more than that! Check out our summary infographic below to learn more about it! You can click the image to view a larger version.
What You Should Do Next
Since it is a relatively low cost, effective, painless, and widely accessible treatment for so many pigmentation problems, most people looking for more even pigmentation would benefit from using green light therapy. Particularly, the RubyLux Green LED light therapy bulb would be the best way to try the therapy out. It is the least expensive option with the strongest potential light output. It also requires no contact, so it's more sanitary and keeps your hands free. I would highly recommend heading to our shop and purchasing a RubyLux green light therapy bulb.
P.S. - If you need a 220V version, click here for our size large or here for our size small.
If you live in the US, Canada or other country that uses 120V, click here for size large and here for size small.