Red Light Therapy for Skin Care
Prompted by the “plastic” look from botox and face-lifts, many people want less drastic changes to their face as they age. A study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2015 showed a 31 percent decline in face-lift procedures.
They also want to get away from treatments that use chemicals, such as chemical peels. In other words, women and men are turning to more natural and healthy ways to treat skin conditions and to slow the look of aging. Even in Hollywood, the epicenter of looking young by any means, celebrities and the like are turning to more natural skin care methods.
Red light therapy is one of the popular natural choices for skin care, especially for reducing the look of wrinkles. Photobiomodulation is the technical name for red light therapy, but it goes by other names. It is also called low-level laser, low-level light therapy (LLLT), low-intensity light therapy (LILT), and several other names.
While red light therapy may seem a new idea, scientist Niels Finsen started researching ultraviolet light as a healing method in the late 19th century. His later research demonstrated that ultraviolet light could heal skin lesions from lupus vulgaris. NASA in the late 1990s used Finsen’s discovery to grow plants during shuttle missions. They expanded their research and discovered that red light therapy also stimulated cells in humans where the light was focused. Their study showed that LLLT could alleviate joint and muscle pain.
During a Red Light therapy treatment, photons from a low-powered light spectrum are absorbed into the skin where the light is focused. This spectrum of light activates cells and is said to remove toxins, increase circulation, and promote cell repair.
Often red light therapy is confused with ultraviolet light, which is harmful. The wavelength of ultraviolet is lower at around 400 nm (nanometers). The light from LLLT is between 620 and 700 nm.
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
When considering red light therapy, it’s good to remember that results may not be immediately noticed or achieved. It may take several sessions depending on the reason for using it to see improvement. Discuss your expectations and any concerns with a red light therapy specialist.
According to a study published by US National Library of Medicine, activated stem cells from LLLT are beneficial for several skin conditions. Other research has that showed red light therapy has other benefits. Red light therapy may:
- Increase circulation and blood flow
- Create new capillaries
- Increase collagen production
- Reduce inflammation
- Heal or reduce symptoms of skin conditions:
- acne and acne scars
- cold sores
The benefits of red light therapy go beyond skincare. The FDA approved red light therapy for chronic joint paint and for wounds that won’t heal. Red light therapy research shows that it can also stimulate the lymphatic system and reduce the symptoms of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Safety and Side Effects
Red light therapy is considered relatively safe with little or no side effects. However, during a treatment, if you feel uncomfortable in any way, let the therapist know.
Also, optimal results are dependent on the condition being treated along with the amount of time being exposed to the light. Because of these and other reasons, seek a person trained and experienced with red light therapy. Many practitioners of complementary and integrative medicine, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, Acupuncturist, and Naturopathic doctors are trained in red light therapy.
Red light therapy is a noninvasive therapy choice for those seeking natural healing methods. It shows promise for treating many skin conditions, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. Consult your healthcare practitioner before using infrared light therapy.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. It is also not intended to recommend any treatment or therapy.
Avci, Pinar. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126803/
Axe, Dr. Red Light Therapy Benefits, Research & Mechanism of Action. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/red-light-therapy/
Krause, Jannine, ND, EAMP. Red light Therapy: How It Can Benefit Your Ant-Aging Regimen. Retrieved from http://ndnr.com/dermatology/red-light-therapy-how-it-can-benefit-your-anti-aging-regimen/
Rubin, Elycia. Why the Beverly Hills Face-Lift Is on the Decline (Hint: Blame the “Cocktail”) (September 12, 2106). Retrieved from https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/why-beverly-hills-face-lift-926403
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