Everything You Need to Know About Red Light Therapy

It seems like every year a million new trends appear in the health and wellness community. And every single one claims to be the cure you’ve been looking for or the key to a perfect life. While red light therapy isn’t any of those things, it is a pretty interesting technique. Keep reading to learn more about this therapy and decide whether or not it’s for you.

1. What Is Red Light Therapy, Anyway?

Red Light Therapy benefits include healing scars, wrinkles, and other imperfections of the skin. It has also been tested as a way to treat muscle atrophy, healing wounds more quickly, and other interesting therapies. You may have heard it referred to as soft laser therapy or biostimulation. You can find RLT in places like tanning salons, where tanning beds will use RLT to promote the healing of stretch marks. Sometimes RLT is used in doctor’s offices as a way of treating things like psoriasis or wounds that are healing too slowly. 

Scientists aren’t 100% sure how RLT works, but it’s theorized that it strengthens the mitochondria in cells. This would mean that cells can work more efficiently and turnover more quickly, making it easier to heal wounds or resurface the skin. RLT is a popular choice because, unlike other light therapies, it doesn’t damage the skin to promote cell turnover. This therapy is, however, still controversial simply because there isn’t enough research to say whether or not the benefits are proven.

2. Possible Risks

Before you get any new, experimental treatments done to yourself, it’s important to understand the risks. While RLT doesn’t have any associated risks, there hasn’t been enough research to completely discount the possibility. At most, you might end up wasting your money, since you can’t guarantee that RLT will work the way it’s been theorized to. However, if you’ve got money to burn and don’t mind a little risk, RLT could end up being a great investment.

3. Possible Benefits

Depending on what you’re hoping to get out of RLT, you’ll want to look for different places to get treatment. A popular use for RLT is an aesthetician office for anti-aging purposes. It’s theorized that RLT can help get rid of wrinkles, acne scars or aging spots, and could even eliminate stretch marks. Since RLT is such a gentle therapy, it’s unsurprising that it’s such a popular choice for anti-aging techniques. 

Another interesting use for RLT is in treating dementia patients. As yet, only one small study has been done on the use of RLT for these patients. But the results are interesting: patients who had RLT for 12 weeks saw a significant lessening of their dementia symptoms. If more studies are done to prove that this therapy works, it could revolutionize dementia treatments. Again, the gentleness and non-invasive nature of RLT make it a really great choice if it does end up being effective.

And alopecia patients have also found some relief through RLT, showing thicker hair growth after at-home therapy. Not many effective treatments currently exist for hair loss, so experimenting at home with RLT has been a popular choice recently. 

4. Where to Get It

If you’re looking for the safest possible way to get RLT, a doctor’s office is the way to go, and some dental offices, too. But for the more adventurous customer, a dermatologist or aesthetician’s office could also be an option. Slightly lower on the “safety scale” are salons and at-home treatments. These options are slightly less safe simply because you can’t guarantee the quality of the equipment or the expertise of your care provider. But since no real risks have been established for RLT, it’s generally considered safe to use outside of medical offices. 

Hopefully, this list has given you some clarity on whether or not RLT is the right choice for you. Always remember to weigh the possible risks and speak to your doctor before starting a new kind of treatment.

Photo courtesy of Red Light Therapy of WNY

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