Red light therapy is a procedure in which light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to treat medical and cosmetic conditions. It is non-invasive, painless and does not use heat. It sends low-intensity red and near-infrared light to body cells to stimulate healing. Red light therapy is becoming increasingly popular for its ability to reduce inflammation, accelerate wound healing, improve joint range of motion, and reduce pain for fibromyalgia sufferers.
It can also be used to treat cosmetic skin problems such as stretch marks and wrinkles, as well as more serious conditions such as psoriasis and slow-healing wounds. Acne sufferers may also benefit from red light therapy. It helps soothe and diminish redness, and minimizes oil production and bacteria on the skin. Zubritysky says it is ideal for mild to moderate treatment of acne.
Athletes may also use red light therapy before and after conditioning exercises to improve their athletic performance. When it comes to home treatment, a good starting point is to use phototherapy every day or at least 5 times a week for best results. Treatment may produce short-term benefit, but regular phototherapy is needed to see longer lasting effects. Therefore, it is more effective to use a personal phototherapy device than to go to a spa or a dermatologist for less frequent treatments.
A controlled trial has been conducted to determine the effectiveness of red and near infrared light treatment on patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness and increased intradermal collagen density. The results of some studies seem promising, but the full effectiveness of red light therapy has not yet been determined. Red light therapy uses low wavelengths of red light as a treatment because, at this specific wavelength, it is considered bioactive in human cells and can directly and specifically affect and improve cellular function. Unlike ultraviolet (UV) light that causes cancer from the sun or tanning booths, RLT does not use this type of light. Instead of undergoing radical methods to correct and delay the signs of aging, scientists discovered many uses for this innovative technology.
When treating chronic diseases, users usually see results in one to four months, also depending on the frequency of red light therapy.