The Emerging Science Behind Red Light Therapy
The emerging technology behind red light therapy has delivered fantastic results for users around the world. Not only can red light therapy treat wrinkles, redness, and acne scars, it has been used to reduce visible signs of aging.
As it currently stands, red light therapy has the most profound impact on individuals with skin-related conditions. Scientists and researchers alike agree that more studies on the efficacy of RLT are needed. Delivering provable results in controlled settings have so far guaranteed the future of red light therapy. However, researchers are always looking for opportunities to advance
the physical science behind red light therapy.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) takes advantage of your body's ability to absorb low wavelength red and infrared light. Depending on the frequency of that red light, you may experience various benefits.
This can include but is not limited to improving your skin’s appearance and youthful glow. Additionally, infrared light therapy can treat other ailments by penetrating the skin and working its way deep into your body's tissues, muscles, bones, and even cells.
Some researchers and clinical studies may refer to red light therapy by one of the terms below. Always remember that if you see any of the phrases below, they always refer to infrared and red light therapy. Those terms are:
- Low-level laser light therapy.
- Low-power laser therapy.
- Non-thermal LED light.
- Soft laser therapy.
- Cold laser therapy.
- Biostimulation, photonic stimulation.
- Photobiomodulation and phototherapy.
Who started experimenting with red light therapy first?
Look no further than our own space administration NASA. What began as an experiment to grow plants in space evolved as a method to better heal wounds in our nation's astronauts. After many years of government research, the public now has an opportunity to take advantage of the same technology.
One interesting fact that escapes many people is that the medical community was the second group to adopt this form of treatment as photodynamic therapy. This means that red and infrared light was used to activate certain chemicals within drugs given to patients. Once the red
and infrared light penetrates deep into the body's muscles, tissues, and cells, it was designed to interact with medication to destroy cancer cells and other skin diseases.
Based on this success, the medical community has adopted red and infrared light therapy to treat not only skin conditions, but ailments that occur deep within the muscles, tissues, and body's cellular structure.
In addition, illnesses like psoriasis are also treated through red and infrared light therapy. In many clinical trials, the results have proven promising. However, much more investigation needs to be done to determine its efficacy.
How does red light therapy work?
Infrared and red light also comes from natural light sources like the sun. When this natural light hits our bodies, the reaction can stimulate the production of vitamin D and other essential nutrients. In the same way, red light therapy devices bombard you with the same light in a controlled manner.
By optimizing the frequency of that light, we can boost cell rejuvenation and performance. This in turn correlates to smoother skin, and younger-looking facial features. More specifically, we must look at the wavelengths behind red light to understand it. Not all wavelengths are equal. By that, we mean that scientists have discovered staying within a certain range of wavelengths will help maximize the benefits you receive from treatment.
When staying within the 660 nm to 850 nm wavelengths, your body is more efficiently able to absorb the light and convert it to physical energy. This is then used to do some of the things we discussed above and what you will learn more about below.
Here are some of the ways in which red light therapy is known to enhance your skin.
● Stimulate collagen production, which gives skin its structure, strength, and elasticity.
● Increase fibroblast production, which makes collagen.
- Collagen is a component of connective tissue that builds skin.
- Increase blood circulation to the tissue.
Reduce inflammation in cells.
Read More about How It Works
How is red light therapy being used in the medical community?
The most dramatic improvements ever observed from red light therapy have been in the field of dermatology. Here are some of the improvements you can expect:
- Improved wound healing
- Reduced stretch marks
- Reduced wrinkles
- Improvement of fine lines and age spots
- Improved facial texture
- Improved psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema
- Reduced scars
- Improved sun-damaged skin
- Improved hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia
- Reduced acne
Is Red Light Therapy truly effective?
Due to the scientific nature of the medical community, most doctors, researchers and clinical studies will air on the side of caution; when claiming that red light therapy is 100% effective for all of its intended uses. However, studies published in the National Institute of Health refer to Red light therapy as an emerging technology with serious potential.
When determining the efficacy of a treatment, scientists use the gold standard of clinical trials. This is what's known as the placebo-controlled trial to identify impacts and improvements. By comparing individuals given real red light therapy against individuals given a fake or placebo, researchers can clearly see how RLT makes a difference.
These are carefully controlled studies where participants all range around the same age, weight, height, gender, and ethnicity. Based on the studies that have been performed and are currently in the public domain, we see that the greatest benefits from red light therapy are observed in skin conditions like psoriasis and skin cancers.
Therefore, it is safe to say that red light therapy is an effective treatment for skin conditions. However, more studies are needed to determine the efficacy of RLT when used for conditions not specific to the skin.