Ann Dermatol.  2013 May;25(2):163-167. 10.5021/ad.2013.25.2.163.

The Effects of 830 nm Light-Emitting Diode Therapy on Acute Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus: A Pilot Study

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Eulji General Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


Skin lesions and pain are the most distinctive features of herpes zoster. Light-emitting diode (LED) therapy is an effective treatment known for its wound-healing effects.
To determine whether the LED treatment affects wound healing and acute pain in acute herpes zoster ophthalmicus.
We recruited 28 consecutive Korean patients with acute herpes zoster ophthalmicus for the study. In the control group (group A), 14 subjects received oral famcyclovir. In the experimental group (group B), 14 subjects received oral famcyclovir and 830 nm LED phototherapy on days 0, 4, 7, and 10. In order to estimate the time for wound healing, we measured the duration from the vesicle formation to when the lesion crust fell off. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used for the estimation of pain on days 4, 7, 10, and 14.
The mean time required for wound healing was 13.14+/-2.34 days in group B and 15.92+/-2.55 days in group A (p=0.006). From day 4, the mean VAS score showed a greater improvement in group B, compared with group A. A marginal but not statistically significant difference in the VAS scores was observed between the two groups (p=0.095).
LED treatment for acute herpes zoster ophthalmicus leads to faster wound healing and a lower pain score.


Herpes zoster ophthalmicus; Light-emitting diode

MeSH Terms

Acute Pain
Herpes Zoster
Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus
Pilot Projects
Wound Healing


  • Fig. 1 Mean duration from vesicle formation to when the lesion crust fell off.

  • Fig. 2 Repeated measures of mean VAS scores of the control and experimental groups from day 0 to 14. Differences in VAS were marginally significant between the two groups according to the repeated measure of ANOVA (p=0.095). VAS: visual analogue scale.

  • Fig. 3 The control group (group A). (A) Erythematous grouped vesicles appeared in a unilateral fashion following right ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve. (B) Three weeks after the LED treatment, the skin lesion moderately improved, but there still remained the erythematous scarring and hyperpigmentation. LED: light-emitting diode.

  • Fig. 4 The experimental group (group B). (A) Grouped vesicles and crust appeared in a unilateral fashion following left ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve, involving primarily the left forehead, which were extended to ipsilateral nose at the baseline. (B) 3 weeks after the LED treatment, the skin lesion markedly improved. LED: light-emitting diode.


1. Whelan HT, Smits RL Jr, Buchman EV, Whelan NT, Turner SG, Margolis DA, et al. Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing. J Clin Laser Med Surg. 2001. 19:305–314.
2. Vinck EM, Cagnie BJ, Cornelissen MJ, Declercq HA, Cambier DC. Increased fibroblast proliferation induced by light emitting diode and low power laser irradiation. Lasers Med Sci. 2003. 18:95–99.
3. Minatel DG, Frade MA, França SC, Enwemeka CS. Phototherapy promotes healing of chronic diabetic leg ulcers that failed to respond to other therapies. Lasers Surg Med. 2009. 41:433–441.
4. Caetano KS, Frade MA, Minatel DG, Santana LA, Enwemeka CS. Phototherapy improves healing of chronic venous ulcers. Photomed Laser Surg. 2009. 27:111–118.
5. Moncada S, Erusalimsky JD. Does nitric oxide modulate mitochondrial energy generation and apoptosis? Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002. 3:214–220.
6. Barolet D. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in dermatology. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2008. 27:227–238.
7. Russell BA, Kellett N, Reilly LR. A study to determine the efficacy of combination LED light therapy (633 nm and 830 nm) in facial skin rejuvenation. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2005. 7:196–200.
8. Enwemeka CS, Parker JC, Dowdy DS, Harkness EE, Sanford LE, Woodruff LD. The efficacy of low-power lasers in tissue repair and pain control: a meta-analysis study. Photomed Laser Surg. 2004. 22:323–329.
9. Bjordal JM, Johnson MI, Iversen V, Aimbire F, Lopes-Martins RA. Low-level laser therapy in acute pain: a systematic review of possible mechanisms of action and clinical effects in randomized placebo-controlled trials. Photomed Laser Surg. 2006. 24:158–168.
Full Text Links
  • AD
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: