The skin is the largest sensory organ that absorbs 80% of the light, and only 20% of these light impulses enter the brain through the optic nerves, while the rest enters the body through the skin.
Depending on the wavelength, light of different colors can penetrate up to 5 cm deep into the skin and have different therapeutic effects.
In this article, we will look at relatively new technology, namely Deep Penetrating Light therapy (DPL). We’ll explain what is behind the term, how it works for different conditions, including acne, age-related changes, and pain. We will also consider the most popular devices, and prove whether they are effective.
What is Deep Penetrating Light (dpl) therapy?
Unlike laser treatments, which use focused beams of light with a high peak power level, DPL therapy uses soft, low-level LED lamps for non-ablative treatments. The peak power of dpl devices is approximately one-tenth to one-hundredth of a watt, which is so small that it has practically no effect on the skin, except for providing red, near-infrared light energy to restore collagen and elastin fibers in the deeper layers of the skin.
How does DPL therapy work?
DPL therapy uses red and near-infrared light to penetrate the skin to a depth of 1–2 inches.
Red/near-infrared light photons passing through body tissues are captured by light-sensitive chromophores. Their interaction stimulates increased energy production in the mitochondria, which produce energy within the cells.
Mitochondrial dysfunction (decreased cellular metabolism or low-energy cells) is a major cause of many chronic conditions. Improving mitochondrial function helps the body become more resistant to disease and slows the aging process (appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, etc.).
Deep penetrating therapy restores mitochondrial function, giving cells enough energy to perform their functions. This, in turn, stimulates beneficial processes in the body.
The light energy of red and near-infrared light also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, with anti-aging effects.
Effectiveness of using DPL therapy based on scientific research
Acne is a very common skin disease that remains a major problem in practice. There is evidence that DPL therapy has a beneficial effect in treating acne breakouts.
In this study , 28 patients with mild to moderate acne vulgaris were treated with a red laser (630 nm) and infrared laser (890 nm) on the right and left sides of the face, respectively, twice a week for 12 sessions. As a result, ten weeks after treatment, acne was significantly reduced on the 630 nm red laser-treated side, but this reduction was not significant in the 890 nm infrared laser-treated area.
In a follow-up study , 25 patients with moderate to severe acne received 5 laser treatments at wavelengths of 400 to 700 nm and 870 to 1200 nm. After the first exposure, the number of non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne decreased to 36.6% and 43.0%, respectively. After five treatment sessions, they dropped to 12.9% and 11.7%. As a result, it can be argued that the degree of acne has improved significantly throughout the study. No serious adverse reactions were observed other than erythema and a slight tingling sensation.
DPL therapy has attracted the attention of physicians as a safe alternative treatment for photoaging and photodamaged skin. Recent studies have shown that the therapeutic activity of red and infrared (IR) light can be effective.
This study  was involving 113 participants. They were randomly divided into four treatment groups and were treated twice weekly with 611-650 or 570-850 nm laser light and compared with controls (23 patients). The radiation intensity and duration of treatment varied in all treatment groups, but there were no more than 30 sessions. As a result, the treated subjects showed a significant improvement in complexion and skin feel, as well as collagen density.
In this study  76 patients with facial wrinkles were treated with LED devices on the right side of the face. All subjects were randomly assigned to four groups receiving either 830 nm alone, 633 nm, or a combination of 830 and 633 nm, or a dummy treatment lamp twice a week for four weeks. As a result, 830 and 633 nm LED phototherapy turned out to be the most effective group. The data showed a significant reduction in wrinkles (maximum: 36%) and an increase in skin elasticity (maximum: 19%) compared to baseline on the treated face in the three treatment groups. There was also a marked increase in the number of collagen and elastic fibers in all treatment groups.
DPL therapy is a rapidly evolving technology used to treat a variety of conditions that require stimulating healing, relieving pain and inflammation, and restoring function.
A study  was involving 26 patients with chronic neck pain diagnosed with cervical disc herniation. They were treated with a laser device at a wavelength of 830 nm. The procedure was done twice a week for 4 weeks. As a result, after the end of the treatment regimen, a significant improvement in the patients’ condition was observed — the pain decreased, and the range of motion of the cervical spine increased.
In the following study , 39 patients with chronic low back pain were randomly assigned to infrared therapy (21 people) or placebo treatment (18 people). Infrared therapy was carried out using small, portable devices in the belt. The device converted electricity into infrared energy at a wavelength of 800 to 1200 nm. The placebo group had identical blocks, but no power was applied. The patients attended 7 weekly sessions. As a result, the infrared therapy unit used was shown to be effective in reducing chronic low back pain — the mean pain score dropped more than twofold at the end of the study.
DPL therapy devices:
reVive light therapy
reVive is the company that pioneered the use of Deep Penetrating Light (dpl®). Its devices have shown impressive effects in pain relief, injury recovery, acne treatment, and anti-aging.
Below are the most popular reVive devices with dpl technology.
dpl® Neck pain relief light therapy is a unique product that can help you get rid of neck pain, stiffness, and related symptoms. This device will also be useful after exercise to help you recover. The advanced technology allows the light to penetrate deep into your muscles for maximum therapeutic effect.
In addition, this device is ideal for traveling in an airplane or car, thanks to its comfortable shape.
dpl® Neck pillow can be used every day for 15-30 minutes, depending on the intensity of the pain.
The dpl® IIa is a state-of-the-art light therapy device that delivers blue, red, and near-infrared (NIR) light energy to cells in your skin. This therapy has been known for a long time to have beneficial effects on different skin problems such as acne or anti-aging-related changes without any side effects or discomfort.
Red light penetrates deeply into the skin, where it exerts anti-inflammatory effects, stimulates collagen synthesis, and promotes tissue repair. Blue light targets acne-causing bacteria reduces inflammation and speeds up healing after facial or body acne lesions.
Near-infrared (NIR) provides additional anti-aging and acne treatment effects by promoting collagen synthesis and cellular energy, improving blood circulation in the skin, delivering more oxygen to your cells, and reducing inflammation.
dpl Flex pad is a thin, flexible, and ergonomically designed device to provide safe, effective, non-invasive pain relief. It’s ideal for back pain, neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc.
dpl Flex pad uses advanced LED phototherapy technology with an automatic shut-off feature. Also, this device is light and discreet making it great to wear during day-to-day activities. One size fits all.
It is safe to use with no side effects and is made from high-quality materials that are tested to ensure they are skin-friendly.
PlatinumLED BIOMAX 300 — Multifunctional light therapy panel
PlatinumLED Biomax 300 emits highly effective, therapeutic laser and LED light frequencies. It’s easy to use and works as a standalone product or as part of your wellness regime.
The PlatinumLED Biomax 300 is designed with 12 powerful LEDs and has five different wavelengths of red (630 and 660 nm) and near-infrared light (810, 830, 850 nm) for a truly new level of therapy.
That device targets the pain area with light energy for temporary relief of pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and knees. Additionally, it encourages natural healing processes by re-oxygenating cells with infrared light energy. You can use this panel for the first age-related changes too. Also, PlatinumLED Biomax is a great product to use when traveling to prevent jet lag and increase energy levels and wellbeing after your flight.
The PlatinumLED Biomax is small enough to fit inside your bag so you can take it with you wherever you go.
The benefits of DPL therapy are widely recognized in modern medicine. Using this method, you can cure acne, reduce the first signs of aging (wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation), and also remove pain.
Deep penetrating light therapy works by stimulating cellular energy as well as increasing oxygen flow to cells and collagen production in the deep layers of the skin.
This method is non-invasive, and the DPL devices themselves are small, easy to use, and do not cause pain or discomfort to the patient, which makes it a versatile tool for dealing with different conditions.
📌 What is Deep Penetrating Light (DPL) therapy?
Deep Penetrating Light (DPL) therapy is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses soft red and near-infrared light diodes to treat a variety of conditions (acne, age-related changes, pain).
⭕ How do red and infrared light differ from each other?
With increasing wavelength, the depth of penetration of light into the body also increases. So, while red light can only benefit superficial organs (i.e. your skin), infrared light will reach the cells under your skin deep in your body.
🧐 Which DPL therapy device should I choose?
Everything will depend on your preferences and purpose of use. We have highlighted the most popular deep penetrating light therapy devices:
- dpl® Neck pillow — Neck pain relief light therapy;
- dpl® IIa — Anti-aging and acne treatment light therapy;
- dpl® Flex pad — Back pain relief light therapy;
- PlatinumLED BIOMAX 300 — Multifunctional light therapy panel.
🗓 How many times per week should I use DPL therapy?
Everyone reacts differently, depending on age and skin condition. It is recommended to start with 15 minutes, at least 3-5 times a week.
- Hiroshi Takahashi, Ikuko Okuni, Nobuyuki Ushigome, Takashi Harada, Hiroshi Tsuruoka, Toshio Ohshiro, Masayuki Sekiguchi, Yoshiro Musya. Low-level laser therapy for patients with cervical disk hernia. – Laser Ther. 2012 Sep 30;21(3):193-7. DOI: 10.5978/islsm.12-OR-10.
- George D. Gale, Peter J. Rothbart, Ye Li. Infrared therapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. – Pain Res Manag. Autumn 2006;11(3):193-6. DOI: 10.1155/2006/876920.
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- Mir Hadi Aziz-Jalali, Seyed Mehdi Tabaie, Gholamreza Esmaeeli Djavid. Comparison of Red and Infrared Low-level Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. – Indian J Dermatol. 2012 Mar-Apr; 57(2): 128–130. DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.94283.
- Seiji Kawana, Rieko Tachihara, Tokue Kato, Tokuya Omi. Effect of smooth pulsed light at 400 to 700 and 870 to 1,200 nm for acne vulgaris in Asian skin. – Dermatol Surg. 2010;36(1):52-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01380.x. Epub 2009 Nov 13.