by Matt Weik
The use of red light therapy in medicine is nothing new. We’ve known about and been using red light therapy for specialized treatments for over 50 years. It is now a well-established medical treatment for certain skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea. That all being said, there are several other red light therapy benefits that many people may not be aware of.
In this article, we will look at exactly what red light therapy is as well as what red light therapy benefits may be helpful to you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition or disease. If you suffer from any type of condition, speak with your doctor before adding red light therapy to your regimen to ensure it will not interact with your condition or any type of medication that you’re on. Red light therapy should not supersede a doctor’s prescribed treatment plan.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) stimulates blood cell production and lymphatic circulation. Red light therapy was initially developed from studies done on plants, which emit a red glow when exposed to light.
It was discovered that red light could be used to produce roots for a plant. Red light therapy benefits run deeper than just for the use with plants. Red light therapy is effective in treating many conditions such as arthritis, dry skin, burnt skin, and even wound repair. RLT is an alternative healing treatment and process that specifically uses the red spectrum of light to treat various conditions.
How Does It Work?
Red light therapy is a straight-cut treatment that involves exposing the body to low wavelength red light. It is also known as low-level laser light therapy, though red light therapy is the more commonly used name.
The red light can penetrate deep into your skin, where the cells can absorb and make use of it.
According to a study, mitochondria in skin cells have the ability to absorb these light particles. This helps the cells produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — the energy source for all cells in our body.
Many experts attribute the potential red light therapy benefits to this function. The extra energy allows the cell to respond better to damage and rejuvenate them, essentially helping improve the other health of cells.
What Are Some Red Light Therapy Benefits?
Red light therapy is a type of phototherapy which uses red light, instead of UV rays or fluorescent black lights, to treat skin conditions and general health problems. While the concept behind red light therapy is simple, the power of light to speed healing and reduce pain, the science behind it is quite complex.
Here are some of the red light therapy benefits you may experience:
1. Treating Acne
Mostly, acne is followed by a decent amount of inflammation. Red light therapy helps to decrease and calm the redness and reduce oil production and bacteria on the skin. RLT can be used to treat acne by breaking down comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) and killing Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, which can lead to inflammation. Red light also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce swelling, redness, and pain. As found in one study, forms of light therapy can be a potential alternative treatment to acne vulgaris.
2. Treats Sunburn
Using a red light therapy machine immediately after getting sunburn may help lessen your discomfort level and prevent peeling. Sunburn is usually treated with topical medications or cold compresses, but red light therapy may accelerate the healing process in some cases.
3. Pain Relief
Another one of the red light therapy benefits is that it may help relieve muscle pain and joint pain by stimulating your body’s production of endorphins — natural chemicals that block pain signals from reaching the brain and increasing circulation to the area being treated. According to research, red light therapy can reduce pain hypersensitivity and enhance sensorimotor function.
4. Treatment for Skin Rejuvenation
Red light therapy can be used to promote collagen production in the dermis of the skin. This can help reduce wrinkles, tighten skin, and make it appear healthier and younger. The effects of red light therapy on wrinkles are similar to that of Botox injections, only without the potential for side effects. Moreover, the results of using RLT are seen within three months of regular use.
5. Treating Hair Loss
Red light therapy is a treatment used to treat hair loss. The red light helps stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp. This increases the rate at which cells divide and can improve the health of existing hair follicles. Red light therapy effectively treats alopecia, which is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. According to a study, it was found that men and women with alopecia who used an at-home RLT device for around 24 weeks grew thicker hair. People, who used a fake RLT device in the study, did not get the same results.
6. Improves Bone Recovery
The last of the red light therapy benefits on our list is that it can help improve bone recovery. According to a study, it was indicated that red light therapy help boosts healing after treatment for facial bone defects. The study also notes that the RLT helped decrease inflammation and pain during the process.
Red light therapy is the next significant breakthrough in health and wellness, soon becoming the new standard for wellness centers and spas worldwide. As more studies are done on this technique, we will continue to see an increase in interest from the public.