Red light therapy is a treatment that exposes you to low-level wavelengths of light. Among the most common red light therapy benefits include faster healing of skin conditions such as scarring, wrinkles, and age spots. Red light therapy might be as effective as pharmacological interventions, but it is not for everyone. There is still a lot to learn about how red light therapy works.
Unlike infrared light, red light is visible to the naked eye. It’s also called photonic stimulation, biostimulation, or photobiomodulation.
Here’s the concept behind red light therapy: The mitochondria of your cells are responsible for generating power to facilitate the biochemical reactions in your body. When exposed to red light, the same mitochondria will absorb the light to generate more energy. Such a process results in the healing and regeneration of cells and body tissues.
The huge number of red light therapy skin benefits makes it more in-demand nowadays. For a better understanding of the benefits of red light therapy, check out this list below.
What are the benefits of red light therapy?
1. Skin Health Improvement
Many people show interest in red light therapy because it dramatically enhances any skin condition. First, researchers have started to see red light therapy as a conservative approach to improve scars. For instance, a study done in 2004 suggests that a planned regimen using the right dosage of red light therapy can significantly improve the appearance of scars .
Red light therapy works by increasing collagen production and boosting skin elasticity. Moreover, a study proves that the application of red light therapy serves as a safe and non-abrasive treatment for skin conditions involving the reduction of wrinkles or fine lines, and improvement of intradermal collagen density .
2. Wound Healing
If you suffer from wounds that look like they may take a longer time to heal, red light therapy might be for you. Wound healing can be hastened by red light therapy since it reduces inflammation in the cells and has proven beneficial biological effects in several wound injuries. It does not only promote angiogenesis in the skin, but it also increases mitochondrial mechanisms .
3. Acne Improvement
There were reviews suggesting that phototherapy using light-emitting diodes such as red light can be a reliable alternative treatment for acne vulgaris.
Red light therapy appears to penetrate deep into the skin and works by improving sebum production while reducing inflammation and irritation. Thus, red light therapy has a more impressive safety profile compared to direct sunlight exposure.
Sunlight might contribute to the way sebaceous glands behave by drying them out and affecting the oil production in your skin, but long-term exposure has proven to be potentially dangerous.
4. Bone Recovery Enhancement
A study conducted also concludes that red light therapy may help patients heal after undergoing treatments for facial bone defects. The results showed an improvement in bone density, a reduction of inflammation, and a significant presence of analgesic effects throughout the process .
5. Pain Reduction
Pain is always inevitable, especially for people undergoing severe health conditions. Red light therapy works wonders in chronic pain reduction by stimulating the production of endogenous endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for acting on the opiate receptors in our brain while boosting the feeling of pleasure.
A study in the US showed promising results involving red light therapy and pain reduction. Besides, several health practitioners believe and claim that this therapy is a safe alternative to pharmacological intervention .
6. Hair Growth
Alopecia is the medical term used to define hair loss in any part of the body. A study was conducted to explore the effect of red light therapy on people with alopecia. The same study also showed a remarkable output proving that red light therapy helps promote hair growth, as evidenced by an improvement in hair density among men and women alike. Red light therapy stimulates epidermal stem cells in the hair follicle, allowing hair to grow .
7. Reduction of Chronic Inflammatory Issues
Red light therapy improves healing, alleviates pain, and reduces inflammation. These claims have been proven by a study that states such results are achievable because both local and systemic mechanisms are overtly operating. The reduction in inflammatory cells, as a result, gives our health practitioners a more positive outlook regarding red light therapy’s effectiveness for chronic inflammatory issues .
The anti-inflammatory effects they provide like signaling pro-inflammatory cytokines in activated inflammatory cells might not be clearly understood, but their effects on the human body remain significant.
Red light therapy has been around for 40 years since the birth of laser devices. It uses specific light wavelengths to provide the health benefits mentioned earlier. Scientifically, red light therapy works from the inside-out to improve mitochondrial function in cells.
Red light therapy skin benefits are among the most sought after health benefits because people always love to invest in their skin. However, it is a treatment not meant for everyone without a physician’s consent. Moreover, it is best to consider the side effects and contraindications before jumping into an impulsive decision.
- Gaida, K et al. Low-Level Laser Therapy — A Conservative Approach to Burn Scar? 2004 June – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305417903003668
- Wunsch, A, Matuschka, K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. 2014 February 1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3926176/
- Sun-Kim, M et al. Effect of 660 nm Light-Emitting Diode on the Wound Healing in Fibroblast-Like Cell Lines. 2015 October 4 – https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2015/916838/
- Ablon, G. Phototherapy with Light Emitting Diodes. 2018 February 1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843358/
- Santinoni, CDS et al. Influence of Low-Level Laser Therapy on the Healing of Human Bone Maxillofacial Defects: A Systematic Review. 2017 March 7 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28292696/
- Ibrahim, M The Effect of Light Therapy on Chronic Pain. 2020 September 10 – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03677206
- Lanzafame, R et al. The Growth of Human Scalp Hair in Females Using Visible Red Light Laser and LED Sources. 2014 August 13 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25124964/
- Hamblin, MR. Mechanisms, and Applications of the Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Photobiomodulation. 2017 May 19 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5523874/
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