Red light therapy is among today’s modern approaches to skin rejuvenation. Also known as RLT, it is an emerging treatment showing potential against acne, wrinkles, scars, redness, and other known signs of aging. Many experts claim that further clinical trials are still needed to confirm the effectiveness of RLT as a treatment fully. If you are interested in red light therapy, best to ask your doctor or healthcare provider if this therapy is an option for your skin issue.
Today, let us know more about red light therapy, how it works, and the benefits one can get from experiencing this treatment. Continue reading until the end and discover if red light therapy can also work for you.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Short for RLT, red light therapy is a treatment that uses low-wavelength red light to significantly improve the appearance of your skin, also reducing acne, scars, wrinkles, and redness. It’s also known to treat other medical conditions. Some studies show promise, but red-light therapy’s full effectiveness has yet to be determined.
Other terms and monikers you might hear to describe red light therapy include:
- Biostimulation, photonic stimulation.
- Cold laser therapy.
- Low-level laser light therapy.
- Low-power laser therapy.
- Non-thermal LED light.
- Photobiomodulation and phototherapy.
- Soft laser therapy.
How Does RLT Work?
Red light therapy is claimed to work when it acts on the “power plant” in your body’s cells called mitochondria. Other cells can work more efficiently with more energy, such as repairing skin, boosting new cell growth, and enhancing skin rejuvenation. More specifically, specific cells absorb wavelengths of light, stimulated to work
RLT may also work in skin health to:
- Increase blood circulation to the tissue.
- Increase production of fibroblasts that makes collagen, a component of connective tissue that helps build skin.
- Reduce inflammation in cells.
- Stimulate collagen production, giving skin structure, strength, and elasticity.
Common Uses for Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is now promoted as a treatment for common skin conditions, including improvements and reductions.
- facial texture
- hair growth for those with androgenic alopecia
- psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema
- sun-damaged skin
- wound healing
- age spots
- fine lines
- stretch marks
Red Light Therapy: Is It Effective?
Most experts must determine if red light therapy is effective for all its known uses. Most experts say red light therapy shows some potential for particular conditions. However, more studies are still needed to support such claims. RLT is still a budding treatment that’s generating growing interest. But at this point, there’s not enough evidence to support most uses.
Red Light Therapy: Is It Safe?
Red light therapy appears safe, usually not linked to any side effects, at least when used short-term and if done as directed. This therapy is not toxic, invasive, or as harsh as some topical skin treatments. Unlike the cancer-causing ultraviolet or UV light from the sun or tanning booths, red light therapy doesn’t use this light type.
Although, if products are misused — probably used too much or not as directed — there’s a high likelihood that your skin or eyes, if they are not protected, could be damaged. The long-term safety of red light therapy devices are yet to be discovered.
The safest option is to see a dermatologist or qualified, trained cosmetic therapist. A dermatologist can ensure your skin condition is what you think it is and discusses all possibilities of red light therapy and other related treatment options.
Other Medical Conditions for Red Light Therapy
Some other potential medical uses being investigated for red light therapy include the following:
- Many other uses are sprouting on the internet. No scientific evidence supports red light therapy as effective for treating cancer, weight loss, cellulite removal, or mental health concerns like depression, SADs, or seasonal affective disorders.
- To prevent cold sores caused by herpes simplex virus from recurring.
- To lessen cancer chemotherapy side effects, which include oral mucositis.
- To alleviate pain and inflammation associated with ankle tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and knee osteoarthritis.
Have Devices Purchased for At-home Use a Safe, Reasonable Option?
Red light therapy products on the internet are generally safe. They may use lower wavelength frequencies and are less powerful compared to the devices dermatologists or other trained skin professionals may use. You may need more than the results you hope for in red light therapy. If you purchase red light therapy devices over the counter, always protect your eyes for safety, follow all instructions carefully, and take good care of the RLT device.
Along with the medical office-based and at-home use with purchased devices, you may also see red light therapy promoted in some skin clinics, beauty salons, med spas, gyms, saunas, tanning salons, and wellness centers. Be extra careful about who supplies such devices and where you will receive RLT treatment. It will be good to constantly check in with medical professionals about your best options for treating your skin conditions or issues.
Other Information About Red Light Therapy
There are still a lot of factors to consider when thinking about red light therapy:
“Do I trust the experience of professionals providing red light therapy?”
For example, is a tanning salon where you feel comfortable receiving this treatment, or is it better to be seen and treated by a medical professional?
“How many treatments will I need?”
You’ll likely need ongoing treatments. This procedure is not a one-time treatment for most skin conditions. You’ll need to be seen twice a week for weeks or months. Also, is there a need for you to have additional touch-up treatments? This series may add up to a lot of time and out-of-pocket costs.
“Is RLT an appropriate treatment for my skin condition?”
Are other approaches that are more scientifically vetted better for the skin condition I have? See your trusted skincare expert to confirm a diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment options.
“Will my health insurance cover my RLT expenses?”
Typically, red light therapy is not a covered treatment. You should call your health insurance company before seeking treatment.
“Will I achieve the desired results?”
Everyone’s skin is different, so that results can vary—also, wavelengths of the red-light source range. These wavelengths affect how deeply the light penetrates your skin. The wavelength of the red-light therapy device used in a doctor’s office versus your at-home device could affect your desired result.
Red light therapy nowadays is being promoted as a treatment for common skin conditions. Although still an emerging therapy, it already holds much potential as a treatment. If you’re interested in RLT, it’s best to discuss it with your healthcare provider or dermatologist.
Are you interested in experiencing red light therapy? Our wonderful friends at The Well Med Spa can help you today. Visit them now!