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Red Light Therapy For Skin Health

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or photobiomodulation (PBM), has gained popularity in recent years as a non-invasive treatment option for various skin conditions. While often associated with cosmetic benefits, such as anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, red light therapy also holds significant potential in the medical field for managing skin conditions like psoriasis, acne and dermatitis.

Skin acts as the frontline defense for our immune system, playing pivotal roles in protection, circulation, hormone production, and temperature regulation. It’s the barrier protecting us from physical, chemical, and microbial hazards. The skin’s ability to regulate temperature and produce key hormones like Vitamin D underscores its importance beyond mere appearance. Given these critical functions, maintaining skin health is paramount for overall well-being.

How Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy Enhance Skin Health

Red light therapy can help support skin health across the entire body. The skin functions mentioned above all rely on millions of cells performing and communicating with one another. When the mitochondria in those skin cells absorb healthy red and near infrared light, they can produce more energy (ATP), stimulating the synthesis of pro-collagen, collagen, basic fibroblast growth factors (bFGF), and proliferation of fibroblasts. Red and near infrared light therapy also increases microcirculation that improves cellular balance. In summary, balanced skin cells operating at full capacity do all of those jobs better. 

Red Light Therapy for Specific Skin Conditions

The general benefits of red and near-infrared light therapy for skin health translate into specific medical applications for skin conditions. By enhancing cellular function and promoting healthier skin across the entire body, red light therapy can offer relief and improvement for various skin issues.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells, leading to thick, scaly patches that can be itchy and painful. Traditional treatments include topical creams, phototherapy, and systemic medications, which can have side effects and may not be suitable for all patients.

Recent studies have explored the use of red light therapy as a complementary treatment for psoriasis. The therapy is believed to reduce inflammation, slow down the overproduction of skin cells, and alleviate symptoms. 

Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by the clogging of hair follicles with oil and dead skin cells, leading to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.

Red light therapy has shown promise in treating acne by reducing inflammation, killing bacteria that contribute to acne formation, reducing acne lesions and improving skin texture. The therapy is considered a safe and gentle alternative to harsher acne treatments, such as chemical peels and oral medications.

Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a common condition that causes swelling and irritation of the skin. It has many causes and forms and often involves itchy, dry skin or a rash. Or it might cause the skin to blister, ooze, crust or flake. Three common types of this condition are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema.

By reducing inflammation and promoting skin regeneration, red light therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of dermatitis and improve skin barrier function. While research on red light therapy for dermatitis is still emerging, early studies suggest potential benefits in reducing the severity and frequency of flare-ups.

Full-Body Approach to Skin Health

Red Light Therapy has traditionally been confined to high-end salons and spas for facial treatments. At Expand Health, we offer full-body treatments. Exposing larger skin areas to red and near-infrared light amplifies health benefits, underscoring the holistic approach to beauty and well-being.

Contact us on  +27 (0)66 448 0238 or click on the button below to book a session or to purchase a discounted bundle of sessions.

Scientific Literature

[1] A Nguyen and A Soulika. The Dynamics of the Skin’s Immune System. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019 Apr. 

[2] “How does skin work?” Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Sept 2009, updated 2019.

[3] “Circulation & Skin Integrity: Importance, Risk Factors & Examples.” Study.com. Feb 2017.

[4] Karu T, Pratibrat L, et al. “Effects of Monochromatic Low-Intensity Light and Laser Irradiation on Adhesion of HeLa Cells in Vitro” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. 1996.

[5] R Stout and M Birch-Machin. Mitochondria’s Role in Skin Ageing. Dermatological Sciences. 2019 May.

[6] Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, Vecchio D, Pam Z, Pam N, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar.

[7] Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.” AIMS Biophys. 2017.

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