How To Use Red Light Therapy At Home For Different Purposes

Red light therapy (RLT) isn’t just used for medical purposes; it’s also used for aesthetic ones. An instinctive desire to enhance one’s appearance is both normal and admirable. As a way to treat acne, wrinkles, and regrow hair, red light therapy has become increasingly popular.

On the surface, treating yourself using red light is simple: Switch your light on, aim it at the body part you wish to treat, and then hold it there for 10-20 minutes. However, there are a number of important factors that need to be considered to get the best possible results. These considerations can be the difference between remarkable healing and no healing.

In this article, you’ll find a few tips on how you can use red light therapy for various purposes. 

At-home Red Light Therapy Devices

There are several types of red light devices you can use at home for different purposes. The size, power, shape, and coverage of these devices differ.

Here is a complete breakdown:

1. Red Light Face Mask

You can breathe easily with this device because it covers your whole face and aligns comfortably with your nose and mouth. Straps keep the device firmly in place, so you don’t have to worry about it falling out. To prevent choking hazards, it should be used lying down with the power cord carefully connected. (Be careful not to fall asleep with this on).

2. Red Light Helmet

Like a hat, this device is worn on top of the head to address hair growth concerns. Battery-powered helmets are easy to use and do not interfere with your ability to move around.

3. Red Light Lamp

This lamp is designed to project light down like a shower cap dispensing water. Light is exposed effectively on your face, neck, and chest.

4. Red Light Handheld Device

It’s perfect for targeting small areas of the body, such as the groin or a leg. Because it is easily maneuverable and flexible, it is ideal for traveling because it can be packed into a small bag.

5. Red Light Mobile Stand

A mobile stand is used to shine red light on the entire upper part of the body from the head to the torso while providing some degree of mobility. The device can have wheels for movement or a hook for hanging on or just sturdy legs to hold it in place as you move it from one location to the next.

6. Red Light Bed

This interesting alternative offers a fully immersive experience. A red light-emitting bulb covers the entire surface of the bed, and a bulb-filled ceiling surrounds you when it is closed. Whether the ceiling closes entirely or not, there is sufficient air inside for you to breathe while your entire body is treated with red light. While inside, a pillow can be placed beneath the neck to prevent unnecessary discomfort.

7. Red Light Full Body Panel

Unlike red light beds, this device exposes only one side of the entire body to red light, and you must turn to expose the other half. The person must also be standing rather than lying down.

Considering all we’ve discussed, you might wonder, “Can I use RLT at home without relying on medical professionals?” Yes, and we’ll discuss that next.

DIY Red Light Therapy At Home

Here are the cosmetic and physiological benefits of red light therapy (RLT), along with step-by-step instructions on how to use it:

1. Getting Rid Of Face Wrinkles

As we age, wrinkles are still debated in the scientific community as to what exactly causes them. According to the ‘Disrepair accumulation theory’, when collagen and elastic fibers fail to repair themselves properly, this leads to the gradual accumulation of errors over time. This creates compressions, folds, and ridges on the skin that we perceive as wrinkles.

To deal with this problem, people turn to medical innovations like plastic surgery and Botox, but these solutions often have dangerous risks and side effects. Red light therapy, on the other hand, offers a potential solution that doesn’t have these negative effects.

RLT increases cellular energy by stimulating ATP production. The more energy cells have available, the easier it is for them to grow, detoxify, and most importantly, repair damage. An RLT treatment reverses damage caused by disrepair accumulation and aligns skin cells for younger, more elastic skin. Besides stimulating new capillaries, RLT promotes greater blood circulation to skin cells, which receive more oxygen and nutrients to grow properly.

How To Use An RLT Face Mask For Wrinkles:

  1. Clean your face of any makeup that might interfere with red light photons penetrating the skin.
  2. Connect the face mask to a power source and set it to your preferred wavelength to get the best results.
  3. Attach the face mask to your face and lie down on a chair or bed so the mask can stay firmly in place
  4. Wait for 30 minutes as the RLT device does its job and then remove the device from your face.

2. Treating Hair Loss

Follicles are tiny organic sacs that produce hair strands. The follicles are located on the dermal layer of the skin and contain up to 20 different types of cells that determine the attributes of the strand that develops. Hair strands develop in three distinct stages in these follicles. The first is called anagen, and it lasts 2-6 years, during which all the hair that we see grows. The second is called catagen, and it only lasts 2 weeks during which the follicle stops growing hair in order to rejuvenate itself. The third stage called telogen, which lasts a maximum of 4 months, during which the follicle is dormant.

Hair loss is a common condition that affects many men above the age of 40. The main reason behind hair loss is hormonal changes in the body due to aging.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that functions as a sex steroid that gives men their unique masculine characteristics like a deep voice, muscles, and body hair. An enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase helps to convert a tenth of all testosterone in the body into DHT because it is far more powerful than testosterone. To understand the process of hair loss, it is necessary to understand how changes in DHT levels impact hair growth.

Although DHT is necessary for hair growth in other parts of the body, it causes balding on the head for unknown reasons. Around the age of 40, men’s hair follicles begin to produce high levels of DHT. The miniaturization of follicles results in poor hair growth over time, until hair stops growing entirely.

At home, red light-emitting devices shaped like helmets can be used to treat balding. Every day, 30 minutes of exposure is enough to stimulate hair growth as well as thickness, density, and strength. Using photons at specific wavelengths, the technology improves blood circulation and oxidation by irradiating scalp tissue. Hair follicles cannot be created by RLT, but they are able to grow stronger and healthier with it.

The National Library of Medicine reports that researchers conducted a double-blind experiment on 41 males in 2014 to prove the concept. Every day for 16 weeks, half of them received laser therapy at 655nm using helmet-like devices, while the other half received a placebo.

The genuine treatment resulted in a 39% increase in hair count for those who received it at the end of the trial. In order to verify the data’s legitimacy, an independent third-party investigator examined it. It was equally impressive that the treatment did not produce any negative side effects.

According to a separate study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine by Doctor Panchaprateep R, red light therapy reverses follicle miniaturization caused by DLT accumulation. For six months, participants in this study were exposed to RLT for 25 minutes every day.

It is now beyond debate that the results have been accepted by the mainstream scientific community. You can schedule your therapy according to your work schedule when you can treat yourself at home. In addition, you don’t have to pay for treatments in hospitals or spas once you have the device at home.

How To Use An RLT Helmet For Hair Loss:

  1. Shorter hair is better than longer hair because it can prevent light from reaching the skin for absorption. Cutting is not necessary but a helpful tactic.
  2. Connect the helmet to a power source or just turn it on if it is battery-powered.
  3. A hands-free device does not require you to sit or lie down so you can continue with life as usual as you wait
  4. After 30 minutes take off the RLT helmet and store it safely

3. Healing Scars From Acne Or Cuts

Acne is a skin condition that develops when dead skin cells and oil accumulate in hair follicles. These sores then swell and cause lesions on the dermis. If the lesions are shallow, then the skin will heal normally, but if they are too deep, then the skin may attempt to fill the gaps by creating new skin tissue using collagen, but the new skin will be rough and flawed presenting the appearance of scars. An astonishing 60 million Americans have acne, and 25% of them will develop permanent scars as a result of the condition.

A simple handheld device emitting red light waves can be held against the areas of your face that you wish to heal. Old scars that have formed due to past injuries or incisions have been shown to gradually fade and even disappear after prolonged use of Red light therapy. 

In the affected area, a 15-minute treatment every day is enough to revitalize the skin and gradually eliminate scars. Photobiostimulation may cause the affected area to turn red and feel sensitive for a short period of time, but these effects are generally mild.

How To Use Handheld RLT Devices For Scars:

  1. Identify the area you want to treat because handheld devices can only cover a limited surface area
  2. Clean the area of any acne creams that may have been applied especially if based on alcohol or Benzoyl peroxide.
  3. Set the optimal RLT wavelength for your needs.
  4. Use your free hand to hold the device in place for 15 minutes consistently without interrupting the procedure.

4. Repairing Sun Damage

UV rays from the sun can be harmful or beneficial depending on the time of day. The morning and late afternoon sun provide the ideal amount of UV exposure for vitamin D absorption.

Sun damage can occur when direct skin contact occurs between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Moles, gray patches, freckles, and even skin pigmentation are signs of sun damage.

Through mitochondrial photoenergy infusion, red light therapy improves the immune system, increases collagen production, facilitates better lymphatic function, and increases energy levels in skin cells.

You can remove freckles and moles using red light therapy and a soft textured cloth soaked in green tea moisturizer combined with mild scrubbing. Scrubbing removes accumulated dead cells that cause poor skin development. After scrubbing, follow up with a 30-minute RLT procedure. This will promote the growth of stronger and less susceptible to sun damage skin cells.

How To Use A Red Light Lamp To Treat Sun Damage:

  1. Avoid wearing clothes, watches, or necklaces that might block the light from reaching the areas affected by sun damage, such as the hands and the chest.
  2. Scrub your skin to get rid of accumulated layers of dead tissue.
  3. Connect the lamp to a power source at a location where you can sit comfortably, as you receive the red rays.
  4. Wait for 30 minutes as your skin absorbs the photons
  5. Turn off the device and store it away carefully for use on the following day.

5. Reducing The Impact Of Psoriasis

About 8 million Americans and 2% of the global population suffer from psoriasis. This is a skin condition in which skin cells increase at a rate of ten times their normal production rate leading to the formation of patches of dry scaly skin.

The disease is thought to have genetic causes, but it is triggered into action by environmental factors like skin trauma, which activates an autoimmune response.

If you have psoriasis you can reduce the impact of the disease by exposing the affected area of skin with an RLT device for 20 minutes a day. Proof of this was shown in 2010 when a doctor named Ablon G published the results of his research on using RLT on psoriasis. The article published in ‘Photo medicine and laser surgery’ showed that patients exposed to RLT for one month had 60% to 100% clearance rate of the disease. Skin inflammation and irritation were reduced tremendously, giving them a higher level of satisfaction compared to other treatment options.

How To Use A Full-Body Panel To Treat Psoriasis:

  1. Because psoriasis can affect all areas of the body, a full body panel is an ideal treatment.
  2. Take off most of your clothes but your undergarments and stand in front of the device
  3. Turn on the machine and expose the front part of your body to the light for 10 minutes
  4. Turn around and expose your back to the light for 10 minutes

6. Treating Rosacea

Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects 16 million Americans, with millions more experiencing temporary periods of remission before the disease flares up again. Rosacea causes puss-filled pimples, swelling bumps, and blood vessels bursting in the face. Other symptoms include redness in the chicks, an enlarged nose, and swollen bumps across the face.

It is unknown what causes rosacea, but genetics appears to be a factor since children tend to get it if their parents do as well. As yet, there is no cure for the disease, and it usually comes and goes as it pleases, sometimes for months at a time.

As red light therapy promotes blood flow and capillary formation, it might explain why it is effective for treating rosacea, which causes blood vessels in the face to burst. There are more vessels in the face, so blood has more options, reducing the chances of them bursting.

A RLT treatment can also speed up the healing of broken blood vessels and repair areas of the skin that have been damaged by pimples or drying out. When collagen formation, energy production, and blood flow are stimulated, the skin looks younger and more rejuvenated.

How To Use An RLT Facemask For Rosacea:

  1. Clean your face of any makeup that might interfere with red light photons penetrating the skin.
  2. Connect the face mask to a power source and set it to your preferred wavelength to get the best results.
  3. Attach the face mask to your face and lie down on a chair or bed so the mask can stay firmly in place
  4. Wait for 30 minutes as the RLT device does its job and then remove the device from your face.

7. Alleviating Depression And Improving Mood

Across most of the developed world, depression has reached pandemic proportions. Working, raising a family, and existential nihilism have all contributed to increasing levels of sadness and anger. The number of Americans suffering from depression is estimated to be 17 million per year. This can lead to low work productivity, loss of interest in socializing, and, in the worst cases, suicide.

While antidepressants are somewhat effective at treating depression, they can also cause side effects including nausea, fatigue, constipation, dryness, blurry vision, and weight gain. In response, researchers have sought to find more natural alternatives to medication, and RLT has shown great promise.

RLT improves mood in part because it improves sleep cycles. In general, sleep disorders like insomnia increase stress, irritability, and depression. The mood is improved when sleep patterns are improved.

RLT also impacts mood by increasing cellular energy production through increased ATP production. The main function of adenosine triphosphate, as explained earlier, is to produce, transmit, and store energy. Having more ATP in your body will give you more energy, which will improve your mood. Low energy is a common complaint among people who are depressed.

Finally, there is the issue of seasonal affective disorder or SAD. During the summer, people feel happier, but during the winter, they feel sad. People who feel this way tend to dismiss it as mere boredom caused by a lack of outdoor activities. This has more to do with the fact that the human body needs sunlight to absorb vitamins through the skin

As people tend to stay indoors during winter, this number tends to decline. Moreover, artificial light emits blue light even if it cannot be clearly seen. The retina absorbs blue light, which interferes with circadian rhythm, resulting in mood disorders.

How To Use An RLT Bed For Depression:

  1. An RLT bed provides for maximum absorption of red light, making it ideal for mood disorders. Start by turning on the device and calibrating your optimal wavelength and intensity.
  2. Take off all your clothes and jewelry except your undergarments (bra or boxers).
  3. Wear goggles to prevent retinal damage
  4. Step into the sleeping bed and close the door 
  5. Wait for 20 minutes and then exit the machine

8. Reduce Sleeping Disorders

The human body needs a minimum of seven hours of sleep every day to function properly. But it is not enough to just get the seven hours; it has to be consistent and uninterrupted, or else the body’s internal clock goes out of whack. Disrupted sleep-wake cycles lead to obesity, heart disease, and mood disorders. Cognitive function also declines as it becomes harder to think and solve complex problems.

Even before getting into RLT, it should be noted that normal light impacts our body’s sleeping patterns. We have evolutionarily developed a circadian clock that interprets light as a sign that we should be awake and darkness as a sign we should be asleep. Blue light, for example, is the worst bulb color you can choose for your bedroom because it encourages you to stay awake.

The relationship between RLT and melatonin is crucial to understanding how it helps improve sleeping patterns. Melatonin has a molecular mass of 232.28 g/mol and formula of C13H16N2O2. It is produced by the pineal gland in the third ventricle of the brain. Its primary function is to regulate the sleep-wake pattern in mammals. About 3 million Americans use sleeping pills with melatonin in them.

Melatonin naturally emerges about two hours before sleep, but its production can be artificially influenced by the type of light we are exposed to. Blue light, for example, operating at 460-480nm reduces melatonin creation while red light increases it.

According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training (JAT) in 2012, red light therapy improved the sleep quality of a team of elite basketball players. For two weeks, half the team received red light photon radiation while the other half received a placebo. The group that received the therapy experienced better sleep and serum melatonin levels. The players’ physical performance also increased because sleep helps the body heal broken tissue, improve cognitive function and replenish lost energy.

How To Use A Light Mobile Stand To Treat Sleeping Disorders:

  1. Red light mobile stands provide a high intake of red light due to a large surface area, making them ideal for sleeping problems. Start by finding a suitable location and then turning it on.
  2. Take off most of your clothes but your undergarments and stand in front of the device.
  3. Turn on the machine and expose the front part of your body to the light for 10 minutes.
  4. Turn around and expose your back to the light for 10 minutes.

These are just a few of the many ways you can use red light therapy (RLT) at home.

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