What is Red Light Therapy?
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Red light therapy (RLT) is a treatment that helps skin, muscle tissue, and other parts of your body heal. It exposes you to low levels of red or near-infrared light. Infrared light is a type of energy your eyes can’t see, but your body can feel as heat. Red light is similar to infrared, but you can see it.
Red light therapy is also called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), and photobiomodulation (PBM).
With red light therapy, you expose your skin to a lamp, device, or laser with a red light. A part of your cells called mitochondria, sometimes called the “power generators” of your cells, soak it up and makes more energy. Some experts think this helps cells repair themselves and become healthier. This spurs healing in skin and muscle tissue.
Red light therapy uses shallow heat levels and doesn’t hurt or burn the skin. It’s not the same type of light used in tanning booths, and it doesn’t expose your skin to damaging UV rays.
Red light therapy may help with the following:
● Dementia. In one small study, people with dementia who got regular near-infrared light therapy on their heads and through their noses for 12 weeks had better memories, slept better, and were angry less often.
● Dental pain. In another small study, people with temporomandibular dysfunction syndrome (TMD) had less pain, clicking, and jaw tenderness after red light therapy.
● Hair loss. One study found that men and women with androgenetic alopecia (a genetic disorder that causes hair loss) who used an at-home RLT device for 24 weeks grew thicker hair.
● Osteoarthritis. One study found red and infrared light therapy cut osteoarthritis-related pain by more than 50%.
● Tendinitis. A very small study of 7 people suggests RLT lessens inflammation and pain in people with Achilles tendinitis.
● Wrinkles and other signs of skin aging and skin damage. Research shows RLT may smooth your skin and help with wrinkles. RLT also helps with acne scars, burns, and signs of UV sun damage.
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