Red light therapy, also commonly called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), is a medical treatment that uses low wavelength red light to treat skin issues such as acne, scars, wrinkles, and other signs of premature aging. RLT may also be used in the treatment of other skin conditions such as psoriasis.
In the early 1990s, when red light therapy was first used, it was tested by scientists who wanted to grow plants in space. Their study showed that red light therapy promoted the growth and photosynthesis of plant cells. Following this discovery, scientists explored the other beneficial uses of red light therapy, particularly in medicine, and found some evidence that red light could aid in managing and treating skin problems.
Red light therapy may also be known by other names such as:
● Low-power laser therapy
● Soft laser therapy
● Cold laser therapy
● Non-thermal LED light
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Red light therapy is believed to work by producing a biochemical effect on the mitochondria, also known as the powerhouse of your cells. The mitochondria are called the powerhouse of your cell because that is where the energy needed for cellular activities is created. This energy, called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), is found in all living cells and is necessary for cellular activities.
The theory behind the effectiveness of red light therapy is that, with increased activity of the mitochondria as stimulated by RLT, more ATP would be produced, which means cells can function better, repair damage, and rejuvenate themselves. In essence, red light stimulates your body’s natural healing properties.
How is Red Light Therapy Used?
Different studies have been carried out to show the usefulness of red light therapy in managing different conditions. Results vary from study to study; however, there has been evidence to support the benefits of red light therapy in the treatment of some conditions. These include:
Wound Healing: As initially used by people in space, some evidence suggests that red light therapy may speed up tissue repair and wound healing.
Halts Premature Aging: One of the common symptoms of premature aging is the appearance of wrinkles due to the reduced skin elasticity caused by collagen loss. Different
studies have shown that red light therapy can stimulate the development of collagen fibers that return firmness to the skin and reduce wrinkles.
Improves Skin Complexion and Texture: Red light therapy is believed to improve skin complexion due to the tissue repair it stimulates. It also improves sun-damaged skin, giving you a fairer, more even-toned appearance.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation: Based on different studies, results suggest that red light therapy may bring short-term pain relief for people with morning stiffness due to rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation in people with pain in their Achilles tendon.
Weight Loss: Another acclaimed benefit of red light therapy is its use as a non-invasive procedure for weight loss. It is sometimes recommended for people whose dieting and exercise have not worked in the past.
Is Red Light Therapy Safe?
Yes. Red light therapy is a safe therapeutic procedure when performed by a professional like Dr. Eric at Fuel Physical Therapy. There are no side effects associated with this treatment, as it is non-toxic and non-invasive.