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Rejuvenate your Skin with Red and Near Infrared Light Therapy

rejuvenate your skin with red and near infrared light therapy

Red and near-infrared light therapies are among the safest and most effective anti-aging skincare treatments in the world today – and they are increasingly being used by dermatologists and skincare professionals alike to rejuvenate skin and treat many skin conditions including wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, scars and to heal injuries.

The scientific and clinical research from many prestigious universities like Harvard continue validating these red light therapy benefits as more and more studies churn out reports of reduced acne and eczema, improved healing of wounds, reduced swelling and inflammation, improved skin elasticity, increased collagen formation and an overall anti-aging effect on human skin cells.[1]

In this article you’re going to learn how red light therapy works to benefit the skin and how you can begin using it today to help energize and rejuvenate your skin for a younger, healthier, more youthful appearance.

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How Does Red Light Therapy Heal and Rejuvenate Skin?

Over 50,000 studies to date have proven red and near-infrared light therapy safe and effective for literally dozens of diseases and conditions.  You can read all about the many diseases and conditions that red light can help heal in my #1 bestselling book Red Light Therapy: Miracle Medicine.  When it comes to skin health and appearance, virtually every aspect of health and beauty can be improved using red light.  Before we get into all the skin conditions red light can treat, let’s quickly go over how it works.

Red and near-infrared light therapy directly applies healing wavelengths of light energy to cells, where it is used to increase cellular energy production.  Cytochrome c oxidase, an enzyme first discovered by German scientist Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg in the 1930’s, acts as a photo acceptor to the red light.  Once the cytochrome enzymes within the mitochondria of all your cells absorb the red and near-infrared light, the production of energy is enhanced. 

With increased energy, every cell, organ and tissue in the body performs better, including your skin.  According to a Harvard publication by Dr. Michael Hamblin and his colleagues, this energy can be used “to reduce pain, inflammation, edema, and to regenerate damaged tissues such as wounds, bones and tendons.”[2]

Red and near-infrared light therapies also benefit the skin by stimulating the release of stem cells, which migrate to the site of tissue damage and help repair and restore the skin[3].

Another key component to improving skin health is red light’s ability to increase circulation.  With increased circulation, more blood and essential nutrients carried within the serum are able to reach the area to provide nourishment, and the dead cellular debris and toxic waste products are better eliminated from the body.

A review of 68 studies conducted in 2014 showed that both laser and LED red light result in decreased “inflammatory cells, increased fibroblast proliferation, stimulation of angiogenesis, granulation tissue formation and increased synthesis of collagen.”[4]

Let’s get into the many skin rejuvenating benefits of red and near-infrared light so you can see what this miraculous treatment can do for you.

Red light heals acne and blemishes

Acne vulgaris is a very common skin condition that presents with blackheads, whiteheads and inflamed spots.  Most of us have suffered from acne at some point in our lives and it affects 50 million people in the United States alone.[5]

I know I certainly battled with my share of acne when I was a teenager.  And the treatments doctors prescribed to me ranged from ineffective to downright damaging, like the drug Accutane which for me came with serious unexpected side effects (read more about it in my book Red Light Therapy: Miracle Medicine ).  What if there was a treatment that could heal acne and blemishes without causing side effects?  There is: it’s called red and near-infrared light therapy.

In 2013, a human clinical trial reported red and near-infrared light therapies were effective treatments for acne vulgaris.[6] 

One of the causes of acne, according to researchers, was the overproduction of sebum in skin.  By normalizing sebum production in skin and reducing inflammation through the downregulation of inflammatory cytokines, red light was found beneficial for treating acne.

red light therapy for acne before and after
Above: Appearance of area treated by red light side at base line (a), after 5 weeks (b), and after 10 weeks (c).

Treatment time and dose:

What was the treatment time and dose they used?  Treatments were administered two times per week for 12 sessions.  Unfortunately the scientists didn’t share the exact treatment time per session but the good news is you can’t really go wrong with red light treatment.  The session time they used in the study may not have been the ideal anyways.  So experiment with it.  The main thing is that you shine light on your skin; 5-10 minutes or longer will be fine.

Red light therapy reduces wrinkles and fine lines

One of the more impressive benefits of red light therapy on the skin is its almost unparalleled ability to smooth wrinkles and fine lines.

A 2013 meta analysis looked at existing data on red light therapy’s ability to reduce wrinkles, smooth skin and enhance skin health.  “The treated subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling,… and ultrasonographically measured collagen density,” they wrote.[8]

red light therapy for wrinkles before and after pictures

Red light reduces wrinkles and skin aging:
After looking at numerous studies, red light therapy was found to be a safe and effective treatment for reducing wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.

Fine lines and wrinkles visibly reduced with red light therapy

Red light revitalizes skin:
Particularly effective was red light’s ability to reduce inflammation and enhance skin regeneration, the researchers noted.

Red and Near-infrared Light Reduce Skin Inflammation

Skin exposure to red and near-infrared light improves blood flow throughout the body, which reduces acute and chronic inflammation and speeds healing.  “One of the most reproducible effects of PBM [photobiomodulation – a fancy term for red laser therapy] is an overall reduction in inflammation,” reported Dr. Hamblin in 2017.  Another benefit of red light to the skin is its potent antioxidant effects, which protect it and the entire body from the many environmental threats we face on a daily basis, including poisons in food, personal care products and ionizing radiation.[9]

Red light’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and blood flow-enhancing properties are some of the key reasons for its health-promoting, anti-aging effects on the skin.

Red and Near-Infrared Light Boost Collagen Production

Many studies have shown that red light increases the health and vitality of skin by boosting the production of collagen.  What is collagen?

Collagen is a proteinous matrix that holds skin and literally the entire body together.  It is contained in ball and socket joints in the body, which also benefit from the red light.  In food, collagen can be found in sticky and delicious bone broths, which is why broth is such a healing, revlitalizing food.  In addition to getting collagen from dietary sources, you can also use red light to stimulate your body to manufacture more of it naturally.

After treatment with natural light, including specific wavelengths of near-infrared light, Brazilian scientists reported “an increase in collagen synthesis” in their 2018 study,[10] and numerous other studies have validated this effect.[11,12,13]

Studies on humans and in animals have used red light to successfully stimulate quicker skin regeneration and boost natural collagen production.[8,14]

Scientific Research reports Significant improvements in skin health from red light

Red and near-infrared light therapies are currently being used at some of the leading dermatology clinics, spas and salons worldwide to rejuvenate the skin of their patients.  Of particular interest to many of these industries is the seemingly miraculous ability of light therapy to reduce scars, skin aging and wrinkles.  In a clinical setting red light therapy is generally used for more serious issues like recovering from surgery, burns and other wounds.

Red light therapy smoothes and removes Cellulite

Cellulite is a skin surface irregularity that develops usually in the buttocks and thigh area in all races and in both men and women, where the surface of the skin becomes fibrous and bumpy.  It’s estimated that 85% of women older than 20 years have some degree of cellulite.[15]

Common medical treatments for cellulite include cryolipolysis, high-intensity focused ultrasound and liposuction which can be extremely traumatic, with serious potential side effects and in the end it doesn’t work very well.  Check out our article on red light therapy for weight loss for more information on fat loss as well as the potential dangers of liposuction.

A 2016 study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine applied near-infrared laser to 16 subjects who had grade II and grade III cellulite.  The study reports “a much-improved overall appearance” and that “Satisfaction was high for both physicians and patients with scores corresponding to extremely satisfied/satisfied.”[16]

A study from Finland treated 33 men and women for cellulite and excess fat tissue using a combination of red light and vibration therapies.  For patients with fibrous cellulite, the protocol consisted of two sessions per week for a total of 4 weeks.  Total vibration time for each session was 13 minutes and red light time was 25 minutes.

“Indeed, we have been able to demonstrate good results for the two pathological conditions [excess fat and cellulite], both at subjective and objective level,” wrote study authors.[17]

cellulite and subcutaneous fat reduced using red light therapy

Testimonials from real people show improved skin using red light

30 women eager to improve their skin had their skin treated using red light therapy in a 2017 clinical trial.  After receiving two 15-minute sessions per week for six weeks, the skin health of each patient was assessed.  “Treatment of the under eye area showed that wrinkles were significantly decreased on both sides” after red light therapy.  The study concluded that red light therapy “had positive effects on wrinkle and moisture content of adult women’s faces.”[18]

Many customers who’ve purchased End All Disease red light therapy devices have reported more youthful skin from application of red light therapy.  Here are a few of them for you now.

“Skin looks better after only 2 weeks. Dark spots on face are noticeably lighter. My vision is improving!!”
– Susan, age 60+ from Toronto, Canada

“Helping adult acne and scars; better focus throughout the day and better, more restful sleep at night.”
– Haley Wickenheiser, age 20-30 from Michigan, US

“Greatly reduced pain in knee that has no meniscus, reduces swelling in ankles. Using on different parts of my body as prescribed in your book. Skin on face, chest and arms much improved. Like the warmth, and generally enjoy using this device.”
– Keener Janssen, age 60+, California, US

Harvard Study Finds Red Light Heals Eczema, Psoriasis, Cold Sores and Vitiligo

Numerous skin conditions that mainstream medicine fails to effectively treat can benefit from red and near-infrared light therapy.  A study by Harvard researchers showed some of the many skin conditions that can be effectively treated by red light therapy including acne, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores and vitiligo.

Red light therapy for Treating Eczema & Psoriasis:  

An overwhelming number of patients who are treated medically for psoriasis and eczema find that mainstream medicine has failed them.  In 2013, researchers tested light therapy for the treatment of psoriasis and found that the skin of patients was improved by the red light, with “no adverse side effects.”[6]

Red light therapy treats Cold Sores:

Cold sores are associated with the herpes virus and there are no good medical treatments for the condition.  Red light has been found in scientific research to reduce breakout frequency as well as pain caused by cold stores.[6]  In a 2013 study, near-infrared light applied to cold sores decreased healing time by 48 hours; down to 129 hours from 177 hours.[19]

Red light repigments skin in Vitiligo:

Vitiligo is a rare condition in which pigment in skin fails to form.  The most notable example of a person with Vitiligo is Michael Jackson, who suddenly developed the condition towards the end of his life.  Although born with black skin, Jackson’s skin turned completely white because of depigmentation. 

I’m not sure if anybody truly knows the cause of the skin depigmentation that occurs in vitiligo, but what we do know is that red light therapy can help repigment skin.[14]  The research group from Harvard U in Boston, Massachussetts found that red light therapy “can increase pigmentation by stimulating melanocyte proliferation and reduce depigmentation by inhibiting autoimmunity.”[6]

Michael Jackson Vitiligo - can be treated using red light

Red light accelerates healing of cuts, burn wounds and surgery

Rapid and complete healing of skin burns, wounds, surgical trauma and reduction of pain are all critical features of care needed for the recovery of patients who’ve been in traumatic physical accidents or who’ve undergone surgery.  It turns out red light is able to accelerate healing of all tissues in the body including the skin – something that few if any prescription medications can do – and without any negative side effects.

Shine red light on any kind of cut or scrape, or the wound left behind by a surgeon’s scalpel, and the reduced inflammation and pain imparted by the light will help the injury heal more quickly and completely than it would have without it.

In 2018, a review on red light therapy for wound healing in animals reported that red light therapy “appears effective in the treatment of sutured and open wounds.” The light therapy treatment resulted in faster, more complete recovery from wounding.  “It has been demonstrated that LLLT is able to increase collagen production/wound stiffness and/or improve wound contraction.” [20]

Improved recovery from plastic surgery using red light

Many plastic surgical procedures are traumatic to the body and result in wounding from surgical incisions as well as increased inflammation which prolong recovery and the pain and discomfort associated with it.  The anti-inflammatory effects of red light, as well as its non-invasiveness make it a perfect post-op therapy for reducing inflammation, pain and accelerating the recovery process.

Turkish scientists tested the effects of near-infrared light on recovery following laser incisions in rats in 2009.  The study found a “significant difference” in inflammation 10 days after the incisions were made.   As a result, “wound closure was significantly enhanced with lllt on diode laser incisions in rats,” the study concluded.[21]

Red light reduces unwanted scars

Can scars really be healed by treating them with red light?  According to a 2004 study at the University of Vienna in Austria they can.  In the study, patients who received red light therapy showed twice the decrease in visible scarring compared to patients that didn’t receive light therapy treatment.  “Seventeen out of 19 scars exhibited an improvement after treatment,” reported scientists.[22]

15 children aged 2-10 years with burn scars were treated using red light in an Egyptian study in 2018.  “Significant improvement was reported” in burn scars of all of the children studied.  The red light therapy treatment helped heal the area and reduce the appearance of the scars, with no adverse side effects.[23]

Faster healing in burn victims with red light

Traditional burn wounds are often treated by applying antibiotic ointment to the affected area and giving the body time to heal.  One problem with these ointments are that they often contain highly toxic substances which are in themselves inflammatory and as such will actually impair the body’s ability to heal the wound. 

Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment with absolutely no side effects that can be shone onto burn wounds to help speed healing.  Increased tissue formation and reduced oxidative stress and inflammation were some of the benefits found by Brazilian researchers in a 2016 study using red light on burn wounds.[24]

A study in 2018 showed that red light aided the repair process by helping the body form new blood vessels and tissues (a process called angiogenesis).[25]

Inflammation is evidence of a defect surrounding a wound or injury, where certain inflammatory factors are suppressing proper healing, metabolism and cellular differentiation.  Red light’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects help reduce the metabolic inhibitors, which is how it helps accelerate recovery from burn wounds.  The anti-inflammatory and pro-collagen effects of red light therapy are very well established.[26,27,28]

Even in second and third degree burns red light therapy is a useful tool for significantly accelerating the healing process.[26,27,29]

More People Using End All Disease Red Lights for Skin Healing

Many people have been using End All Disease red and near-infrared light therapy devices on their skin with remarkable results.  These people often write in to tell me long lists of drugs, ointments, nutrients, diets, and other treatments they’ve tried that had failed them – and it wasn’t until they tried light therapy that they began to see results.

“Reduced pain significantly after heavy physical work-outs. I sleep better as well. Also reduced some of my wrinkles.”
– Daniel Mischuk, age 60+ from Toronto, Canada

“Improved skin condition, increased energy, decreased weight and an increase in muscle mass.”
– Eddie, age 40-50 from Tulare, California

Conclusion

Red and near-infrared light therapies are effective natural skin treatments for treating a wide variety of skin conditions and injuries including acne, wrinkles, skin rejuvenation, boosting collagen, anti-aging, eczema, cold sores, vitiligo, burn wounds, recovery from plastic surgery, reducing scar formation and overall quicker healing of all skin wounds.

In dozens of countries across the world, healthcare professionals use red and near-infrared light therapy to help their patients overcome virtually every skin challenge in existence.  Likewise, ordinary everyday people are using powerful yet inexpensive LED red and near-infrared light therapy devices like those sold in the End All Disease red light therapy store to treat themselves from the comfort of their own home.

Never in history has the power of red and near-infrared light for the skin and other ailments been so affordable and easily obtainable. 

Check out End All Disease’s red light devices if you’re ready to try red and near-infrared light therapy to improve the health and youthfulness of your skin.

References

[1] Kim HS, Park WS, Baek, et al. Continuous irradiation with a 633-nm light-emitting diode exerts an anti-aging effect on human skin cells. International Journal of Molecular Biology. 2015 February.

[2] Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and Mitochondrial Redox Signaling in Photobiomodulation”  Photochemistry and Photobiology. 2018, 94:199-212.

[3] Liao X, Li SH, Xie GH, et al. Preconditioning With Low-Level Laser Irradiation Enhances the Therapeutic Potential of Human Adipose-derived Stem Cells in a Mouse Model of Photoaged Skin. Photochemistry and Photobiomodulation. 2018 July.

[4] Emília de Abreu Chaves M, Rodrigues de Araújo A, Piancastelli ACC, and Pinotti M. “Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED.” An Bras Dermatol. 2014 Jul-Aug; 89(4): 616–623.

[5]Barbieri JS, Spaccarelli N, Margolis DJ, James WD. Approaches to limit systemic antibiotic use in acne: Systemic alternatives, emerging topical therapies, dietary modification, and laser and light-based treatments. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;80(2):538-549.

[6] Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013; 32(1): 41-52.

[7] Aziz-jalali MH, Tabaie SM, Djavid GE. Comparison of Red and Infrared Low-level Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol. 2012;57(2):128-30.

[8] Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Feb 2014; 32(2): 93-100.

[9] Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation”. AIMS Biophys. 2017; 4(3): 337–361. doi:  10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337.

[10] Brassolatti P, de Andrade ALM, et al. Photobiomodulation on critical bone defects of rat calvaria: a systematic review. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Dec;33(9):1841-1848.

[11] Pinheiro AL, Gerbi ME. Photoengineering of bone repair processes. Photomed Laser Surg. 2006;24(2):169-78.

[12] Heo JH, Choi JH, Kim IR, et al. Combined Treatment with Low-Level Laser and rhBMP-2 Promotes Differentiation and Mineralization of Osteoblastic Cells under Hypoxic Stress. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. 2018 Nov 17;15(6):793-801.

[13] Tschon M, Incerti-Parenti S, Cepollaro S, et al. Photobiomodulation with low-level diode laser promotes osteoblast migration in an in vitro micro wound model. Journal of Biomedical Optics. 2015 Jul;20(7):78002.

[14] Barolet D, Roberge CJ, et al. Regulation of skin collagen metabolism in vitro using a pulsed 660 nm LED light source: clinical correlation with a single-blinded study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2009 December.

[15] Peterson JD, Goldman MP. Laser, light, and energy devices for cellulite and lipodystrophy. Clin Plast Surg. 2011;38(3):463-74, vii.

[16] Petti C, Stoneburner J, Mclaughlin L. Laser cellulite treatment and laser-assisted lipoplasty of the thighs and buttocks: Combined modalities for single stage contouring of the lower body. Lasers Surg Med. 2016;48(1):14-22.

[17] Savoia A, Landi S, Vannini F, Baldi A. Low-level laser therapy and vibration therapy for the treatment of localized adiposity and fibrous cellulite. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2013;3(1):41-52.

[18] Kim HK, Choi JH. Effects of radiofrequency, electroacupuncture, and low-level laser therapy on the wrinkles and moisture content of the forehead, eyes, and cheek. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017 February.

[19] Dougal G, Lee SY. Evaluation of the efficacy of low-level light therapy using 1072 nm infrared light for the treatment of herpes simplex labialis. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2013;38(7):713-8.

[20] Gál P,  Stausholm MB, et al. Should open excisions and sutured incisions be treated differently? A review and meta-analysis of animal wound models following low-level laser therapy. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Aug.

[21] Güngörmüş M, Akyol U. The effect of gallium-aluminum-arsenide 808-nm low-level laser therapy on healing of skin incisions made using a diode laser. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2009 Dec.

[22] Gaida K, Koller R, et al. Low Level Laser Therapy–a conservative approach to the burn scar?

[23] Alsharnoubi J, Shoukry K, et al. Evaluation of scars in children after treatment with low-level laser. Lasers in Medical Science.

[24] Silveira PC, Ferreira KB, et al. Effect of Low-Power Laser (LPL) and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) on Inflammatory Response in Burn Wound Healing. Inflammation. 2016 Aug.

[25] da Silva Melo, Alves LP, et al. LED phototherapy in full-thickness burns induced by CO2 laser in rats skin. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Sep.

[26] Fiório FB, Albertini R, et al. Effect of low-level laser therapy on types I and III collagen and inflammatory cells in rats with induced third-degree burns. Lasers in Medical Science. 2014 Jan.

[27] Fiório FB, Silveira L Jr. Effect of incoherent LED radiation on third-degree burning wounds in rats. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2011 Dec.

[28] Rezaei Kanavi M, Tabeie F, et al. Short-term effects of extremely low-frequency pulsed electromagnetic field and pulsed low-level laser therapy on rabbit model of corneal alkali burn. Experimental Eye Research. 2016 Apr.

[29] Trajano ET, da Trajano LA, et al. Low-level red laser improves healing of second-degree burn when applied during proliferative phase. Lasers in Medical Science. 2015 May.

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