Red light therapy isn’t new, but does it really work?
This therapy essentially delivers safe, concentrated wavelengths of light into the skin where it is then absorbed. This stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
When those red-light wavelengths hit your cells, this can lead to younger-looking skin, enhanced muscle repair and diminished scarring. Uses for the body include wound healing, muscle repair and pain relief.
But don’t duck out to Home Depot just yet for a red-light bulb to pop in your bedroom lamp. Not just any red light delivers this boost.
Two wavelengths of red light, 660 nanometers and 850 nanometers, deliver the best response. Light at 660 nanometers is more quickly absorbed by the skin, making it the perfect cosmetic treatment, while 850 nanometer wavelengths penetrate deeper into your body to help with muscle recovery and full-body healing.
Let’s see what you can expect from this treatment if you choose to give it a try.
- Skin repair — Red light therapy has shown anti-inflammatory and antiaging effects and helps to decrease oil production and bacterial levels in the skin. This also makes it an effective treatment for mild acne.
- Better sleep — Research shows this therapy can increase melatonin production and lead to a healthier circadian rhythm, meaning a better night’s rest.
- Quicker wound healing — A 2014 study found red light therapy promoted increased tissue repair and healing with beneficial effects on healing burns, wrinkles and acne scars.
- Muscle repair and recovery — A 2014 study found that using the therapy before and after working out led to reduced muscle strength loss, less muscle soreness up to four days after exercising.
- Pain relief — Studies show this therapy can help reduce pain for osteoarthritis knee pain, general knee pain, rheumatoid arthritis and back pain. The FDA has even approved it for treating minor pains and arthritis.
Although red light therapy is not a magical healing treatment, studies are promising about its uses and benefits. If you want to join in, check online for hand-held versions, entire beds with integrated red light therapy and spas offering treatments.