Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Red light therapy is an emerging treatment that shows a lot of promise for alleviating skin problems such as scars, acne, redness, wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging. Many experts back the effectiveness of this completely natural therapy that comes with nearly no side effects.
What the Science Says
While more full-scale research still needs to be done, there have been many studies that found a great potential for the benefits of using red light therapy at home. The body needs light naturally, and our cells respond to certain wavelengths differently.
Visible red light, as well as invisible, near-infrared red, stimulates the cells to produce more energy. Specifically, ATP is the compound that energizes all functions within the cells. When cells have more energy they can function more effectively, thus repairing tissue and reducing inflammation.
Research has found that visible red light with wavelengths between 610 and 670 nm, as well as near-infrared light between 680 and 750 nm, can penetrate the skin up to five mm. This means that the light does not just stop at the skin surface but actually affects all the cells beneath the skin as well.
How It Was Discovered
In the 1990s, NASA scientists discovered that using red light assisted plant growth in space. After that, research was conducted to find out if RLT could also be used to heal bone density problems, muscle atrophy, slow wound healing, and other health issues that plagued astronauts due to the low-gravitational environment of space.
What the Benefits Are For Skin
Studies have shown the wide-ranging benefits of RLT on the skin.
- Reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and increasing collagen which is the protein that's responsible for skin strength, elasticity, and hydration
- Increasing blood circulation to all cells, protecting them from damage, and increasing mRNA which is a vital part of healthy cell function
- Improving skin texture, rejuvenating the skin, and improving complexion
- Healing acne conditions like acne vulgaris more safely and effectively than the previous light treatment for this condition that used harmful blue light
- Accelerating wound healing, reducing scarring, and reducing the recovery time after plastic surgery
- Reducing sun exposure damage
What Are Other Benefits
- Reducing symptoms of psoriasis when combined with a hematoporphyrin injection
- Stimulating hair regrowth and increasing hair density
- Reducing pain for those with some chronic pain disorders, particularly musculoskeletal disorders
- Reducing inflammation both locally (in the exact spot where the light was used) and systemically (throughout the body)
- Assisting bone healing and improving joint health, especially in those with degenerative osteoarthritis
- Improving muscle fatigue after athletic training, especially when visible red light and non-infrared light are combined
Are There Any Side Effects
This treatment is widely considered to be completely safe. After all, we already experience red light wavelengths through going into the sun. But if the unit you are using isn't made properly, for example, if there is electronic corrosion, you could be burned or shocked.
So be sure to only use reliable products, and never use an RLT device that is suspiciously cheap or potentially broken.
How To Start RLT Now
There are many ways to try RLT, including trying it out at a tanning salon, spa, gym, or dermatologist's office. If you want an easy way to get affordable, continuous care, though, there are many reasonable options available online.
As previously mentioned, only ever buy from a reputable company that has a lot of good reviews. There are a ton of devices available in many different sizes and types.
Make sure you know exactly what you need for the condition(s) you want to treat. For example, know whether you should get a device that emits only visible red light, non-infrared light, or both.
Also, the size you need will be based on what area you want to treat. There are huge tanning-bed style devices for full body treatment as well as tiny wands that you can use for direct spot treatment.
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Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.