Red light therapy has gained massive popularity in recent years because, of its numerous skin health benefits, from the reduction of inflammation in the body to an increase in the production of collagen, from skin health improvement to the recovery of muscle pain, From healing after injury to improve physical performance, from improved sleep quality to reduce depression and anxiety, and much, much more.
But, what actually is red light therapy? Don’t worry, because, in this blog, we are going to help you dig deep in, about the meaning of red light therapy, its benefits, and side effects or risks. So, stay tuned.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy is also called, photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-laser-light therapy (LLT) Which is a non-invasive treatment. That uses red or near-infrared light to stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
And is used in a variety of sectors including hospitals, dermatologist centers, spas, sports medical clinics, and even at homes. Yes, you heard that right! These devices/treatments can be easily used at home.
There are other names that you can describe red light therapy as:
- Non-thermal LED light.
- Low power laser therapy.
- Low-level laser light therapy.
- Cold laser therapy.
- Soft laser therapy.
- Photobiomodulation and phototherapy.
- Biostimulation Photonic stimulation.
- Low-level laser light therapy.
What is the difference between red light therapy and near infrared light?
Boat red light therapy and near-infrared light therapy are a kind of light therapy that, helps to improve your health, it works by, shining special lights on your body and penetrating your skin, to improve your cellular energy and improve healing power. But, how are they different?
The main difference between red light therapy and near-infrared light therapy is the type of light used, in red light therapy, light is mostly used red and a little bit of orange, The wavelength of red light therapy varies between 620 nm to 700 nm nanometers, on the other hand, near-infrared light the light is mostly invisible and a little bit red, and its wavelength varies between 820 nm 1200 nm. This difference in the light means, that, near-infrared light can penetrate deeper into your skin, than red light, which can help to treat internal muscle pain and increase cellular energy.
History of red light therapy?
The history of red light therapy actually started in space, in 1933 Quantum Devices created a light-emitting diode (LED) for NASA experiment tests that if plants could grow in space. This experiment was successful and phenomenal, red LED helped plans to grow quicker but, surprisingly, it also helped scientists to heal their skin sores in space.
Well, red light therapy was being around for more than 50 years, it was discovered in the 1960s by, Endre Mester when scientists were experimenting on rats with red lasers, this experiment eventually resulted in, hair growth and wound healing.
Over the years, light therapy LED was largely considered spurious but, later on, few conflicted and scientists started noticing because, of its promising benefits and results.
How does red light therapy work, exploring it’s mechanism?
The concept of red light therapy is based on the principle of light absorption by cells, which triggers various biochemical processes within the body. When red light and near-infrared light are absorbed by the cell, it increases the production of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) it’s actually a long word for our cell energy, which is an energy source that, Powers the cellular function. This increase in ATP can help cells to work more efficiently and speed up the natural healing processes.
Red light therapy is typically administrated through a device, that emits red and near-infrared light in specific wavelengths, between 620 nm to 820 nm (nanometers) These wavelengths penetrate deep into the cell and can reach underlying tissues such as bones, muscles, and organs.
Are there any age restrictions or limitations for using red light therapy?
The answer is, no. There are no age restrictions or limitations for using red light therapy, which means, it can be used for, age groups of young to old people. However, it’s also considered to use Red light therapy wisely because each age group has different skin sensitivity.
Is red light therapy safe? Can it harm?
The good news is, that this therapy is considered to be safe as long as you make sure to wear eye protection goggles, which can help your eyes to be more secure from radiation or minor headaches. This therapy is painless and does not produce heat, which makes it a safe and comfortable treatment option for various conditions. It can be used on any part of the body, which typically involves exposing the affected area to light, for a few minutes to several hours depending upon the condition.
Side effects from red light therapy are minimum, and if there are any, there are usually mild. But, in certain conditions, it’s best to avoid it. Specifically, anti-aging and regenerative medicine Dr. Neil Poauvn doesn’t recommend having a red light therapy, if you are having seizures or eye disorders. Similarly, Dr. Madfes does not recommend, if you are having photo-sensitizing medical conditions such as lupus, or anyone who is taking photo-sensitizing drugs.
Can I use red light therapy at home?
Well, previously red light therapy was a treatment that used to only be available at a doctor’s office or a dermatologist’s clinic, but, The good news is, now there are LED red light masks and handheld devices that you can use at home. However, it’s important to note that the masks and devices for at-home use are not as powerful as the ones used by professionals, so you may not see the same results. But, it’s still helpful and beneficial to use.
How often should I use red light therapy?
If you want to try red light therapy at home, it’s recommended that you cleanse your face beforehand and apply an antioxidant serum after your session. For LED face masks, you can leave them on for 20 to 30 minutes and do the treatment 2 or 3 times a week. If you’re using a handheld device, you can use it 3 to 5 times a week for 10 to 20 minutes each time. Dr. Paulvin, suggests doing red light therapy 4 or 5 times a week for more noticeable results, but there’s no limit to exposure.
The number of treatments you need may vary depending on the specific device you’re using, so it’s essential to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. With consistency and patience, red light therapy can provide several benefits, which are mentioned below.
The benefits of red light therapy.
Red light therapy contains tons of benefits such as:
Improve in skin health.
This is a well-known benefit of red light therapy, it improves skin health and appearance, and red light therapy stimulates the production of collagen, which is essential for healthy, soft, and fresh skin. Collagen is responsible for skin elasticity. And as we grow old it leads to less production of it, which can occur wrinkles and sagging skin, by using red light therapy, it can improve skin structure tone, reduce wrinkles, and fine lines and boost the production of collagen.
In addition, red light therapy can also help to treat acne by, reducing inflammation and killing bacteria that, cause acne, which can help to achieve a smooth appearance and structure of the skin.
Reduce inflammation and pain relief.
Red light therapy is also popular in pain relief, it has shown effective results in reducing pain associated with conditions like: osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, joint pain, and back pain relief. This therapy also helps in reducing inflammation and improving cellular function, which can lead to pain reduction and faster healing. Well, some studies have also shown that red light therapy can reduce muscle soreness and can improve recovery time after exercise.
Improving athlete’s performance.
Red light therapy can help to improve athletic performance by boosting energy levels and increasing circulation by, increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as mentioned above, the more ATP production increases, the more Cellular energy function. By the increase in ATP production, red light therapy can help in improving healing Power and reduce muscle soreness. Additionally, this therapy can help to improve recovery time, which can enable athletes to work, train harder and recover faster.
Better sleep quality.
Red light therapy has also been shown to help in improving overall sleep quality by, the promotion of serotonin this therapy, helps in maintaining sleep patterns and regulating overall sleep quality, which means, this therapy is especially beneficial for those people who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorder.
You will be surprised to hear that, red light therapy can also help to stimulate hair growth. It works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and stimulating cellular activity. This therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia, which is a common form of hair loss.
The bottom line.
With effective and numerous benefits of red light therapy, from the improvement of skin health, better sleep quality, recovery of hair loss, and improving athlete’s performance to pain release and reduce inflammation. Can be a great tool or device that, can be even used at home, and, reading proper instructions given on the device, can help to use red light therapy more carefully.