Red light therapy (RLT) uses low-level wavelengths to treat various skin conditions, including scars, wrinkles, wounds, and other skin issues. However, many scientists think that red light therapy (RLT) is a debatable therapeutic method.

In the past, scientists utilized RLT to grow plants in space. According to scientists, red light- emitting diodes or LEDs emit intense light that helps the plant cells to carry out photosynthesis and promote their growth. The efficacy of red light in medicine and therapeutics was next evaluated to determine if RLT might boost energy within human cells. According to the researchers, RLT might be a successful treatment for conditions of bone density, muscular atrophy, and delayed wound healing caused by weightlessness during space travel.

The following are the other names of red light therapy (RLT):

  • Cold laser therapy
  • Photonic stimulation 
  • Low-level light therapy 
  • Soft laser therapy
  • Photobiomodulation (PBM) Biostimulation
  • Low-power laser therapy (LPLT)

How does red light therapy work?

Red light wavelength increases energy production ability at cellular and biochemical levels by improving mitochondrial function. When mitochondria produce more energy, better will be the functions of the body. The penetration power of red light wavelengths in the skin is about 8-10 millimeters when used on the skin’s surface. Therefore, all the skin layers, hair follicles, nerves, blood vessels, and lymph pathways are affected depending on applying red light on the skin (knee or head).

What are the best sources of red light therapy?

Your doctor may refer you to undergo red light therapy from a professional like a dermatologist or rheumatologist.

You can get red light therapy from medical spas. They usually charge $50-100 per session. Alternatively, you can also undergo infrared saunas that work in the same manner as red light therapy. They both boost mitochondrial function in different ways. However, the light from the infrared sauna has more penetration power and is visible compared to red light therapy.

You can also get a red light from your phone screen and computer. In Apple iOS 10, a new feature called color tint turns your phone’s screen into a red color.

Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy

  1. Improving acne

Acne vulgaris is one of the most common skin conditions that can be treated by red light therapy. It is because the working of sebaceous glands is affected by the sunlight.

Red light therapy is undoubtedly a useful treatment for acne vulgaris combines with other treatments including blue light therapy. The red light penetrates deeper into the skin, affecting sebum production and minimizing irritation and inflammation.

  1. Healing of Wounds

Using red light may boost up wound healing. According to the research studies mentioned in the journal Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia, red light therapy quickly heals wounds in the following ways.

  • Boost the production of collagen in the skin Increasing fibroblasts in the skin
  • The formation of new blood vessels also called angiogenesis Anti-inflammatory action in the cells
  • More studies in humans can help confirm these results
  1. Hair Growth

The impact of low-level light on patients with alopecia was investigated in limited research published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy.

According to the research, people who undergo RLT had better hair density than those in the control group. In addition, the impact was favorable when participants used light with wavelengths of 665 nanometers (nm) and 808 nm, according to the scientists. But, this research was small, and more extensive clinical trials would be needed to back up these findings.

  1. Pain Reduction

​​There are different causes of pain in the body. Therefore, many people use other treatments to treat their pain. One such method is RLT that treats many painful conditions. According to the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, RLT is effective against painful musculoskeletal conditions.

According to the observations, RLT can successfully decrease pain in people with various musculoskeletal diseases. Furthermore, from the expert’s point of view, practitioners who follow the exact dose guidelines appear to improve therapy results.

  1. Energy Production, Metabolism, and Thyroid Health

More energy production is the primary function of RLT. Mitochondria in the cell produce energy, RLT boosts the mitochondria. That’s why RLT produces more energy. Moreover, it also improves thyroid function.

  1. Fitness, Performance, and Muscle Recovery

RLT has been shown in investigations to decrease muscular pain after intensive exercise. The serum creatine kinase (CK) levels in the blood are linked to muscle pain and injury. Red light treatment decreased CK levels after training, as per comprehensive review and meta-analysis, describing its utility in muscle rehabilitation. In addition, studies have demonstrated that red light treatment improves athletic performance, reduces stress due to exercise, and reduces muscle damage, particularly in runners.

  1. Hormone Health

According to new research, red light treatment triggers Leydig cells in the testes to synthesize more testosterone, which can help men with low libido and erectile problems.

  1. Osteoarthritis

The pain associated with osteoarthritis can be reduced by 50% by using red light therapy and infrared red light therapy.

  1. Tendinitis

RLT appears to reduce inflammation and discomfort in patients with Achilles tendonitis, as proved by the clinical studies.


RLT treats wrinkles and other indications of aging and damage to the skin. RLT has been shown in studies to aid with wrinkles and skin smoothing. Conditions like burns, acne scars, and sun damage can also be treated with RLT.

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