Red light therapy effectively treats skin rejuvenation, pain relief, and wound healing. However, optimal treatment duration is important in achieving maximum results.
Red light therapy can be used at a dermatologist or aesthetician’s office or as an at-home device. It’s also being promoted as a way to reduce cancer chemotherapy side effects and promote hair growth.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy (LLLT), works by affecting the chromophores in your cells, which generate energy. This is how your body produces antioxidants to prevent oxidative stress.
It also affects your cell’s mitochondria, which is how your body creates ATP energy for healing and other processes. This is why many believe that red light therapy can help with memory, mood, and sleep conditions.
However, results will vary for everyone. It’s recommended that you start with a course of 3-6 treatments over 4 to 6 weeks for the best results. Consistency is important when pursuing any wellness goal, including red light therapy. For optimal skin rejuvenation, pain relief, and wound healing, sessions should last between 10 to 20 minutes. This is why purchasing an at-home device that offers these durations is important.
The First Week
Red light therapy is a safe and effective way to treat various conditions, including pain and inflammation. Some experts say that it is also an effective treatment for skin conditions like acne, fine lines and wrinkles, and hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia.
This therapy works by exposing your body to low-intensity red light, which stimulates the production of cytokines, growth factors, and collagen. This boosts the cell mitochondria and increases cellular activity, making your cells work more efficiently and effectively.
You can find red light therapies at tanning salons, gyms, and local day spas. Some products use full-body LED beds, while others have a small device that you can hold up to your face or skin to target specific areas. You should always use LED-shielding goggles to protect your eyes. Also, be sure to talk with a doctor or dermatologist before using a red light therapy device.
The Second Week
Red light therapy is a relatively new treatment, though dermatologists have been using different wavelengths of light to affect skin health for decades. As more research is conducted, the results are looking promising.
If you’re a wellness junkie, you may have seen influencers and celebs donning red light masks on their TikTok or Instagram feeds. You’ll also find it at some gyms and wellness centers.
During a session, you lie in a full-body LED red light bed or pod or have a practitioner place the device on the affected area. It’s completely safe and painless for most people. Whether you’re treating a back injury or boosting skin tone, you’ll see results over time. But the results vary depending on how often you do it and your body’s sensitivity to red light. Red light therapy energizes cells, stimulates collagen production, and treats skin wounds, minimizing scarring.
The Third Week
Red light therapy is noninvasive, making it safe for almost anyone to try. Depending on the practitioner, you may have a handheld device pressed against the area of pain or inflammation, or you might lie in a full-body bed or pod that emits both red and near-infrared bulbs.
Ab absorbing light stimulates the mitochondria (the power plants in your cells), increasing their energy levels and allowing them to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate, according to the PBM Foundation. It also increases collagen production, which improves skin elasticity and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
While the benefits of red light therapy are numerous, it’s important to talk to a doctor before trying any at-home devices. This will help you determine if it’s the right treatment for your needs and set realistic wellness goals for your lifestyle.
The Fourth Week
Red light therapy (RLT) is an emerging treatment that’s getting a lot of buzz. It’s used to reduce fibromyalgia pain, help with weight loss, and even boost hair growth in men with androgenic alopecia.
The science behind RLT is called photobiomodulation. It involves using different wavelengths of light to affect changes at the cellular level, explains dermatologist Erum Ilyas.
Red-light therapy has been shown to increase collagen and elastin, which can lead to better skin tone, texture, elasticity, and fewer fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves rosacea and psoriasis and can decrease the appearance of mild scars. Ilyas recommends starting with short sessions at home three to five times a week and then moving on to longer, more frequent in-office treatments.
While many research studies on RLT look promising, it’s important to keep in mind that most of the published research involved small numbers of participants or were animal or lab-based. Most experts agree that more high-quality studies with larger numbers of people are needed to confirm its benefits for specific conditions.
The Fifth Week
Red light therapy is being promoted for use in everything from treating skin conditions like rosacea and acne to reducing signs of aging, boosting hair growth, increasing joint mobility, and alleviating pain. It’s being offered at beauty spas and salons, gyms, and tanning salons, as well as from home devices purchased online.
As with many other therapeutic approaches, seeing outstanding results from red light therapy requires a commitment to attend sessions over a specific time frame. Jagdeo recommends that patients commit to three to five 20-minute sessions a week for at least one month.
Unlike infrared saunas, red light therapy uses a different type of energy to affect your cells and boost metabolism. This is called photobiomodulation, and it’s what allows the treatment to work over time to revitalize your body and provide long-lasting benefits.
The Sixth Week
Red light therapy is a non-invasive, painless treatment involving low-power red wavelengths of light emitted through your skin. During an in-office session, you’ll lie in a full-body bed or pod that is equipped with LED panels of red and near-infrared light, or a practitioner will use a handheld device to treat specific areas of your body.
The absorbed energy from the red light wavelengths activates chromophores in your cells, which then trigger changes throughout the body to promote healing. This can help with muscle recovery, inflammation, and skin texture issues.
It can also boost mood and alleviate symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. It’s recommended that you see a mental health specialist or therapist if you’re interested in using red light therapy for this purpose.
The Seventh Week
Red light therapy can help heal sun damage, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and diminish age spots. It also increases collagen production and density, which helps to firm skin and provide elasticity.
This is because red light therapy activates your mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of your cells. This boosts energy production within your cells, which helps them work more efficiently.
For this reason, it’s important to commit to a regular treatment schedule for best results. In most cases, multiple sessions per week for weeks or even months will provide noticeable results. Some people will experience instant results, but for most, it takes time to see and feel the benefits of this amazing treatment.
The Eighth Week
Red light therapy is used for skin concerns like reducing acne, minimizing stretch marks and scars, stimulating hair growth, and enhancing general skin rejuvenation. It can also be helpful for decreasing inflammation and boosting the body’s healing process following surgery or injury.
Some research suggests that RLT may also help alleviate depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. However, because more studies need to be done, it is best to speak with your doctor or therapist before trying this treatment for these conditions.
While there are no risks to undergoing this treatment, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If you use an at-home device, make sure to wear LED-shielding goggles to protect your eyes. Also, it’s best to avoid sun exposure or other sources of UV radiation during your sessions. This will ensure that your results are as positive and beneficial as possible.
The Ninth Week
Using a device that emits low-level laser or light-emitting diode (LED) red or near-infrared light, RLT targets the mitochondria of cells to boost energy production. As a result, “your cells will do their jobs more efficiently,” master esthetician Sarah Akram tells MBG.
This results in more radiant skin and faster healing. In fact, red light therapy can even help your body heal after intense workouts and injuries.
If you’re considering adding red light therapy to your routine, talk with your doctor or therapist first. Also, keep in mind that the results of RLT are cumulative. You may need to continue treatment for a few months to see noticeable results, and regular sessions are key to long-term improvement.