Therapeutic Efficacy of Home-Use Photobiomodulation Devices: A Systematic Literature Review

Lilach Gavish, Nicolette Nadene Houreld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Perform systematic literature review on photobiomodulation (PBM) devices used at home for nonesthetic applications. Background: Home-use PBM devices have been marketed for cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. This is the first systematic literature review for nonesthetic applications. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted for PBM devices self-applied at home at least thrice a week. Two independent reviewers screened the articles and extracted the data. Treatment dosage appropriateness was compared to the World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT) recommendations. The efficacy was evaluated according to the relevant primary end-point for the specific indication. Results: Eleven studies were suitable. Devices were applied for a range of indications, including pain, cognitive dysfunction, wound healing, diabetic macular edema, and postprocedural side effects, and were mostly based on near-infrared, pulsed light-emitting diodes with dosages within WALT recommendations. Regarding efficacy, studies reported mostly positive results. Conclusions: Home-use PBM devices appear to mediate effective, safe treatments in a variety of conditions that require frequent applications. Conclusive evaluation of their efficacy requires additional, randomized controlled studies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4-16
Number of pages13
JournalPhotobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • home use
  • low-level laser therapy
  • over the counter
  • photobiomodulation
  • self-applied

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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