Can Red Light Therapy Cause Cancer?

Many people worldwide may use red light therapy to improve their skin and contribute to anti-aging, tanning, etc. Scientists have undertaken several studies and research to demonstrate if red light therapy (RTL) might have some adverse effects like tumors ever since it first became popular in the health industry. So, can red light therapy cause cancer?

You can find this question all over the Internet from many people who want to ensure the safety of using this skincare treatment and wound healing. If you want to improve your health and well-being, including the skin’s quality and beauty, you should know the scientific support of red light therapy.

In this article, we have provided everything you need to know about whether red light therapy can cause skin cancer. Without any further ado, let’s get started!


Can Red Light Therapy Cause Cancer?

Despite the lack of concrete proof that red light therapy can harm DNA, it is doubtful that this therapy may lead to cancer development.

After rigorous research and thoroughly exploring scientific studies, it is hard to prove whether this red light treatment can cause cancer cells to grow within the human body. Many studies only hypothesize that this type of low-level therapy is dangerous for a person’s health and may cause some side effects.

When discussing the safety of efficient red light therapy, we must mention that nowadays, these treatments have emerged in the wellness area like never before. Many tanning salons and cosmetic studios use red light therapy primarily for skin rejuvenation or skin tanning.

However, the biggest risk of skin cancer comes from using tanning beds for treatments. At the same time, some studies have shown that these tanning procedures may increase cancer risk by 20% with every session.

So, can red light therapy cause cancer? Well, we cannot make that claim yet because there is no hard scientific proof.

Ultraviolet vs. red lights

Tanning bulbs used in cosmetic studios provide ultraviolet lights with shorter wavelengths than other visible forms of light. Ultraviolet lights appear to be ionizing radiation, while this type of radiation may significantly increase the risk of cancer cell growth and disrupt the DNA in the human body. 

On the other hand, red lights utilize non-ionizing radiation, and their wavelengths are too broad to cause any form of tumors or cancerogenic cells. This scientifical announcement leads to the discovery that you may be safe by using red light therapy because this treatment can’t cause skin cancer.

Ultraviolet vs. Red Lights


Red Light Therapy for Cancer Treatment

Although you can’t be 100% sure that using red light therapy can’t cause cancer or contribute to cancer cell development, you must visit a dermatologist to ensure your safety from cancer appearance, depending on your skin type and pigmentation. 

However, lately, scientific studies show that red light therapy may actually help treat cancerogenic cells. Since photodynamic therapies use red light lasers to treat cancer, dermatologists use this efficient method to potentially help cancer patients.

From that point on, we can say that red light therapy may help treat this life-costing health condition and destroy cancer cells. 

It is also essential to know that red laser light is often used to activate photosensitizer drugs in this type of therapy. At the same time, this interaction develops a chemical reaction that may destroy the cancer cells within the human body.

What Are the Potential Side Effects of Red Light Therapy?

If you’re unfamiliar with the whole process of red light therapy treatment, you should be well-informed before you start using red light therapy devices.

Although we all know that this type of therapy may be entirely beneficial for treating and rejuvenating your skin, red light therapy can also cause some side effects, excluding the risk of cancerogenic cell growth.

Even if most people experience positive effects and efficient treatments for overall wellness using the best red light therapy, some individuals might experience side effects from using red light therapy devices, such as:

If You Want to Learn More: Can BBL Damage Skin?

Redness of the skin and slight tightness

If you use red light devices for an extended period of time, you might notice redness on the skin or some skin irritations.

With long-term exposure to red light devices, you might see some skin reactions like sunburn, but that doesn’t mean that they are harmful as having sunburn from exposure to UV rays. 

However, not every person will notice the side effects of red light therapy devices. The most affected group of individuals with this therapy are those who are sensitive to light.

Eye strain and sensitivity

One of the most common adverse effects of using red light therapy devices is eye strain and sensitivity.

Even if it’s proved that red light therapy may improve ocular health, it is highly recommended to treat the eyes in several treatments and prevent eye strains from happening.

The human eye is one of the most sensitive organs in the human body, and you should always be cautious when using red light therapy devices that affect eye sensitivity.


Since it’s not scientifically proven that red light therapies can provide cancerogenic cells, these cosmetic and health assets may cause some headaches and make you feel uncomfortable after using them.

Headaches can result from the above-mentioned eye sensitivity and eye strains, while you might experience an unpleasant headache when using red light therapy devices.

Red Light Therapy for Headache



Uncontrolled exposure to any device, whether for medicinal or cosmetic purposes, can always cost your health and wellness. So, can red light therapy cause cancer? Well, it is not proven that RLT can be the cause of cancer development.

You should use red light therapy devices appropriately and avoid getting harmful health risks or effects on your body. Therefore, the smartest thing you can ever do to protect your health is to visit a dermatologist or consult with a professional before using red light therapy.

Altogether, red light therapy may be beneficial if used appropriately. Protect your welfare and use red light devices properly for the best results and overall health protection!

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