There’s been a lot of talk about red light therapy and the potential dangers of using RLT. Even though many supported claims show RLT as safe, a few side effects are associated with this type of treatment. So, what are the most common red light therapy dangers? Are they just a myth, or there’s more to it?
Although red light therapy may often be used for muscle tissue, wound healing, treating skin issues such as scarring acne, and even reducing signs of aging and wrinkles, as well as treating many different conditions, we need to be wary of the dangers. So let’s get to it!
Red Light Therapy Dangers: Myths and Truth
Red light therapy is a treatment that involves exposing the skin to a low wavelength of red light. This type of therapy is implemented to possibly help treat skin problems, improve skin appearance, and help treat other medical conditions.
This therapy requires exposing your skin to red light using a lamp, laser, or devices designed specifically for this treatment. It may provide effects by creating a biochemical impact on the cells, strengthening the mitochondria that soak the light to create more energy.
Even though red light therapy may be used for almost every health condition, the evidence for it as a cure is limited.
That said, it may be used to help treat such conditions and possibly assist in treating mental health problems, weight loss, neck and back pain, and others.
This therapy may also be used during cancer treatments, but only to activate other medications. If you want to know more about red light therapy dangers and myths, we suggest you continue reading this article.
Before starting with any treatment, it is necessary to make sure you are familiar with all the details to get the most out of it and avoid side effects.
This type of therapy works similarly to tanning beds
This misconception about therapy with red light comes from the fact that the machines used for red light therapy resemble tanning beds. However, the effects provided by both of them are different.
As we have already mentioned, red light therapy includes using red and infrared light to possibly help with the treatment, whereas tanning beds use UV lights intended for tanning.
Also, the purpose of the tanning beds is to make you more tan and red light therapy machines may be used for treating skin issues and different conditions.
It may burn your skin
Another myth regarding red light therapy is that it can burn your skin. The red light emirates glow, often associated with high heat.
However, the lasers from red light therapy devices are designed to dissipate heat, so they will not burn or damage your skin.
The light used in this type of therapy is red and near-infrared as opposed to UV lights that can burn your skin if exposed to it for a long period. You also don’t have to put on any cream for skin protection during red light therapy.
This type of therapy is risk-free
Even though there are many benefits, red light therapy may not be suitable for everyone and may cause some side effects if not used properly.
Such treatment may not be appropriate for photosensitive people. This is because users can get migraines or seizures from such a bright light which can also cause discoloration, even though the likelihood of it happening is small.
Such therapy is also not recommended for pregnant women or people with bipolar disorder. Hence, this type of therapy might not suit everyone, so contacting a medical professional and taking proper care is necessary.
It is used for treating only one condition
Another common misconception is that red light therapy can be used for treating only one condition.
Some people believe it is used only for treating skin, others for weight loss, and others for treating chronic pain and depression.
As mentioned, red light therapy may be beneficial for treating many conditions; however, the effects may vary depending on several factors.
What is excellent about this type of treatment is that it is easy to use and painless. On top of that, many users consider red light therapy safe and well-tolerated.
Still, you need to be aware of some side effects that you might experience before you start the treatment.
Some users can experience burns if they use the device with the unit in place due to exceeding the recommended time or falling asleep.
It is also important to check whether the device works properly, as corrosion or even broken wires can cause skin burns.
Moreover, although red light therapy uses low light levels and doesn’t expose your skin to damaging UV lights, it can be risky for your eyes.
Therefore, it is recommended to use safety goggles during such treatments, and they often come in the package when you purchase a red light therapy device to use at home.
Additional side effects
Other adverse effects that some users might experience from red light therapy include eyestrain, headaches, sleep disturbances, and irritability. With that being said, such side effects are minor and are not long-lasting.
Most of the adverse effects are due to photosensitivity reactions that can cause stinging, burning, and redness.
Another important thing to mention is that infrared light is more likely to cause side effects if not properly used as it is thermal energy.
If the skin tissue is overheated, the ability of the cells to repair DNA will be reduced, which can lead to skin issues.
During red light therapy, your skin is exposed to light levels that are not harmful. However, if you overexpose your skin to this type of light, this treatment can cause cell and tissue damage.
For this reason, it is necessary to look for experienced practitioners who know about this type of treatment or use the device at home you have purchased with utmost care to avoid burns or skin and eye damage.
People with severe medical conditions should also contact a medical professional before using red light therapy to ensure that it is safe for them and won’t put their health at risk.
Equally important is to wear eye protection and avoid staring directly at the light, especially if the light source uses a laser.
Common Mistakes When Using RLT
It is necessary to use the device properly and as recommended to get the most out of your treatment and achieve the desired results efficiently.
One common mistake many users make is not using a red light therapy device consistently, which can impact the effectiveness of such a therapy.
Removing clothes from the area exposed to a red light is also necessary since they can block the light from penetrating your skin and providing effects.
The distance between your skin and the red light therapy device is vital, as standing too close or far from the device can impact your results.
We recommend standing between 12-36 inches away from the device for the device to penetrate the skin tissue and give the necessary effects.
Additional details to be mindful off
When using red light therapy at home, it is also recommended to adjust the right settings and use the device long enough to provide effects but not exceed the time to avoid side effects.
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is also beneficial during such therapy, as well as using a device of a size that is suitable for your treatment.
As we can see, therapy with red light may give many potential benefits. Still, realistic expectations are of utmost importance as such therapy is a process and requires dedication, consistency, and patience.
It is also recommended to track your progress regularly to see if you are getting any results.
Contact a medical professional to inform them of the treatment and stay informed about the potential positive and negative effects on your well-being from red light therapy.
Potential Benefits and Medical Uses of Using RLT
Red light therapy devices may treat various skin conditions, such as scarring and acne, and improve skin appearance and health.
It is also known to possibly help reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots and improve the skin’s elasticity. This therapy may increase collagen production and heal skin damaged by the sun or wounded.
Other known benefits of red light therapy are possible reduced inflammation, which then eases skin disorders symptoms, arthritis, muscle soreness, and more.
On top of that, red light may stimulate metabolism, causing the fat cells to shrink. Many professional athletes also use red light therapy for better bodily function and reduce recovery time.
However, the scientific evidence showcasing the support for this type of therapy when treating severe medical conditions is limited.
It may help with pain, bone health, and sleep
Dealing with chronic pain can be excruciating for many people, and red light therapy may help reduce pain.
Moreover, the therapy with red light may also help the wounds heal fast as it activates stem cells and supports healthy tissue and collagen formation.
Red light may be effective for bone health and enhance the immune system’s function. It may also help with hair loss as it stimulates the hair follicles to grow and may increase blood flow and collagen production.
Also, many people dealing with sleep problems have expressed that red light therapy may promote healthy and restful sleep.
Additional benefits of using RLT
Among the benefits the users can experience from red light therapy may be balancing hormones and improving thyroid health.
The near-infrared light often used during such treatment may also help the treatment of brain injuries and be very beneficial for people dealing with mental health problems, as well as support melanin production.
Another beneficial thing about this type of treatment is that it is non-toxic and non-invasive.
However, if the red light therapy device is misused, including being used too often or not as directed, there are potential risks of damaging your skin and eyes.
Therefore, before you start using this type of treatment, it is recommended to contact a dermatologist or a licensed and qualified cosmetic therapist to get professional advice on whether red light therapy is safe for you. Also, the professional will advise you on how often you can use it to treat skin or other medical conditions.
Where Can You Get Red Light Therapy?
Depending on the condition or problem you would like to treat, you can get red light therapy treatment in doctor’s offices, dental offices, and salons.
However, as the popularity of red light for treating skin issues is growing, you can also purchase a red light therapy device that you can use at home.
It is essential to mention that red light therapy needs to be used cautiously, as recommended, to avoid any uncomfortable effects.
How Long to Use Red Light Therapy?
Now that you are more familiar with red light therapy, we need to mention more details on how long this type of treatment can be pursued.
The results from red light therapy can vary but are usually noticeable within several weeks or months of consistent use.
The results can also depend on several factors, including the severity of your condition, age, health, immune system, and lifestyle choices.
That said, it is crucial to use this type of therapy cautiously and as recommended to avoid experiencing uncomfortable effects. Start slowly to determine your sensitivity if you use red light therapy for the first time.
Even though using red light for a long time may not burn your skin, it can cause redness and stiffness, which is why it is necessary to use the device as recommended by professionals.
Hence, if you use a device at home, you can do 20-minute sessions per one body part from three to five times a week.
If you plan on using this type of therapy for treating chronic conditions, get a professional opinion.
Given all points mentioned in this article about red light therapy dangers: myths and truth, we can conclude that red light therapy is a non-invasive and painless treatment that uses red light to possibly help treat skin and medical conditions.
However, it is necessary to follow all of the recommendations from professionals when under red light therapy to avoid any adverse effects and damage to your skin and eyes. If you are unsure whether you need red light therapy for your condition, discuss your health concerns with your healthcare provider or talk to a medical professional with knowledge of this field. They will help you find out what treatment options work best for your condition to achieve the desired results.
Hello! I’m Nicky Rodgers.
Almost a decade ago, I got excited about the idea of employing alternative methods like red light therapy to create a healthier life.
To learn more about it, I did my Certified Light Therapist course from Photonic Therapy Institute and started looking into the intricacies of how light therapy influences several bodily processes. Before I knew it, my interest had become an obsession which resulted in this extensive blog.
Here, I offer countless well-researched articles to help you understand the benefits and uses of light therapy. I hope this information gives you a head start in your wellness journey.