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Wounds that are difficult to heal present a serious issue. The lesions severely affect the quality of life of individuals due to decreased mobility and substantial loss of productivity; they can also cause emotional damage (through embarrassment and pain) and contribute to loss of income in some cases.

In a literature search performed in Medline, PubMed, SciELO and Science Direct databases, 20 case studies were analysed to see if red light therapy had a substantial or any effect on wound healing. The biological effects observed were reduction of inflammatory cells, increased fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, stimulation of angiogenesis and granulation tissue formation.

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study nine patients with 12 venous ulcers were randomised to receive light therapy or placebo therapy. At the conclusion of the study, the percentage of the initial ulcer area remaining unhealed in the light therapy and placebo groups was 24.4% and 84.7%, respectively. The decrease in ulcer area (compared to baseline) observed in the light therapy and placebo groups was 193.0 mm2 and 14.7 mm2, respectively. This is a clear indication that light therapy works in healing venous ulcers.

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