Red light therapy has been used for treating numerous medical conditions for decades. More recently, this non-invasive procedure has become popular in cosmetics as well. RLT has proven benefits for acne treatment, getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines, improving skin quality, muscle repair, joint pain, and even healing scars. In this article, we’ll take you through all the details you need to know about red light, its benefits, and use guidelines.
How And Why Does Red Light Therapy Work?
The main secret behind red light therapy is its power to optimize cellular processes. Red and near-infrared wavelengths penetrate deep layers of skin. Reaching each cell, red light promotes ATP production. For those who are new to the term, ATP is a principal molecule that stores and delivers energy to the cells. The more energy our cells get, the better they become at doing their job – keeping us alive and healthy.
Where Can I Get Red Light Therapy?
A few years ago, red light therapy was only available in doctors’ offices, making it a pricey and time-consuming procedure. Nowadays, thanks to technological advances and extensive scientific research, the benefits of red light can be obtained at one’s home. Anyone can purchase an in-home red light therapy device that possesses medical-grade powers. In fact, the FDA has approved such light panels as class II medical devices. So, you can purchase your own red light therapy products and start treating your concerns at your desired time and place.
How To Prepare For Red Light Treatment At Home?
In order to maximize the results of your in-home red light therapy sessions, you need to consider a few things. The good thing is that RLT doesn’t require any advanced preparation. All you need to do is make sure that there is as little barrier between you and the light panel as possible. Specialists recommend removing any clothing from the body part that you’re looking to treat.
To make it even easier for light particles to penetrate the epidermis, exfoliation is suggested. This will help get rid of buildup oil and dead skin cells that are stuck in pores. After you are done with this stage, don’t apply any makeup, lotions, perfume, or skincare products. Take a break from using any AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) and topical retinoids for a few days before exposing your skin to red light. As you may know by now, these active ingredients increase skin sensitivity, so combining them with RLT is not a good idea.
The no-product rule excludes the serums and creams that are formulated to increase red light’s benefits. Although there is no sufficient research backing up such products’ effectiveness, you can still purchase them. However, make sure you consult your doctor for more details before making a decision.
Do I Need To Protect My Eyes During Red Light Sessions?
Research shows that generally, red light therapy is not harmful to the eyes. Moreover, it is used to treat glaucoma outcomes by protecting the cornea and retina from fluid buildup. However, as you may have some unique medical condition or history of ocular diseases, it is not recommended to look directly at the light panel LEDs, unless you have a physician’s approval. If you’re looking to treat your face with red light therapy, consider closing your eyes during sessions or purchasing protective eyewear.
What Steps Should I Take After Getting Red Light Exposure?
Red light therapy is a 100% non-invasive means of treatment, so there is no recovery period. You can go back to using your skincare and make-up products after enjoying the red light treatment session at home. It would be best if you applied sunscreen with high UVA protection as RLT may increase photosensitivity.
How Often Should I Get Red Light Therapy At Home?
Because red light therapy is a very safe procedure with no proven side effects, there are no set limits to its use. However, we recommend you ease into it. Start with 15-minute sessions, 2-3 times a week. Once you ensure that your body has no adverse reaction to red and near-infrared wavelengths, you can increase the frequency of your sessions to 3-5 times per week. For most common issues treated with RLT, visible improvement is expected after about six weeks of continuous use. But if you’re looking to get rid of deep scars or chronic pain, you may need to stick with red light therapy sessions for up to 6 months.
Keep in mind that consistency is one of the most critical factors determining red light therapy’s effectiveness at home. If you’re considering buying an RLT device, make sure you dedicate enough time to the sessions to get the most out of it.