Everything You Need To Know About Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy is a new treatment method that has been taking the market by storm with its potential to treat several medical conditions like osteoarthritis, acne, scars, and even anti-aging indicators. Light therapy has been used for its healing virtues since the late 1800s, when it was first implemented to cure skin tuberculosis. In today’s world, both at-home and professional skincare products seem to be using light therapy regularly.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy, or RLT, is a procedure that purportedly makes your skin look better by using low-wavelength red light. It is also recommended as a treatment for other ailments. Red light has been proven to have a therapeutic or healing impact on the tissue and body when used at the correct dose and intensity.

Red light therapy utilizes a combination of light of a specific natural wavelength and heat emitted from light-emitting diodes (LED) that work in repairing the skin. In human cells, it is considered bioactive at this particular wavelength and has the ability to directly and precisely influence and enhance cellular activity. 

One thing to note is that RLT is very different from Infrared light therapy. Both are very common procedures used, but there is a lot of difference between these two therapies. 

The use of RLT in photodynamic therapy is already extensively accepted by healthcare professionals. This therapy activates a photosensitizer chemical using low-power red laser light. A chemical reaction caused by contact kills cells. It treats several skin disorders, such as warts, psoriasis, acne, and even skin cancer. 

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light can pass through our epidermis, which is the top layer of our skin, and reach the dermis, the deeper layers. Elastin, collagen, and some other vital proteins are found here.

Our cells take in the photons of red light and transform them into energy. When adenosine triphosphate (ATP), elastin, and collagen are formed due to the energy produced, your cells have access to an increase in energy.

Red light therapy may be effective in 

  • Encouraging the creation of collagen, which provides skin with its suppleness, structure, and strength
  • Boosting fibroblast generation, which produces collagen 
  • Improving the blood circulation to the tissue
  • Reducing cellular inflammation
  • Minimizing germ buildup 
  • Treating precancerous lesions

Types of Red Light Therapy

There are several ways you can receive red light therapy. RLT can be used professionally as part of a dermatological procedure, at home using a device, or by an esthetician for some other facial treatment. You might even find red light therapy treatment equipment in luxury gyms.

Although many other types of equipment are available, single or tri-panel portable wands, masks, full-body beds, and stand-up panels are the most common. Although the at-home versions might not be as effective as the professional versions, they are nonetheless incredibly useful.

Make sure you do your research if you intend to use red light therapy at home, especially given the abundance of options available. Between 600 to 900 nanometers is the sweet spot for both therapeutic and aesthetic effects.

The exact perfect frequency for red light therapy is still debatable, but it is typically advised that the lights be focused on the skin from a distance of a few inches for some time, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The procedures are painless and don’t call for any waiting after it’s done. Since the advantages build up over time, consistency is crucial if you want to see successful results fully.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

In Treating Acne

There is typically some degree of inflammation prevalent in acne. In addition to calming and reducing redness, red light therapy also helps to reduce germs and oil production on the skin. It is deemed appropriate to treat mild to moderate acne by several dermatologists.

Since both acne and sensitive skin include a compromised skin barrier, which can be made worse by topical acne treatments, it is very important to find a nontopical, chemical-free solution that is well tolerated by patients with sensitive skin. 

It can be highly beneficial when used appropriately, realistically, and occasionally under the direction of dermatologists. It can be a fantastic supplemental solution for mild acne problems when combined with other acne treatments like topical creams or pharmaceuticals.

Anti-aging Virtues

Red light therapy is widely used for its anti-aging properties, and for a good reason. As mentioned earlier, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production in the skin are increased by red light therapy. Low-level red light treatments are ideal since they reduce skin laxity, fine lines, pore size, texture, and wrinkles. 

Removing Scars

If you have deep scars you want to remove, red light therapy is a great option for you to try. Red light therapy increases blood circulation and oxygen flow within the scar area, repairing scar tissues and healing them.     

Treating Other Skin Conditions

Skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea and eczema can improve drastically from red light therapy. Even sun-damaged skin can be repaired using this treatment. 

Improving Oral Health

Red light therapy promotes circulation and quickens cell renewal. It can enhance gum health and lessen pain from conditions like mouth sores, just as it improves skin cell health to reduce dark spots and wrinkles.

Reducing Hair Loss

Some research backs red light therapy as a successful treatment for alopecia, particularly androgenetic alopecia, also called male and female pattern hair loss.  It may not be effective for everyone and is best used in milder situations and the early stages of hair loss. If a hair follicle is scarred, it is unlikely to be successful. 

Treating Tendinitis, Osteoarthritis, and Other Inflammatory Illness

Red light therapy reduces inflammation in cells, which is ideal for treating pain due to this. Thus, red light therapy is a common treatment method for tendinitis, osteoarthritis, and other similar problems.

Curing Pre-Cancerous Lesions

Numerous studies demonstrate the efficacy of red light therapy in managing actinic keratoses and other precancerous lesions. To be effective, it is frequently used with a dermal photosensitizer.

Is it Safe to Use Red Light Therapy?

When used briefly and as instructed, red light therapy is thought to be risk-free and has no known adverse effects. Compared to various topical skin treatments, this therapy is less harsh, harmless, and non-invasive. RLT doesn’t use this kind of light, unlike the cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds.

Red light therapy improves your health without the use of medication or surgery. It only uses light, which is also naturally present in sunlight. Devices that use red light focus a specific wavelength of this natural light to produce higher levels of light than humans would experience while outside in the sun.

Research now shows red light therapy poses no immediate risks when carried out with a reliable tool.

What are the Side Effects of Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is widely considered harmless. When utilizing a full face panel or mask device, you may want to consider wearing suitable eye protection because some minor side effects like eye strain are documented, but overall, adverse events are uncommon.

The body needs a lot of energy for the repairing and mitochondria-building processes that red light treatment stimulates; therefore, the worst-case scenario regarding side effects is headaches and weariness. Fortunately, no red light therapy device generates UV; hence it can never cause a sunburn.

Additionally, try to ask the professionals how high the device’s non-native electromagnetic frequencies are. Some people have complained that the LED red light therapy equipment they use produces a lot of foreign electromagnetic frequencies.

Finally, red light therapy shouldn’t be practiced during the night. On the one hand, unlike blue or green light, red light therapy never lowers melatonin levels. Conversely, red light may reduce melatonin levels when the light intensity is high enough.

Due to their design for usage close to the human body, many LED gadgets achieve very high light intensity levels. Since adequate melatonin levels are required for deep sleep, you do not want your melatonin levels to be repressed.


How Fast Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Everybody reacts differently to specific treatments, and outcomes will also vary depending on the objective you’re trying to fulfill. But with consistent use, you ought to observe results in 4 to 6 weeks.

How Often Should You Go For Red Light Therapy?

For roughly a month, you could need a session once a week. Then you may require maintenance procedures every month or every few months. 

Some household appliances could also require a sizable time investment. You might need to use your gadget twice daily for 30 to 60 minutes for four to five weeks.

Bottom Line

Red light therapy is a standard procedure used and recommended for various purposes by healthcare experts. It is a risk-free healing technique with little to no potential side effects. 

Red light therapy is safe for all skin types, regardless of how sensitive it may be. Red light therapy is highly recommended if you want a gentle way to treat the conditions mentioned above. 

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