One of the problems of growing older is that your skin grows old, too, possibly making you look older than you are. While this is not pleasant for most people that have this issue, there may be a way to restore a more youthful appearance to your skin. It’s called red light therapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), laser therapy, and more.
Effects and Uses on the Skin
Although the use and value of red light therapy is still under investigation, many people have found it to be helpful – particularly in its effect on the skin. The treatment using red light began with NASA and was first used to treat astronauts to help their wounds heal faster. It is currently widely used to treat several skin conditions that include:
- Skin cancer (and other types)
- Pain relief.
How It Works
Much is known already about how it works and what it does when illuminating skin. In addition to the above uses, it encourages the production of collagen (which makes your skin more elastic), increases the amount of circulation in your blood vessels, and reduces cellular inflammation.
When the red light is radiating the skin its effects are numerous. Although it will take numerous treatments, they can improve your facial texture, make scars, age spots, and stretch marks less visible, as well as reduce the fine lines and wrinkles.
Other Possible Red Light Therapy Benefits
Laser therapy has been used for some time in medicine and dentistry to reduce pain. It does this by helping to reduce inflammation and enabling injuries to heal faster. It has also been shown to increase nitric oxide, which helps to prevent platelets from clumping, energizes cells, and controls high blood pressure.
Many health problems are now being tested to determine the effectiveness of red light therapy for treatment. It is being tested on conditions such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, inflammation of the thyroid, and tendonitis.
Infrared Light and Cancer
In some cases, particularly in people with cancer, a chemical called a photosensitizer is used. This method of treatment is called photodynamic therapy (PDT). The infrared light activates these chemicals, which are absorbed more readily into cancerous cells, and the light destroys them. This treatment is now being used to treat many types of cancer.
Red Light Treatments and Dementia
Professional medical teams are widely using laser light to treat many forms of cancer. The process is called photobiomodulation (PBM). Tests that took place in the UK were the first to put red light into special helmets to determine its effectiveness on patients with mild dementia.
People with dementia often have trouble sleeping. Light therapy – using bright lights – seem to be effective in helping to regulate circadian rhythm problems.
Some studies using red light therapy were very positive in treating Alzheimer’s. The helmet’s red light therapy showed that they reversed some of the amyloid deposits – and it was verified in an MRI. The time involved before being tested with an MRI was 12 weeks.
It has helped people in their middle ages to have better memory, increased cognitive function, less anxiety, and improved motor control. Similar helmet-type devices are now available on the market.
Safety of Red Light Therapy
While testing has been limited to small groups of people, it appears to be free of any side effects. Too few tests have been conducted and more people need to be involved to fully understand the long-term effects. It is uncertain how it may increase longevity but its ability to heal faster, energize cells, reduce inflammation, and eliminate harmful cells is certainly a step in the right direction.