Red Light Therapy on Cellulite: Does It Work?
Many people want to shed a few pounds, particularly when it comes to getting rid of their resistant cellulite. Could red light therapy be the solution to efficiently reducing cellulite and dropping fat? This article answers the question of how to lower cellulite and demonstrates how research has illustrated that natural red light therapy can assist in slimming down, sculpting, and toning the body.
Cellulite is a phenomenon that affects many people, especially women. It is characterized by a dimpled or lumpy texture on the skin, commonly found on the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. Although cellulite can be unsightly, it is not harmful or indicative of any underlying medical condition.
The lumpy, dimpled appearance that is often compared to cottage cheese is a cosmetic issue, not a health one. It is caused when fat underneath the skin is pushed through the mesh of the collagen fibers that link the skin to the muscle underneath it. All in all, cellulite is simply fat.
What Leads to Cellulite?
Roughly nine out of ten females and one out of ten males are prone to having cellulite at some stage in their lives. Its visibility is more distinct in those who are obese since the layer of fat that lies between the connective tissue and the skin is thicker. Exercising regularly may not prevent cellulite, as there are a multiple factors that contribute to its formation— so even people who are slender and physically active may experience it.
Cellulite has been associated with age, hormones, and genetics. Middle-aged individuals who experience an increase in weight may be more likely to develop cellulite. With age, the production of collagen and elastin in the body decreases, resulting in skin that is thinner and less elastic. When the skin is not as thick or supple, the fat underneath is more visible.
Exploring the Use of Red Light Treatment for Weight Loss and Reducing Cellulite
The quest to get rid of cellulite is almost as popular as weight loss. People frequently try a variety of methods to accomplish this, including spot reduction exercises, skin-firming creams, and fillers, yet they can be disappointed with the outcome. Here is an overview of the common treatments people attempt to eliminate cellulite.
Lifestyle Alterations: Awesome for Health and Weight Loss, But Not Necessarily for Reducing Cellulite
Though healthy eating and exercise are incredible for health and well-being, they often don't completely eradicate cellulite. It is true that decreasing surplus body fat can help reduce the tension between the skin and the muscles, which can help minimize cellulite. Nevertheless, individuals with thin and fragile skin - due to genes and/or growing older - may still have some visible dimpling from beneath-the-surface fat, even when they are lean.
A way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is to stimulate collagen production, thereby helping:
- The connective tissue that connects skin and muscle create a stronger web with fewer vulnerable spots that fat can protrude through.
- The skin thicken and become more elastic, which disguises the view of cellulite.
Minimal, Short-Term Benefits Obtained from Skin-Firming Lotions
No scientific proof exists showing skin-firming creams are effective. Supposedly, these creams can tighten the skin and minimize the visibility of cellulite, but any effects are marginal and short-term, and those with sensitive skin may encounter skin irritation. Typically, active ingredients in these creams include:
- Caffeine—caffeine has been reported to be a vasoconstrictor, a compound that constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. It’s also a diuretic that temporarily dehydrates fat cells. A 2015 study uncovered that many people experienced itching and other negative effects from using creams with caffeine in them.
- Retinol—a form of vitamin A, retinol has been known to increase the production of collagen, creating a thicker layer of skin. Unfortunately, many people have a sensitivity to this vitamin and have experienced negative side effects such as redness, soreness, and discomfort.
- DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)—this natural antioxidant is derived from fish and works to firm and plump the skin through muscle contractions. Unfortunately, little is known about its safety for extended periods of use.
Skin Fillers and Lasers: Invasive, Short-Term, and Expensive Solutions
Dimpling can be temporarily reduced with injectable dermal fillers, however, the price of these treatments can be expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per session. Moreover, since the effects of skin fillers are not permanent, you must be willing to continue having regular injections to maintain the desired results, which can be pricey in the long run.
These fillers come in various types, such as:
- Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA), a component naturally found in bones, can be used as a filler. The particles are incorporated in a gel form and last for a period of 12 months before the body absorbs them, requiring another injection.
- Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring compound found in the skin that maintains moisture and makes the skin appear plump. These HA fillers are gel-like and the effects last anywhere from 6 to 12 months; however, the best results will only be visible for a few months before the body absorbs the HA particles.
- Poly-L-lactic Acid, a man-made material that has been in use for a long time for medical uses such as dissolving stitches, is thought to increase collagen production. Even though the gel disintegrates within a few days, its effects may last up to two years.
- Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is a synthetic material used as a filler that incorporates collagen and forms "microspheres" which remain beneath the skin indefinitely to offer support. According to a 2015 study, side effects and complications are possible, such as weak foreign body immune reactions.
High-Powered Laser Beams
They are used in laser treatments to penetrate the skin via incisions in order to break down fat cells. However, this service can be quite expensive, costing thousands of dollars, and must be administered by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
There is no improvement in the texture and suppleness of the skin nor the strength of the connective tissue with this type of therapy. Therefore, while fat might be eliminated, the skin may not necessarily "contract to fit" post-treatment, particularly in more mature patients whose skin has become less flexible. Laser treatments also carry the danger of burns.
A Viable Option for Battling Cellulite: Red Light Therapy
For those wondering if red light therapy is effective for treating cellulite, the answer is yes - it is a safe, natural, and non-invasive approach that has been found to be highly effective. To understand the mechanism better and to potentially get the results desired, it's important to learn more about it and make some lifestyle modifications.
LED bulbs are used in red light therapy to safely expose the body to red and NIR light waves.
Red light therapy can have a positive effect on cellular performance, leading to a range of health, skin rejuvenation, and even fat loss benefits. It’s one sure way to reduce cellulite. This method works by:
- Enhancing cellular metabolic rate and energy production. Light photons are taken up by the mitochondria, which are the energy centers of cells. This energizes the cells, making them healthier and more resistant.
- Enhancing collagen production. Red light encourages the creation of fibroblasts (which are the source of collagen) to help thicken the skin and connective tissue, and restore elasticity. When the skin is more elastic and thicker, the fatty tissue beneath it will be held in place, and less likely to bulge out.
- Improving elastin production. Elastin is a major protein that gives the skin and other connective tissues the ability to stretch. If this protein is damaged, it usually does not restore itself, resulting in the appearance of aged or sun-damaged skin that may become saggy. Infrared light therapy has been proven to stimulate the development of fibroblasts, which in turn results in a high amount of collagen and elastic fibers.
- Encouraging fat loss. When exposed to red light, fat cells have been observed to develop small openings in the cell walls, allowing the release of fatty acids, referred to as lipids. Per a study conducted by Boston researchers, after a mere four minutes of being exposed to the light, 80 percent of lipids had been released. By the sixth minute, virtually all the fat had been discharged.
In a clinical trial focusing on the effects of red light therapy on cellulite, 20 women between the ages of 25 and 55 were divided into two groups. The first group combined high-intensity treadmill workouts with 850nm NIR light therapy, while the other was a treadmill-only control group. Those who combined the two interventions showed a significant decrease in cellulite, while the treadmill-only group saw no such result.
An experiment conducted with nine female participants explored the efficacy of a combination of red and NIR light therapy alongside an anti-cellulite gel in treating cellulite in the thighs and buttocks. After 24 fifteen-minute sessions of red light therapy, the participants who had utilized the gel/red light therapy combination displayed a notable decrease in cellulite.
It's essential to remember that at the 18-month evaluation (15 months after treatment), five participants experienced a reversion to their prior cellulite levels. This implies that maintenance treatments are necessary for sustaining cellulite reduction and preserving results.
Benefits of Utilizing Red Light Therapy
The progress of LED lighting technology has made it possible to access high-quality red light devices for personal use. This technology facilitates the ability to perform red light therapy on yourself in the comfort of your home to address the issue of cellulite.
To achieve the desired results, a high-powered LED device that produces enough light intensity to penetrate the body's tissues is necessary. For the most beneficial outcome, a combination of red and NIR light is recommended.
Subcutaneous fat, which is the layer just under the skin, can be impacted by red light, but NIR light is much more effective, as it penetrates deeper into the body. This will alter your body composition by raising the muscle-body fat ratio and enhancing muscle growth. This in turn will bump up your metabolism, as an increased muscle mass will generate a higher basal metabolic rate, leading to more calories burned while you are inactive.
When selecting an LED system for home use, it is important to be mindful, since not all red light devices are similar. Low-priced LED red light masks, wands, and wraps do not offer adequate light, so they are not effective. Furthermore, since many of them use batteries, the intensity significantly decreases as the batteries drain.
How Frequently Can You Use Red Light Therapy?
To reduce the appearance of cellulite, a self-administered red light therapy of three to five times a week for 10 to 20 minutes is recommended for a period of one to four months. This is because red light therapy works on a cellular level and is not a temporary solution that only deals with symptoms.
Results from red light therapy take some time to become apparent, since the skin cells need around 27 days to reproduce and the cells of connective tissue reproduce at a more gradual rate. For the best possible results, it is recommended to wait around a month.
Is it Possible to Administer an Excessive Dose of Red Light Therapy?
No adverse effects have been reported from using red light treatment. It does not cause skin burning or premature aging, unlike UVA/UVB rays. However, since red light works on the cellular level, it is not wise to go beyond the recommended amount of sessions or to get too close to the device, as it will not speed up the process of skin and connective tissue regeneration.
It is essential to be persistent and patient when dealing with too much fat, including cellulite. Similarly, as it takes effort, consistency, and time to build up muscles and lessen weight through strength training, it similarly requires time to observe the highest outcomes of red light treatments.
Rapid outcomes from red light therapy are likely. Its abilities to break down fat may give a prompt visible decrease in cellulite's appearance. After just a few treatments, a significant reduction in the size of the affected areas may be observed.
To get the best outcomes in reducing cellulite, use red light therapy in combination with good lifestyle habits such as a nutritious diet and consistent exercise. To ensure that your cellulite reduction is permanent, commit to a wholesome lifestyle and a continuing maintenance program including weekly red light treatments.
Red Light Therapy can assist in reducing unwanted fat on different areas of the body such as the thighs, butt, belly, hips, and arms!
For those who have begun using red light therapy for treating skin issues, they have discovered advantages that exceed their expectations. You will be motivated to keep using red light therapy to energize your metabolism, burn fat, and restore a youthful look to your face and body.
You’ve seen that red light therapy can be a safe and beneficial way to reduce weight and lessen the visibility of cellulite. Problem areas can be treated with tiny, low-power laser panels, or you can use numerous large panels for whole-body fat reduction. It's great to know that red light therapy is useful, natural, and safe, and it is only accompanied by a gentle warmth and no known adverse effects.
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