A Beginner's Guide to Red Light Therapy: Uses, Benefits, and Safety

red light therapy

Photo: @kyleecampbell

The quest to remain ageless and scar-free in skincare led to the development of another skin treatment called the Red Light Therapy (RLT). For those unaware of this procedure, it looks exactly the way it sounds and promises to stimulate collagen production and treat other skin conditions. 

This non-invasive skin treatment has a loyal train of followers that swear by it, and if you are yet to hop on to this train, here's all you need to know about its uses, benefits, and safety.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy, also referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), is the intentional openness to near-infrared or red light. It is transported via light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or low-level lasers. 

It is a non-invasive therapy that can be used for various purposes like healing wounds, managing pain, growing hair, and maintaining good skin health. It works by absorbing light energy from cells, and this leads to enhanced cellular activity and improved energy production. 

Types of Red Light Therapy Devices

There are various types of red light therapy devices. They range from little handheld devices to larger panels. Some of the common types that you will find are:

  • Handheld Devices: These are compact devices that you can hold and apply to particular aspects of your body directly. They are usually used for specific treatments like fine lines on the face or joint pain in particular areas.
  • Panel Devices: These devices entail larger panels or a combination of LEDs that emit red light over a wider area. Panel devices are perfect for treating full-body and are usually used in professional settings or at home to oversee general skin health.
  • Body Pads: They are flexible pads that are entangled with red light LEDs.  They are often wrapped around particular body parts for localized treatment.
  • Lamps and Bulbs: Some red light therapy devices are also in the form of lamps or bulbs that are used for standard lighting. They permit widespread usage of red light in a room.
  • Masks: A red light therapy mask is created to be worn over the face. It offers a specific treatment for skin issues like acne, wrinkles, or general skin refreshing.

red light therapy

To choose the perfect type for your use, there are certain factors to consider. They include power output, the particular area of treatment, and the wavelength of the light emitted.

Does Red Light Therapy Work?

This therapy treatment has shown a lot of promise in different applications. However, note that its effectiveness level depends on the particular condition being treated and the individual’s reaction to the treatment plan. There are multiple ways through which this treatment has proved to be useful and highly effective. They include skin revival, wound healing, pain management, hair growth, to mention a few,

Red Light Therapy Benefits

What does red light therapy do? It has been proven to be effective over the years. Although there is still ongoing research about how much more it can go, there are certain benefits that users still enjoy in the present. Here are some of them:

  • Skin Revival: It helps to improve wrinkles and skin tone and boost collagen production. In the long haul, it leaves you with a youthful appearance.
  • Wound Healing: According to research, this therapy is capable of healing wounds via enhancing tissue repair and reducing inflammation.
  • Pain Management: Recent studies mention that red light therapy can be used to help manage pain and inflammation. So, people suffering from illnesses like muscle soreness or arthritis no longer have to worry.
  • Hair Growth: It has been proven that this light therapy is capable of boosting hair growth and enhancing hair follicle health.
  • Muscle Recovery: This treatment is quite effective for athletes and fitness advocates with injuries during workouts and other activities. It speeds muscle recovery even after the most difficult workouts or activities.
  • Blood Circulation: Red light therapy can be used to surge blood circulation, which further helps to improve cardiovascular health.

These are some of the benefits you can get from using this therapy. Its effectiveness makes it one of the most preferable treatments that skincare lovers and sports enthusiasts would love to incorporate into their routine. Or doesn’t it sound tempt enough to you?

red light therapy

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

Generally, this treatment therapy is considered to be safe when used as instructed. Since it is non-invasive, this guarantees minimal adverse effects compared to others. This doesn’t mean that there are no things that you need to look out for or check before opting for this treatment plan. In this light, here are some of the exceptions where safety cannot be guaranteed when using red light therapy. They are:

  • Eye Safety: When using this treatment, ensure that you avoid straight exposure of the light into your eyes. Doing this can lead to quite a lot of damage. So, ensure that you wear eyewear if need be, especially when the devices are used near the face.
  • Pregnancy:  Although there is no definite proof of the adverse effects of this light therapy treatment on people, it is best for pregnant women to consult their doctors before trying this out. As with pregnancy, you need to confirm everything with your doctor before going ahead to take a step.
  • Quality of the Device: Whatever device you are using for the treatment, ensure that it meets the required standards. So, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s set of instructions till the very end.
  • Skin Sensitivity: People with hypersensitivity to light are susceptible to developing skin rashes when using this therapy.  In this case, it is best to begin with shorter sessions to help monitor these skin reactions.

It is important that you tread carefully when dealing with some of the cons of using red light therapy.  So, if you have prior health conditions and concerns, it is best that you take it and talk it out with your doctor before making the decision together on whether to proceed with the treatment or not.

Can I Do Red Light Therapy at Home?

Yes, it is possible to do red light therapy at home. There are lots of devices created for this purpose, so you can pick one up for your personal use. However, before you begin this all by yourself at home, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Select a device that suits your particular needs or the aspect that you intend to treat.
  • Ensure that you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you remain safe all through.
  • Stick to the recommended treatment time frame and frequency without doing the contrary.
  • To get desired results, ensure that you remain consistent and remember that patience is key.
  • In case of any issues or concerns, consult with a healthcare professional for advice or solutions.

Certainly! Red light therapy is beneficial for different purposes. However, the reaction of each person differs. So, you need to be deliberate and study your usage process to determine whether it is really working for you or not.

Can Occlusion Patches Increase the Skin Benefits of Red Light Therapy?

Occlusion patches help to create a barrier on the surface of the skin. They are usually not used with the red light therapy treatment. While red light therapy depends on the penetration of light into the skin to become effective, using an occlusive patch at the same time can deter light penetration. These patches are usually a part of skin care products and are used to boost the absorption of the applied product into the skin.

Therefore, if you are considering combining red light therapy with other skincare products, ensure that you follow the specific suggestions for each treatment.

red light therapy

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