Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy (RLT) is an emerging treatment that’s showing promise in treating wrinkles, redness, acne, scars, and other signs of aging. Many researchers say more clinical trials are needed to confirm its effectiveness as a treatment. If you’re interested in red light therapy, ask your healthcare provider if this is an option for your skin issue.
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that uses low-wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinkles, scars, redness, and acne. It’s also touted to treat other medical conditions.
To date, there’s a lot of ongoing research, publication of small studies, and much discussion on the internet about the effectiveness of red light therapy for all types of health uses. The results of some studies do show some promise, but the full effectiveness of red light therapy has yet to be determined.
Other names you might hear to describe red light therapy include:
- 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.
For what skin conditions is red light therapy being tried?
Red light therapy is promoted as a treatment for some common skin conditions, including to:
- Improve wound healing.
- Reduce stretch marks
- Reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
- Improve facial texture.
- Improve psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.
- Improve scars.
- Improve sun-damaged skin.
- Improve hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia.
- Improve acne.
What other medical conditions is red light therapy being promoted for?
Other potential medical uses being investigated include:
- To reduce cancer chemotherapy side effects, including oral mucositis.
- To relieve pain and inflammation associated with ankle tendonitis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis of the knee.
- To prevent cold sores from herpes simplex virus from recurring.
Lots of other uses are being touted on the internet. There’s no scientific evidence to support red light therapy use in weight loss, cancer, cellulite removal or mental health concerns like depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).