Does Red Light Therapy Kill Fungus?

Fungal infections may affect millions of people worldwide, causing irritation and discomfort. So, people seek and try various medical methods to treat the problem. One such method appeared to be red light therapy.

The red and near-infrared light treatment has existed for more than 60 years, and scientists are still researching it to this day. However, some questions remain unanswered regarding recurrent infections all over the body, whether they are of bacterial or fungal origin. So, does red light therapy kill fungus? 

Let’s elaborate more on the studies done regarding red light and fungal infections.

Red Light Therapy and Insurance Coverage

Does Red Light Therapy Kill Fungus? 

The most common cause of the fungal disease is the nail disorder that every clinical practice has experienced. This disorder is called onychomycosis and is an infection that causes discoloration of the nail, separation of the nail from its bed, and thickening of the nail.

To provide you with a more in-detail answer, we researched many studies that have been done over the years on red light therapy and bacteria and infection treatment. Being an effective alternative to conventional medicine, red and infrared light have shown some potential and may offer relief from pain and inflammation.

When it comes to nail fungus treatment, red light therapy may be used alongside prescribed topical creams or other medications. The patented laser is specifically designed to shine through your toenail and destroy every pathogen that is embedded under and in your nail that caused the infection in the first place. 

In comparison to CO2 lasers that were used in the past, the red light therapy laser may destroy the bacteria, molds, and fungi that led to onychomycosis. 


If you do the math, one treatment of 20 to 30 minutes with a pain-free laser might make a significant difference. After following the same disciplined regimen, your toenails will normally grow after six months.

So, red light therapy may: 

  • Kill the pathogens that caused the fungus of the toenails in the first place.
  • Work with the laser through the nail.
  • Cause no adverse side effects or harm to the skin.
  • Be completely painless, and there is no need for anesthesia.
  • Require only one session for a toenail.
  • Allow people to wear shoes and nail polish immediately after treatment.
Does Red Light Therapy Kill Fungus?

How Does RLT Work?

The red light laser treatment is supposed to be applied evenly to the toenails on both feet, even on the ones that seem uninfected. Doing so may reduce the chances of re-infections, and the entire process lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes. If you want to try this type of treatment, you should consult your doctor

However, you can try and do the procedure at home with a handheld red light therapy lamp. Just ensure that you stick to the recommended time of skin exposure. Red light therapy may be safe and does not produce much heat for any damage or burning of the skin. 

You may notice a difference after one session by doing the low-level laser treatment. If the infection is resistant and there is no normal nail growth, you may need another laser treatment. This is a rare occurrence when all ten nails are severely infected. You can try an additional eight to 12 months of infrared therapy


According to multiple clinical studies, 88% of the patients that have used red light therapy as a treatment for fungus have grown normal-looking nails. The most extraordinary fact is that the nail plate grew even after one treatment. You should follow the procedure for six to 12 months to get the full benefits and clean toenails.


There are no limitations or age and health restrictions regarding red light laser treatment. Most clinical studies on this treatment have shown no signs of adverse reactions, disabilities, or injuries.

As you are probably aware, the usage of the available medication today as a treatment for fungus carries a possibility of systemic involvement that is most commonly associated with the kidney or liver. However, the laser does not. It may be safe for breastfeeding mothers and patients on blood thinners.

Red Light Therapy and Insurance Coverage

If you decide to do the red light treatment in a doctor’s office, the consultation is usually just a short visit with a doctor. They need to diagnose whether or not you are suffering from fungus and discuss any options for treatment.

Since red light therapy is considered an aesthetic (cosmetic) treatment, unfortunately, it is not covered by health insurance plans. The most reliable clinics that offer this treatment accept all major credit cards and bank checks.

However, if you are 100% certain that you have fungus, you can try and expose yourself to red light from the comfort of your home.

You Might Be Interested: Is Red Light Therapy FDA Approved?

How to Prevent Recurrent Toenail Fungus

There are a couple of things that you can do to prevent recurrent toenail fungus, such as:

  • If you get pedicures regularly, ensure that the spa you visit sterilizes its instruments.
  • Before using toenail clippers, clean them with alcohol, and make sure you regularly switch the emery boards and orange sticks.
  • Make sure you clean your shoes with antifungal on a regular basis, at least once a week. You can use a hairdryer to dry them.
  • Change your socks as frequently as you can. If you have sweaty feet, we recommend that you keep your feet as clean as possible by going through a few pairs on a daily basis. 
  • Your athletic shoes must be dry at all times. If you exercise almost every day, you can try and buy athletic or running shoes that are a half size larger than your normal shoe. This way, you will not bash your nails every time you jog or train.


Does red light therapy kill fungus? As much as we like to provide you with a more defined answer, it is a complex question that needs explaining. By thoroughly reading our article, you can conclude that red light therapy may, in fact, help with fungus. 

For the treatment to be successful, you must be patient, start working out regularly, eat some healthy food, and of course, consult with your doctor before doing anything.

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