Have you been spending money on creams, masks, and doctors to help treat your skin conditions? Instead of all these treatments, maybe it’s time to try red light therapy. This type of treatment can heal many different skin issues. It also has countless other uses for a healthier body and mind. If you’ve been wondering about the benefits of red light therapy, check out how it works and it’s uses below.
Red light therapy goes by many other names. Low level laser therapy (LLLT), photobiomodulation, biostimulation (BIOS), and photonic stimulation are some. It can also be called light box therapy, but whichever name you use, it means the same thing.
The history of light therapy begins with the Greeks. They knew light increased health, though they may not have known the science behind it. They also didn’t know about the harm UV rays caused that we are aware of today. There were no notable discoveries with light therapy until the 19th century. Danish physician Dr. Niels Finsen won a Nobel Prize for his work with light therapy. He used varying wavelengths to prove it was an effective treatment for tuberculosis.
Then in the 1960’s, European researchers discovered its effects on living tissue. They proved it had therapeutic effects by using a process called photo-stimulation. An example of such a treatment is placing a baby under a light to treat jaundice, which is quite common in our time. Since then, researchers have discovered many positive uses for light therapy. These include increasing collagen production, circulation, fibroblastic activity, and healing. Together, these have positive results for many types of skin conditions and issues. NASA has even proven that light penetrates deep into the tissue. This helps stimulate cell growth internally, which can promote healing in zero-gravity environments.
Red light therapy is used for specific purposes. It uses precise wavelengths of light to create a biochemical effect. This increases mitochondrial function, which then improves adenosine triphosphate production. ATP is our cell’s energy source. Without proper amounts of it, our bodies would not function. Red light therapy uses particular wavelengths for its treatments. These range from 630 to 880 nm. These wavelengths can penetrate around 8-10 mm into the skin. This means it can affect nerves, blood vessels, lymph pathways, and hair follicles. Because of this, it can be used to treat so many issues in these areas.
Red light therapy has so far shown to be 100% safe for a variety of reasons. The first is that this type of treatment is completely chemical free. The same can’t be said for the medicated creams or even the normal skin products from your local pharmacy. These can contain harmful ingredients that could have a negative effect on your skin. Red light therapy can penetrate deep into your skin without those toxic effects.
Another reason red light therapy is so effective is that it is painless. This non-evasive treatment allows you to bath your skin in the light without harming it. There is also no recovery time needed after using this treatment. Red light therapy can be used for any skin type and any age. Best of all, it is easy to do since you can purchase your own red light therapy device to use in the comfort of your own home.
Your skin is on display every second of your lift but it can be hard to keep it looking its best. Using red light therapy can help combat this issue, making your skin look better in a few different ways. First of all, it penetrates the skin, stimulating cellular activity. This increases turnover, so the old cells will slough off and new ones will take over.
Red light therapy also increases blood flow. More oxygen and nutrients will reach the skin, nourishing the cells. This process will increase the production of collagen and fibroblasts. These two aid in skin correction, increase elasticity and prevent certain issues. Another benefit is that it boosts capillary creation and repair. This will help eliminate redness and flushing in the skin.
And because red light therapy devices use UV-free LED bulbs, they won’t damage your skin the way the sun will. Instead, they will improve the damage that is already there, such as dark spots. This leaves you with a healthy, even skin tone. Your skin will also feel smoother, with the gorgeous glow you may have been missing.
Aging may be a part of life, but you don’t need to look it. You can use red light therapy to help reduce those lines and wrinkles that time and the sun have left on your face. It does this in a few different ways, much the same as with the skin rejuvenation. The first, and most important when it comes to aging, is collagen production. This decreases as you age but using a red light therapy device can reverse this process. Fibroblast and collagen production will increase, tightening your skin at the same time. This helps to smooth out those crow’s feet, laugh lines, and forehead wrinkles.
This type of therapy will also lead to increased blood flow. This helps to bring more nutrients and oxygen to your skin, increasing its life and vitality. Another benefit of using red light therapy for anti-aging purposes is its safety. There have been no recorded side effects of any kind, so it improves your skin without harming it. You can seek out a medical professional to do the treatment for you if you’d like. Or you can purchase a red light therapy device and take your skin treatments into your own hands.
Sebum is produced by our sebaceous glands and is a necessary part of skin and hair health. It lubricates these areas, which keeps your hair and skin soft. Without it, your hair would be brittle and dry, and your skin would be flaky and in need of serious moisture. The downside of sebum is that it can get clogged with dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells, and other debris. This leads to acne. As well as being unsightly, some people experience pain along with these blemishes. This is because the skin under and around a pimple becomes inflamed.
Red light therapy has no benefits when it comes to treating the actual blemish. But it is useful for reducing the inflammation and the pain that comes with it. But to have the best results, you need to use the right wavelength, or you acne inflammation may not be reduced. The red light therapy device should be set at 633 nm for the best results. There is even a study that uses a combination of blue light and red light therapies. The red light reduced inflammation while 415 nm blue light therapy reduced the acne. Whether you use them on their own or together, it may take a few sessions to take care of either issue.
Psoriasis is a skin condition with no discernible cause. It causes your skin cells to build up faster on your skin’s surface than normal. This leads to red, scaly patches that can be extremely itchy and even painful. Though this skin condition can be treated to manage these symptoms, there is no cure for it. One way to manage the symptoms is to moisturize the area. Reducing your stress levels is also recommended.
But there has been some evidence that red light therapy may be able to help with this condition as well. A recent study used a combination of 830 nm in near-infrared light and 633 nm in visible red light. This treatment was performed on 9 individuals with chronic psoriasis. All of their symptoms were resistant to conventional treatments. After completing the treatments, their psoriasis had cleared up between 60-100%.
These effects could be due to the anti-inflammatory effects of red light therapy. This treatment is also known to speed up healing, which could add to the positive results. Plus, it is pain-free and has no side effects, no matter the skin type. Of course, the study in question is a preliminary one. But the results are promising enough to encourage those with psoriasis to give it a try.
There have been a number of studies that have shown that red light therapy can help speed up healing. The same could be said about laser treatments, but the red light therapy is a bit safer. This is because laser treatments performed by dermatologists work in a strange way. They use intense pulsing lights, which induce secondary tissue repair for skin rejuvenation. What this means is that these lasers cause damage to the epidermis or the dermis on purpose. This triggers inflammation in that specific area, which is then healed.
It seems strange to hurt your skin in order to repair it, which is why red light therapy is a safer choice. It skips the initial destructive step of causing damage. Instead, it stimulates the skin’s natural regeneration directly. This speeds up the healing process in a safer way. There is an increase in cellular growth, migration, and adhesion. This means the cells grow faster, move to their proper place and latch on quickly for a speedy recovery. Of course, you need to use the proper wavelengths for this process to work. It is believed that using RLT in the range of 600-1300 nm is best, but you may need to experiment to find the best level.
Scars can show up at almost any time in your life. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t have at least one scar from a childhood accident. As you hit puberty, acne forms, which can leave scars on your body. Illnesses like chicken pox can leave scars if you scratch or pick at the blisters. Surgery scars are also quite common. No matter what causes the scar, it can be unsightly and embarrassing. What people don’t realize is that a scar is actually a benign skin tumor that forms during these times in our lives. Though it may only take a short time to form, they are hard to get rid of.
Many treatments have been tried, but there have been no positive results until now. Researchers performed this treatment on patients with different types of scars. The results showed that there were significant improvements in the scars. There were also no adverse effects detected in any of the patients, proving this is a safe treatment. Of course, this was a small preliminary study and more research is recommended. But the positive results and lack of side effects make this a decent treatment option for those at home.
We’ve all been there, suffering from a nasty sunburn because we forget to apply sunscreen. This can be a painful mistake that lasts for days. But it gets worse, with sunburns eventually peeling to get rid of the damaged skin. Though there are lotions and gels available to soothe these burns, they don’t speed up healing. But there is some evidence that red light therapy can do so in patients. A clinical study used LED treatment of 590 nm for their therapy. This treatment was used on 10 patients with acute sunburns once or twice each day for 3 days. Every patient reported a decrease in all their symptoms. This included redness, burning, swelling, and peeling.
One of the patients even had the treatment done on only half of their back. The treated side showed significant healing at both 4 and 24 hours after the injury occurred. Inflammation was also reduced at these times when compared with the untreated side. Red light therapy was also used on other types of burns. Second-degree burns from nonablative laser devices and a CO2 laser were treated. In both cases, the healing speed increased, as did the other symptoms. This makes red light therapy a great home healing therapy for burns.
Arthritis and other sources of joint pain can be debilitating. Many suffering from these issues have difficulty performing even the simplest tasks. Medication, braces, and other treatments can help reduce the pain. Unfortunately, there are no therapies available to reverse the damage. Thankfully, red light therapy is a great option for pain relief. There was a Cochrane review in 2009 of the effects of this type of therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. It showed that red light therapy caused relief of pain and morning stiffness. The results were short-term but still a safe choice due to the lack of side effects.
There has also been a study that showed this is a beneficial treatment for other joint issues. Aging causes tissue damage and degeneration in everyone. Neck pain has been shown to be reduced after 1 treatment. Those with chronic neck pain have seen improvements up to 22 weeks after therapy. The reasons this therapy works so well is because it increases cellular rejuvenation. It also increases blood flow and reduces oxidative damage which causes degeneration. And this treatment reduces inflammation for less swelling in your joints.
Cellulite is what we call the lumps and dimples that form under our skin. Though it can affect both genders, it is more common in women. In fact, 80-90% of women deal with cellulite at some point in their lives. The cause of cellulite is unknown. What we believe is that it is the result of the way our connective tissue interacts with fat cells. If the fat cells push into the layer of skin, cellulite appears, giving us that cottage-cheese look. There is also the belief that hormones and aging play a part in the appearance of cellulite.
Many of us eat healthy foods and work out, in the hopes that our weight loss will clear up the cellulite in our bodies. Though this can reduce it, there is another way to speed up this process. A recent study combined low-level, dual-wavelength laser energy with a massage device. This therapy was used on the thighs of the subjects. The results showed a decrease in the circumference of the upper, middle, and lower thighs. In fact, 71.1% of those treated noticed decreased circumference. This decrease was due to the loss of cellulite in the treated area.
Hair loss, or Alopecia, is a common disorder that affects over half the world’s population. It is most known for affecting men, but many women suffer from hair loss as well. No matter what gender you are, it can be frightening to see those extra hairs in the shower drain or on your brush. The most common treatment for hair loss is the use of the drugs minoxidil and finasteride. Some prefer to try hair transplants as well. But for a safer, more effective treatment, many people are turning to red light therapy.
The first studies on this treatment were done on mice. The hair loss was a result of chemotherapy or alopecia areata. The red light therapy stimulated hair growth in both cases. Other clinical trials were performed on both men and women. The hair growth increased in all subjects. There is even some evidence that LLLT can be used on those who have had hair transplants. This is because it can speed up the healing process. This therapy may also enhance viability of the grafts and help it grow earlier and faster. This technology is now an option for those suffering from hair loss to regain those lost strands.
Herpes simplex virus, or HSV, is one of the most common viral infections. This virus has two types. The first, HSV-1, is also called oral herpes. It consists of sores around the mouth and lips, which are known as cold sores or fever blisters. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, but in most cases, these are the result of HSV-2. This second type of herpes usually shows up as sores around the genital area and the rectum. Sometimes the sores show up in other areas but usually stay below the waist.
Along with the lesions, other HSV symptoms are itching, burning, tingling, and pain. Usually, outbreaks are controlled by anti-viral drugs like acyclovir or valacyclovir. These reduce the healing time of the lesions but not by a significant amount of time But LLLT has shown some promise as an alternative treatment for HSV. First, this treatment reduced the symptoms and the healing time. Studies have also shown it prolonged the remission intervals by almost a month and a half. They even showed using RLT reduced the frequency of HSV-1 episodes. Though the herpes virus has no cure, red light therapy proves to be an effective treatment option.
NASA designed this type of therapy as an experiment in an effort to grow plants on space shuttles. But it has proven to be an increasingly promising right here on Earth. Doctors have discovered this treatment reduces some side effects of cancer treatments. One of these side effects is called oral mucositis. This is a very painful one, caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Patients who undergo these treatments were placed in a two-year clinical trial. They were given a treatment called High Emissivity Aluminiferous Luminescent Substrate or HEALS. This consisted of a far red/near infrared Light Emitting Diode treatment. Doctors concluded that the HEALS treatment was responsible for 96% of the pain relief. There were also no adverse effects to any of the patients during the treatments.
Another benefit of the HEALS treatment is that is less expensive than a hospital visit. Patients also have an easier time eating without the pain of the mouth and throat sores. They require fewer medications and showed an increase in morale due to the lack of pain. Because the sores heal faster, there is also less of a risk of infection, which means less time in the hospital.
Red light therapy may not be the first treatment doctors recommend. But with all the recent science backing up its healing abilities, it is well on its way there. This is due to its ability to counter the symptoms of a wide variety of issues and conditions. The fact that it has no known side effects is just the icing on the cake. If you are looking for more, check out our buyer’s guides.
I joined BloomGorgeous in 2014 and have been reviewing for them ever since. It's my passion and joy to help people thrive. I have had my up and down days with my my look and my mindset, it is our goal here to help people get through the rough times a little faster.