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What is Red Light Therapy, and How Does it Work? - Holistic Living Journal

What is Red Light Therapy, and How Does it Work?

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Red Light Therapy (RLT) is a medical treatment that helps improve skin appearance, salvaging skin issues such as wounds, acne, scars, wrinkles, redness, and a host of others. Although Red Light Therapy is a newly evolving form of therapy, it is still being assessed by medical scientists as regards its effectiveness. [1]

From Where Does Red Light Originate?

NASA first used red light for both plant growth and for healing the wounds of astronauts in space. It was after this that other functions of red light began to be explored. In fact, red light therapy is already widely medically accepted in its use in photodynamic therapy. In this therapy, low-power red laser light is used to activate a photosensitizer drug. It eventually helps to treat some skin conditions, including skin cancer, psoriasis, acne, warts, and other types of cancer.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light therapy works by acting on the body’s cells called mitochondria. With more energy, other cells can do their work more efficiently, such as repairing skin, boosting new cell growth, and rejuvenation of the skin cell. More specifically, certain cells absorb light wavelengths and are stimulated to work. [2] The photons of the light are absorbed by mitochondrial chromophores in skin cells. RLT also helps to increase fibroblast production, which makes collagen. Collagen is a component of connective tissue that builds skin. RLT helps to increase blood circulation to the tissue. RLT helps to reduce inflammation in cells. [2]

The common conditions for which Red Light Therapy works include wound healing, stretch marks, wrinkles, facial texture, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema, scars, sun-damaged skin, hair growth for those with androgenic alopecia, acne, etc.

How Effective is Red Light Therapy?

Although Red Light Therapy is an evolving technique of medical therapy, there is not enough evidence to substantiate its effectiveness. Further investigations are being made into RLT. Many of the published studies on red light therapy have only used animals and tissue cells. Most researchers say results so far look promising, but more quality studies with larger numbers of people are needed.

Conclusion

Although RLT holds a lot of promise, it is still under scientific consideration. Nonetheless, it is essential to dermatology and can aid in your skincare routine.

Items to Consider

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REFERENCES

Pinar Avci M.D. et al., Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring, NIH Public Access, 2013; Vol 32. No 1, 41-52

Barolet D., Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in dermatology, Semin Cutan Med Surg, 2008; Vol 7. No 4, 227–238.

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