FreeDigitalPhotos. By Salvatore Vuono.

Red light therapy. What is it?

As the newest therapeutic treatment, red light therapy uses infrared light to penetrate deep into the skin. It has a stronger wavelength than any other type of light, and contains no UV rays. Think of red light therapy as reversing the damage done from typical tanning beds. Discovered by NASA, this advancing treatment is non-invasive, and virtually risk-free.

What are the benefits?

  • Anti-aging: Red light therapy improves the appearance and structure of skin. It decreases redness, reduces wrinkles, and helps clear sun damage. The infrared light increases the production of ATP, which is present in body tissue and speeds up the healing process. ATP also increases collagen production, which develops elasticity on the skin’s surface. Acne prone skin also benefits from treatment. By removing bacteria, red light therapy clears up acne and scaring.
  • Pain relief: NASA originally developed red light therapy for the purpose of pain relief. It can provide relief from chronic and acute pain in all areas of the body. Because the infrared light increases ATP production, it also increases blood circulation. This helps reduce inflammation and swelling, which are main sources of pain. Red light therapy helps the body provide its own defenses to pain, so the treatment helps solve the problem instead of simply hiding it.

Are there any risks?

According to the American Cancer Society, colored light therapy is safe. Red light therapy is not to be confused with ultraviolet radiation present in tanning beds. UV radiation is damages skin and makes it more susceptible to cancer later on.

Where can I find it?

Tanning salons across the country have been transforming some of the traditional tanning beds into red light therapy beds. You can also find treatment facilities at Planet Fitness and other gyms known to offer tanning services. As a new treatment avenue, patients can now get exposed to colored light therapy via the Internet. And it’s not required to sit and look at the computer screen. As long as a person is in a closed room with the program running, he or she will receive the benefits.

How do I use it?

It’s recommended to take part in a therapy session 3-4 times per week for about 12 weeks to see results. Each session should last up to 20 minutes. But because there is no side effect for overuse, a person can undergo as many sessions as desired. To continue seeing skin improvements, it’s encouraged to keep using red light therapy for as long as needed.

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