How Red Light Therapy Works
When someone first learns of red light therapy, their first reactions are always, “Really?”, “That works?”, and so on and so forth. People are often skeptical of “too good to be true” claims when it comes to their health so the hesitancy around red light therapy is understandable.
But red light therapy really does work, and it really does help improve various aspects of your health and appearance.
Red light therapy is a technologically advanced treatment that has lots of science to back it up.
About 30 years ago, scientists were studying red light therapy in space and discovered that it helped promote growth and photosynthesis within plant cells. It was clear to the scientists that there was a potential application for red light in medicine so they continued to conduct research.
It was hoped that red light therapy could be an effective way to combat the dangerous perils of space travel, like the muscle atrophy and bone density issues caused by weightlessness.
We now know that red light therapy can be used to treat cosmetic issues on the skin, like wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, and acne. It can also be used in the medical setting for more serious conditions like psoriasis, wounds, and even the side effects of chemotherapy.
OK, OK. Now I hear you saying “That’s great but how does it actually work? What’s the science behind it?” Well let’s take a closer look at the astounding science behind red light therapy.
So... How does red light therapy work?
In the simplest of terms, how red light therapy works is by giving a boost to the mitochondria within cells. The mitochondria, as you might know from your high school biology class, is the powerhouse of the cell. It’s the engine of your cells, literally producing the energy to make them work. By increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within the mitochondria, red light therapy helps those cells to create more energy and thus function more efficiently, rejuvenate more easily, and repair damage quicker.
Red light therapy is different from other forms of treatment you might have encountered that involve light. Many other laser and intense light therapies cause damage to the surface of your skin. That’s how these treatments work. They cause controlled damage to the surface of the skin which then induces tissue repair. Red light therapy does away with this harsh step by emitting light that penetrates about five millimeters below the surface of the skin. This means that red light therapy is 100% safe, natural, and non-invasive.
A red light therapy bed may look similar to a tanning bed but the light used it completely different. Tanning beds use UV light to cause your skin to produce more melanin, your skin’s natural UV block. At the other end of the (wavelength) spectrum, red light therapy uses red to near-infrared light to penetrate the surface of the skin so there is no exposure to the damaging effect of UV rays.
What is red light therapy used for?
As we mentioned before, red light therapy is safe, non-invasive, and natural. Because of these qualities, red light therapy can be used in a variety of cosmetic and medical contexts. Red light therapy can be used for:
- Smoothing wrinkles
- Fading scarring
- Clearing acne
- Improving hair loss
- Reducing stretch marks
- Improving psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema
- Improving wound healing
- Improving skin complexion
- Treating osteoarthritis
- Reducing cellulite
- Aiding in fat loss