Red Light therapy as a treatment is slowly becoming more available and also gaining fame for its reputed cosmetic and healing benefits. The process involves the use of red light wavelengths to beautify the skin by stimulating the natural processes the body uses to repair itself.
This cutting edge technology is recognized by many dermatologists for having rejuvenating effects on the skin - restoring a measure of youthful firmness - as well as reducing the symptoms of certain skin conditions like adult acne, eczema, etc.
The Principles of Red Light Therapy and Fibroblast Cells
The principles of red light therapy are based on the dynamics of light on the skin. Red light wavelengths within the ranges of 600 -630 (nm) nanometers have the unique ability of penetrating directly in to the fibroblast cells beneath the skin.
Fibroblast cells are responsible for regulating the collagen and elastin levels in the skin, two important compounds the body uses to maintain soft skin and repair injuries . As we age the production of collagen in the dermis is diminished for different reasons - stress, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, UV rays and more take their toll on collagen production.
When these fibroblast cells are energized by red light waves, they go to work - the results are the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles as well as visibly firmer skin. The results compare with a full cosmetic enhancement when they are actually accomplished by stimulating the body to begin repairing itself.
The Development of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy, like so many innovations we humans enjoy, was originally developed for an entirely different purpose altogether. NASA space projects, researching the possibilities of long distance space travel, were looking for a way to grow plants and heal wounds in the darkness of space.
Whether they found a way to build a farm on the moon is anybody's guess, but during their experimentation, NASA found that the effects of red light therapy could be used in stopping the spread of certain cancers and may also have positive applications in the fields of cosmetic therapy and skin treatments.
How Safe is Red Light Therapy?
Doctors and Mothers have been warning us for ever about the terrible effects certain types of light can have on our skin. We are all familiar with the sun burn and terrified at the prospect of developing skin cancer - also known as melanoma - from overexposure to UV rays.
It is true that the skin is greatly affected by light and can react badly if treated with incorrect dosages, by the same measure there are equally as many benefits to be gained from proper application of light.
Red light therapy is also called "linear infrared light" -- because unlike infrared waves which exist off the spectrum of visible light, red light wavelengths are still visible. Red light waves exist on the opposite side of the spectrum from harmful UV rays. Although red light therapy is administered on what looks like a conventional tanning bed, the similarities end there.
Red light therapy uses LED bulbs, which emit no UV rays - unlike a tanning bed which provides a tan by treating the skin with UV rays emitted by fluorescent lights.
So what are the risks of red light therapy?
Although a cautionary notice has been released to those with photo sensitivity, red light therapy has no reported risks or negative side effects . As a matter of fact, red light therapy has been used in conjunction with photo therapy, which uses light to effectively address a large number of human health conditions, ranging from muscular injury to depression.