In the nowadays fast-paced rhythm of life, most people may not find time for themselves, their health and body care. Here red light therapy (RLT) comes to help you. It does not require a long treatment, it will be enough to start with 10 – 20 minutes of using the device a day. But about the dosage and frequency of RLT use according to the place of application, we will tell you in more detail below.
RLT is one of the most effective modern body and skin treatments. Its main advantages are:
- Affordability – you can use RLT devices even at home;
- The quickness of use – you do not need to spend several hours a day to achieve the desired result;
- Safe – this treatment has few risks and side effects of use.
But everything is good in moderation. So in our article, we will tell you how often to use red light therapy to achieve the desired results. We will also list possible side effects of this treatment you may encounter and will tell you how to avoid them.
How to Use Red Light Therapy
You may come across such different names for red light therapy:
- Low-level laser therapy (LLLT);
- Cold laser therapy;
- LILT (low-intensity light therapy);
- Low-power laser therapy (LPLT);
- Soft laser biostimulation.
However, keep in mind that this is the same as RLT. So all of these devices can be used to get rid of skin and other diseases/damages but each type is better for a particular problem. So the therapies listed above are more narrowly focused areas of treatment with RLT. What they have in common is the general concept of red light therapy: all of these devices use 600-980 nm rays in their work.
There are some tips for using red light therapy regardless of:
- Use eye protection and do not direct the rays directly into them when you are using RLT on your face;
- Do not use creams and other skin-care products which clog pores before an RLT session (especially if you are treating skin rashes and acne scars, then you will not get any results);
- Consult your doctor about the use of skin sensitivity-enhancing medications, which are better to avoid during therapy because they can cause skin irritations;
- Moisturize your skin between RLT sessions as its use on dry skin can cause damage (scratches, irritation, etc.);
- Do not cover the area of your skin that needs RLT with clothing during sessions, as it will not allow the red rays to pass through.
What is the Best Time to Use Red Light?
Most of the studies on the effectiveness of RLT use are not time-related. It gives rise to certain opinions that it does not matter when to use it: in the morning or evening.
However, we would still want to find out if this is the case and whether the time of day affects the quality of the result after red light therapy. Firstly, people are accustomed to getting more infrared radiation in the morning and evening: when the sun rises and goes down. So at this time our body is used to receiving red light and perceives it better and more effectively than at other times of the day.
Secondly, dermatologists recommend using RLT devices on cleansed skin without makeup and other care products. In most cases, it means after waking up or before going to bed. But if you want faster results, experts suggest using red light therapy in the morning. It is because:
✓ Earlier in the day, our bodies are more prone to regenerate;
✓ It will increase the alertness and focus for the rest of the day;
✓ Eye treatment with RLT has shown better results in the morning than in the evening ;
✓ It will help suspend the production of melatonin, preventing skin aging.
Must-Know: How Often to Use Red Light Therapy
For the first times of red light therapy use, it is recommended to start treatment with a corresponding device 3-5 times a week with a duration of 10-20 minutes. But you must understand that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for all people and diseases. Therefore, we recommend you consult a family doctor or dermatologist before starting red light therapy. It is especially true for people with sensitive skin.
Moreover, it will help you avoid negative RLT consequences for your skin and health. There are also some recommendations for using the RLT devices depending on the application location, which we will describe further.
On the Face
Red light therapy is especially effective for rejuvenating the skin and eliminating wrinkles. You will only need 30 sessions (2-3 times a week) to get visible results. It is recommended to use a red light therapy device during 10-20 minutes per 1 treatment.
Experts recommend that you start using RLT for your face from 12-18 inches. However, we recommend consulting a dermatologist or cosmetologist for more detailed and correct instructions on how to use red light therapy on the face.
On the Head
The fundamental causes of hair loss are:
- Hormonal changes;
- Genetic predisposition.
However, in addition to eradicating the main problems-pre-causes of hair loss, it is necessary to use additional stimulators for hair growth. One of the most effective helpers, in this case, is a red light .
To stimulate fast hair growth by laser treatment you need to use RLT 3-5 times a week. Safe use of red light therapy devices involves maintaining a distance of 8-14 inches between your head and the red light source during a 10-20 minute session.
On the Back
Lower back pain is one of the most popular negative consequences of sitting work. Statistics show that about 80% of adults experience lower back discomfort. But luckily, experts found out that red light therapy can help you effectively get rid of lower back pain .
You need to use the RLT device at 8-14 inches from your skin to reduce this pain. Experts recommend using red light therapy in this case for 10-20 minutes a day every day for 6 weeks. The session can be held by sitting down if it is more comfortable for you.
Effectiveness Review: Before & After Pics
Make sure that red light therapy will bring the desired results before you finally decide to use it. Below we have described real studies on the effectiveness of this treatment for getting rid of:
- Acne scars;
All people age, and firstly it is evident through facial wrinkles. Since the face is the first thing that draws the eyes of others, many people are concerned about how to prolong youthfulness and get rid of wrinkles.
Unfortunately, reducing stress will no longer help rejuvenate your face. However, there is a way out – red light therapy. RLT helps to get rid of wrinkles by having the following effects on the skin:
✓ Improving elastin and collagen production;
✓ Increased energy production within the skin cells on the face;
✓ Stimulating the development of new capillaries and improved blood circulation, respectively;
✓ Reduced swelling;
✓ Acceleration of metabolism and cell regeneration.
A study with 136 volunteers testing the efficiency of RLT was conducted. Patients used the RLT devices twice a week for 15 weeks. Thus, subjects experienced a significant reduction in facial wrinkles by increasing the collagen density in the skin after 30 sessions of red light therapy .
Nowadays, red light therapy is one of the most effective treatments for acne scars. RLT can help get rid of acne scars by:
- Increasing blood flow;
- Improving cell regeneration;
- Increasing collagen density in the skin;
- Reducing inflammation;
- Improving intracellular energy production;
- Improving elastin production.
A study of 12 sessions was conducted to evaluate RLT effectiveness. After 6 weeks of using red light therapy twice a week, patients experienced a significant reduction in acne scars .
Cellulite is one of the most common cosmetic problems for women. Statistics show that this issue can be noticed among 90% of women and 10% of men. Cellulite is more common among overweight people, although thin and athletic people can also have it. Luckily, red light therapy devices for cellulite removal are effective, affordable, safe, and easy to use.
The 20 women of 25-55 years participated in a study to determine the effectiveness of using red light therapy combined with a treadmill to get rid of cellulite. Half of them exercised on a treadmill only, while the other half of the subjects also added RLT to their exercise regimen .
After 3 months of exercising twice a week, experts evaluated the effectiveness of red light therapy for getting rid of cellulite. The conclusion of this study showed that women who supplemented their treadmill workouts with RLT sessions achieved a better reduction in cellulite on their thighs .
Red Light Therapy Side Effects & Ways to Avoid Them
Red light therapy is completely painless and safe when used correctly. Below we have described for you the possible side effects and how you can avoid them.
|RLT Side Effects||Ways to Avoid Them|
|🌞 Burns and blisters on skin exposed to red light||- Do not use the RLT device longer or closer than recommended;|
- Do not fall asleep while using red light therapy;
- Eliminate or prevent corrosion on the device.
|👀 Eye irritation and redness||- Use protective eyewear when you are using RLT on your face.|
|🤕 Temporary headaches||- Do not look directly at the red light source;|
- Reduce or stop using red light therapy according to the doctor’s
|👁 Overheating of cornea and lens, which can lead to cataracts||- Use LED as a red light source during a therapy session;|
- Use protective eyewear when you are using RLT on your face.
|⚡️ Mania (hyperactive state) in people with non-seasonal depression||- Do not use RLT without a doctor's permission;|
- Reduce or stop using red light therapy for the duration of treatment.
Red light therapy is a non-invasive procedure that treats skin issues like cellulite, acne scars, and wrinkles. Numerous studies confirm the effectiveness of RLT in the fight against them. However, some of them do not have agreed information on how often to use red light therapy.
Therefore, in this article, we once again studied the research on RLT, compared the facts, and found out how often to use this treatment on different body parts.
👁 Can red light therapy damage the user’s eyes?
RLT does not harm your eyes when it is used properly. You should adhere to safety precautions: wear safety glasses and do not look at the red light source when you are using RLT on your face.
🕶 Should I wear goggles while using the red light therapy?
It is not necessary to wear glasses during the procedure. However, this guarantees increased safety of the treatment.
⏰ Can I use too much red light therapy?
Frequent and prolonged use of RLT can lead to skin burns. You can read more about this information in our article.
- Shinhmar, Harpreet, et al. “Weeklong Improved Colour Contrasts Sensitivity after Single 670 Nm Exposures Associated with Enhanced Mitochondrial Function.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 24 Nov. 2021, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-02311-1#Abs1.
- “Comparison of the Effects of 665 Nm Low Level Diode Laser Hat versus and a Combination of 665 Nm and 808nm Low Level Diode Laser Scanner of Hair Growth in Androgenic Alopecia.” Taylor & Francis, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14764172.2017.1326609?journalCode=ijcl20&.
- Gale GD, Rothbart PJ, Li Y. Infrared therapy for chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Pain Res Manag. 2006 Autumn;11(3):193-6. doi: 10.1155/2006/876920. PMID: 16960636; PMCID: PMC2539004.
- Wunsch A, Matuschka K. A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red and near-infrared light treatment in patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, and intradermal collagen density increase. Photomed Laser Surg. 2014 Feb;32(2):93-100. doi: 10.1089/pho.2013.3616. Epub 2013 Nov 28. PMID: 24286286; PMCID: PMC3926176.
- 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;32(1):41-52. PMID: 24049929; PMCID: PMC4126803.
- Paolillo FR, Borghi-Silva A, Parizotto NA, Kurachi C, Bagnato VS. New treatment of cellulite with infrared-LED illumination applied during high-intensity treadmill training. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2011 Aug;13(4):166-71. doi: 10.3109/14764172.2011.594065. PMID: 21740089.