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Red Light Therapy: Uses, Benefits and Risks

Red light therapy is a therapeutic technique that takes care of wrinkles and other skin related problems. However, it has risks as well.

Red light therapy is a therapeutic technique that can help to deal with skin conditions and skin ageing. While research on this treatment is still underway, certain success stories have indicated that this therapy works well. This phototherapy can also promote healthy ageing and repairs the muscles tissues in the face. However, you need to be very careful while getting red light therapy done.

The Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the US claims that red light therapy can cause lesions as well as blisters and burns. Also, your eyes can be damaged in the process as well. Health Shots got in touch with dermatologist Dr Priyanka Kuri to understand how red light therapy works and what to keep in mind while getting the treatment done.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy (RLT) is a treatment that is emerging as a top beauty trend today and as a popular choice of treatment for anti-ageing and skin appearance improvement solutions. “It treats signs of aging like wrinkles, redness of the skin, acne, acne scars, and stretch marks, although the efficacy hasn’t been proven 100 percent as it is fairly recent, and more studies are needed,” says Dr Kuri. It rejuvenates the skin by targeting the cell propelling renewal, reducing inflammation, wound healing and repairing skin by boosting new cell growth.

A woman touching her wrinkles
Red Light Therapy helps with wrinkles. Image courtesy: Freepik

How does Red Light Therapy work?

When the skin or area of treatment is exposed to Red Light Therapy, a low wavelength red light is emitted on the surface. “It targets the mitochondria or the powerhouse of the cell, creating energy and this is believed to help cells repair. It uses low levels of heat that does not damage the skin but is enough to have therapeutic properties resulting in rejuvenation,” says Dr Kuri.

What are the health benefits of Red Light Therapy?

1. Skin repair

This treatment yields in the production of collagen and helps to tackle aging concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, alopecia, acnes, scar marks and provides better texture, structure and elasticity of the skin. it can also make your skin glow.

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2. Wound healing

In patients suffering from diabetes, Red Light Therapy works wonders in healing wounds. This treatment aids in restoring cell function, regenerating cells, and increasing blood flow, boosting faster recovery of wounds, and aiding in surgeries’ healing capacity in diabetic patients.

3. Hair growth

Red Light Therapy also promotes hair growth and prevents signs of balding that are genetic as well as hormonal. More research is being conducted on treating hair loss with Red Light Therapy.

4. Cell repair and pain relief

It also helps to restore cell function, grow back cells and increase blood flow. Therapy It also gives relief from chronic issues like neuropathy pain and fibromyalgia, it can also help with pain associated from cancer treatments in cancer patients.

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What are the risks or dangers of Red Light Therapy?

Even though Red Light Therapy is generally considered safe and painless, it does involve certain underlying risks.

1. May damage skin

There is a criterion concerned with the amount of light the skin can be exposed to. On crossing the limit, Red Light Therapy can cause serious damage to both the skin and tissue. Everyone’s skin might not be suitable for this treatment as there have been cases of burns and blisters forming on the skin after this treatment. Besides, you should be careful about the expert you seek this treatment from.

2. May damage eyes

Too much red light therapy may cause damage to your eyes. Therefore, it is imperative that you wear proper eye protection gear while getting red light treatment done. Choosing an experienced hand to do it, will help you stay safe.

A woman looking at a bottle of moisturiser
Sunscreen or moisturiser should not be used before Red Light Therapy. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. May become expensive

While one session of red light therapy might not be that heavy on the pocket, the treatment generally involves multiple session, that might go on for several months. You might also need touch up treatment, that might add up the cost.

Who should not use Red Light Therapy?

Any individual who is photosensitive or has sensitive skin should refrain from Red Light Therapy. “People with cancer or people who are cancer survivors need to stay away from the treatment. People who are taking photo – sensitizing drugs as medication are also advised not to undergo the treatment,” explains Dr Kuri.

What to keep in mind before doing Red Light Therapy?

After having a proper consultation with a dermatologist, you need to make sure that it is safe to use on your skin. “Before the procedure, ensure your face is free of any products, including sunscreen and moisturizer, as they can block the rays used in the procedure,” says Dr Kuri.

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