Red Light Therapy: Frequently Asked Questions
How does Red Light Therapy work?
Red Light Therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), uses low energy light emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate cell function. The Red light penetrates the skin to a depth of 8-10mm. Once absorbed, the light energy is converted to cellular energy. Certain wavelengths of light enhance the functioning of mitochondria, which takes in nutrients, breaks them down and creates energy molecules for the cell. This improves the functioning of the whole cell which results in kicking off a whole series of metabolic events such as, improved healing, the reduction of inflammation, enhanced production of collagen and elastin, increased circulation and the formation of new capillaries and increased activity in the lymph system.
What can I use Red Light Therapy For?
Many studies have shown that cells exposed to LEDs, grow between 150% – 200% faster than cells not stimulated by this light, the outcome is that infrared light rays increase energy inside cells that accelerates the healing process. Near infrared wavelengths penetrate to increase microcirculation and formation of new capillaries. As a result the wound area receives more oxygen and nutrients to help with the healing process. LLLT also promotes lymph activity, which helps with detoxification of the wound. Red light waves, promotes collagen and elastin production in the final wound healing phases. Finally, it helps release ATP (raw cellular energy), which boosts energy to the damaged cells in the wound so they can heal better and faster.
Red light can be used directly on insect bites, bee stings, spider bites, immediately on any cut or laceration, burn or bruise.
Red light therapy has been found to relieve pain in chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. This is due to the light penetrating the skin and promoting mitochondrial functioning within the cells, which promotes healing.
There are many skin conditions Red light therapy can help treat. It can be used in fading away skin conditions such as warts, moles, skin discolouration and pigmentation. LLLD is also used for the treatment of acne and as an anti-aging treatment.
Red light therapy kills acne-causing bacteria without damaging the skin. It also reduces inflammation whilst improving circulation and drainage, which is particularly effective on mild to moderate acne.
Red light therapy reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This occurs with a combination of the following:
Led Light Therapy stimulates the skin to produce elastin and collagen which both play key roles in keeping the skin hydrated, soft and supple resulting in improved skin tone and texture.
By increasing circulation and forming new capillaries, you will see an immediate healthy glow.
It increases lymph system activity, which reduces swelling and puffiness.
Red light stimulates the production of collagen and fibroblasts. Collagen is the property responsible for elasticity and firmness in the skin. The increased production of collagen is what will smooth out the fine lines and wrinkles, smooth the texture of the skin, and reduce pose size.
LED therapies are the best at-home scar treatments, because they possess the power to fade skin imperfections in the shortest possible time. When the red light wavelength reaches your skin affected by Rosacea, the skin cells absorb it. More blood comes in, improving circulation. This brings more healing nutrients and more oxygen to the exposed area, which accelerates healing. The results are a reduction of redness, itching and pain, all common signs of Rosacea. You will also see a noticeable difference to swelling, bumps and discolouration.
Psoriasis involves the rapid production of skin cells. The body produces more than it can shed, so they start to build up on the surface of the skin. This leads to aging. There is no cure for this autoimmune disease, however Red light therapy is known to help with psoriasis, as the best treatments medical science has come up for psoriasis are light based. UVB is from sunlight (vitamin D). Psoriasis has a link to vitamin D deficiency. Correcting this deficiency will is beneficial and so Red light is a excellent treatment for Psoriasis.
Not only does red light therapy help with skin health, but it also plays a role in the body’s ability to process fat. When Red light Stimulates cellular energy production, part of the production includes, the cells break down and convert stored energy – releasing waste products. Research shows that light therapy affects adipocytes, which are cells that store fat, causing the lipids to disperse. In layman’s terms, light therapy helps the body wash away fat cells.
Red light therapy has been shown to improve hormone production from the thyroid. Hypothyroidism is the state of low energy production in the body due to low thyroid hormone activity or having a “slow metabolism”. So, the hypothesis on Red light therapy and the thyroid, is that it will ensure and enhance the effects of the thyroid by inhibiting the negative stress-related molecules.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Red light therapy decreases symptoms in people who suffer with restless leg syndrome. It is believed it is due to increased circulation.
The Human body’s daily cycles are influenced by light. Red light has a lower wavelength than blue light. Whilst it is proven that late night exposure to blue light can boost attention and disturb your night sleep, Red light can actually help as it aids melatonin production, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle and encourages the body to go into sleep mode, naturally makes you feel sleepier and improve the quality of sleep you attain.
How long does it take to work?
Depending on the treatment type, whether it is an in home kit or treatment plan with a professional, patients can experience a reduction in symptoms as early as after the first treatment session.
How Often Should I Use or Have Red Light Therapy?
The frequency of sessions depends on the condition it is being used to treat, the severity of the condition and if it is being used in conjunction with other complementary medicines. It also depends greatly on whether you are using an at-home red light therapy kit or receiving a treatment plan from a professional. Some treatment plans require use daily, others a few times per week.
Can Red Light Therapy cause Harm?
The long and short of this question is No…
Red Light therapy is considered safe and UV free. Unlike using other laser therapies or tanning beds, Red light therapy does not use ultraviolet (UV) light, which is the cell mutating and cancer causing light. The wavelengths produced in this style of therapy, is outside of the skin damaging UV range.
What does it feel like when applied?
It really depends on your sensitivity. People have reported feelings of immediate relief, to a sensation of tingling, minor itching and light aching to nothing at all. It is beneficial to note that each sensation recorded has been minor.
Does Red Light Therapy really work?
The Research on red light therapy says Yes!
Clinical tests have been conducted by: NASA, The Mayo Clinic, Wisconsin and Stanford Universities and many medical equipment providers such as Meditech and Quantum Devices, all of whom have documented the healing effects of using red light in the mid 600 to 800nm range.
The US Government uses Red light devices for wound healing in NASA, Military Combat, Navy Special Op’s and Submarine service personnel. A little more proof that it actually works.
It is worthy of noting, the length of time to achieve the desired result will vary depending on the person and desired effect.
Is Red Light Therapy the same as Laser Therapy?
No, they are very different therapies.
Red Light Therapy is Low Level Light Therapy, which involves using red light, which is lower in energy than laser therapy.
Laser Therapy stands for: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers are light mechanisms that use ‘amplified’ light waves that have been concentrated into a single coherent ‘laser beam’ of the same frequency. Lasers use directional heat and photonic intensity that works when electrons become more energized, after absorbing energy from an electrical current.
What are the side effects of Red Light Therapy?
There are a few side effects of Red Light Therapy. These are rare, minor and usually short lived.
Redness, Dry skin and swelling, eyestrain and headaches, sleep disturbance and insomnia have all been noted. Therefore determining the appropriate dose and timing of Red light is essential in order to diminish the occurrence of side effects.
Is Red Light Therapy FDA Approved?
Yes. It is, not the Red light therapy that needs the approval, it is the device. Yes, Red Light therapy is FDA approved, however not all red light therapy devices have FDA approval. The Red light therapy devices that have been FDA approved, is for a growing list of conditions, including; Acne treatment,
Anti-aging, hair loss and regrowth, pain relief and weight-loss.
What is the difference between Red and near infrared Light Therapy?
Red light is visible (630-700nm) and near infrared light is invisible (700 and 1200nm). As the wavelengths near infrared light puts out are longer, this allows infrared light to penetrate deeper into the body than red light. These are really the only two differences. It should be noted, as these two light therapies differ in wavelengths, this will affect what they treat.
Can you get too much Red Light Therapy?
Yes, you can get too much Red light therapy. As the cells are excited and activated to produce more ATP, there is also an increase in oxidation. Long-term high-dose light therapy can cause aging by oxidation.
Once my condition has been resolved, do I stop using the light?
No. After the initial treatment period, usually 8 weeks, it is recommended to continue with the use of the light once or twice per week for maintenance (depending on the condition and device being used). This will ensure the benefits will continue.
Does Red Light Therapy work for everybody?
Yes, it should. Red light Therapy will work for the reduction of fine lines, scarring, inflammation and other conditions. The amount of time it takes to see visible results will vary from person to person, depending on the type of condition and it’s severity. Results will start to be seen anywhere from 24 hours to 8 weeks.
Can Red Light Therapy be combined with other coloured treatment lights?
Yes. It is safe as long as it is used properly and there isn’t over-exposure. The Baby Quasar Pure Rayz uses 4 different colours for maximum effect on skin conditions. Some conditions will experience more improvement when two or more colours of light are used rather than one. Red and blue light therapy, combined, is used for acne patients. Red and amber light is used for wrinkle and fine line reduction or anti-aging. It should be noted, if you have Epilepsy, seizures, or are pregnant you should consult you physician prior to exposure to light therapy.
Can Red Light Therapy cause Skin Cancer?
No. There are no UV rays in Red Light Therapy. Skin Cancer is caused by light exposure to UV wavelengths. In contradiction to Red light causing skin cancer, it has multiple healing benefits for skin deformities such as cancers and melanoma. Red light treatment serves two purposes: as a skin cancer prevention method and as a skin rejuvenation treatment after the removal of the skin cancer.
Does Red Light Therapy hurt your Eyes?
The Red light will not damage your eyes. The light source will usually produce high glare, depending on the size of the device used. You should not shine a Red light product directly in your eyes, just as you never look directly towards the sun. Most in home products come with eye protection and reputable practitioners will use goggles or other eye protection.
Does Red Light Therapy work through clothes or other material?
No. Only Red light that you can see reaching the skin can be absorbed by the skin. If there is fabric in between, the coloured light will be absorbed by the fabric.