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What is Red Light Therapy? Benefits, Risks & Uses

By Apricus Health

4th October 2022

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that is gaining popularity with individuals using it to improve their complexion, treat medical conditions, and even improve their energy levels. 

But what is red light therapy, and who is it suitable for? For many, red light therapy is used cosmetically. For those in allied health, red light therapy is fast becoming a popular treatment for pain relief, reduction in inflammation, and improving mobility.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the growing popularity of red-light therapy, possible applications, and investigate who may be a suitable candidate for RLT.

What is Red Light Therapy (RLT)? 

Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that involves using low wavelength red light to diminish the look of scars and wrinkles, reduce redness, and improve the overall appearance of skin.

RLT has been shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of skin conditions but has also been tested on non-traditional applications such as wound healing, muscle pain, and even Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other diseases.

How does Red Light Therapy work? 

Red light therapy works by increasing the production of collagen and elastin, two essential elements for skin health. Collagen is an abundant protein in the body that is responsible for the structure and appearance of skin, while elastin is a protein that helps to keep the skin looking youthful thanks to its elastin properties. 

So then, what does red light therapy do? 

Red light therapy promotes the production of new blood vessels which helps to improve circulation and increase the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. 

A single RLT treatment will take between 20-30-minutes (depending on the application), with most patients reporting a noticeable improvement in their skin after just one treatment. In many cases, ongoing RLT treatment is recommended to achieve optimal and long-lasting results – particularly when used for pain relief and wound healing.

Red light therapy is not new – it has been around for decades. It is only in the last few years that it is becoming popular for a wide range of uses. 

What does Red Light Therapy help with?

Red light therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions and ailments. Cosmetically, RLT has been used to treat skin conditions and assist with the production of collagen and elastin. Recently, however, there has been groundswell in the medical community in Australia that has seen RLT treatment broadened for non-traditional applications including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other diseases.

How Red Light Therapy helps in non-cosmetic settings

Red light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief in muscles and joints.

Red light therapy alleviates chronic inflammation by increasing the blood flow to damaged tissues, providing relief from pain and discomfort caused by inflammation. This is most beneficial to those with joint pain and arthritis as the red light therapy penetrates to the right depth in the joint to increase blood, lymph, and oxygen to the joint itself. 

Is Red Light Therapy safe?

Yes, red light therapy is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of skin and medical conditions. Due to its non-invasive and painless nature, RLT is a popular and affordable alternative to other treatments.

Before going down the route of red-light therapy, you need to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who can advise whether your condition is suitable for RLT treatment. There is conjecture amongst healthcare professionals around the efficacy of RLT treatment, so it may be worth consulting more than one healthcare professional if RLT is immediately dismissed as a non-viable treatment solution. 

Final Thoughts

At Apricus Health, we believe that tech-health innovations like red light therapy can have a significant impact on a wide range of painful conditions. We regularly used RLT for the management of chronic pain, workplace and sports injuries, pain after stroke, arthritis, and nerve pain.

While RLT has led to conjecture amongst medical professionals, many patients report a positive experience with using RLT. Although RLT is still a relatively new treatment (in Australia), it is steadily gaining popularity and mainstream acceptance. If you are considering RLT, be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare provider like Apricus Health to properly understand your options and likely outcomes.