Does Red Light Therapy help treat Acne Scars?
People who have had acne know how much it can mark your skin and how difficult it is to get rid of these marks. Acne usually starts appearing during puberty and affects many teenagers and young adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), around 85% of people between 12 and 24 years of age experience at least minor acne.
Nowadays, there are several oral and topical treatments that are thought to help treat acne and minimize it. However, it can always leave some scars in the skin. And for this, there are visible light devices that have been used by dermatologists for many years as an alternative safe treatment to help kill bacteria on the skin and improve its overall condition, reducing marks or texture.
What is acne and what causes it?
Acne is a common skin condition that for many people starts during their puberty and usually appears on the face, neck, chest or even back. It starts when hair follicles under the skin get clogged with oil and dead skin cells, which leads to the formation of pimples, blackheads and sometimes cysts. It is an inflammatory disorder of the skin that can affect people differently.
Likewise, it usually goes away for many people with the years, and by their thirties, they have clear skin. However, this is not the case for everybody, since some others continue to have this skin problem for a longer time.
Why does acne leave scars on the skin?
As a result of acne inflammation, the skin tissue can get damaged and this leads to scars on the skin. This inflammation on the skin can cause your body to produce too much or too little collagen, a protein that helps the skin to heal.
Everybody’s experience with acne can be different, and that leads to certain results that show in the skin after the inflammation. The severity of the acne you have as well as your body’s response to such inflammation can contribute to the development of acne scars that may stay visible for a long time.
Treatments for acne
When it comes to treating acne, there are many treatments available, but there isn’t one that works for everybody. This makes sense since each person is different and their skin type, their skin condition, the way their body reacts to the treatment, etc., everything influences the results you will see.
The best option when trying to get rid of acne or acne scars is to contact a professional, so they can let you know what would work best for you and your skin. However, since there are so many treatments, we will mention a few:
- Topical treatments: creams, gels, or lotions containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids, which can help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and prevent new acne from forming.
- Oral medications: antibiotics or hormonal medications, prescribed by a doctor, can help reduce inflammation and regulate hormones that can contribute to acne.
- Chemical peels: a dermatologist can apply a chemical solution to the skin that exfoliates and reduces the appearance of acne.
- Extraction: a dermatologist can manually remove pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.
Another method that has become quite popular in the last years is Light Therapy. If you have already started looking into this therapy, you have probably seen that there are many types of light therapy, but some of the most popular ones used to treat certain skin conditions are:
- Red light therapy: This uses red or near-infrared light to promote skin healing and reduce inflammation.
- Blue light therapy: This uses blue light to treat acne by killing the bacteria that causes it.
- Green light therapy: This is used to reduce hyperpigmentation, such as sunspots and melasma.
- UV light therapy: This uses ultraviolet light to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo.
Of these different types, Red Light is probably the one used the most to treat acne and acne scars, amongst other conditions. Currently, there are also many studies being conducted and published about the effectiveness of Red Light Therapy for several other health issues.
How does Red Light Therapy work on the skin?
With Red Light Therapy, you expose your skin to a lamp or device which emits red light that stimulates a part of your cells called mitochondria, aka “the powerhouse of the cells”. The mitochondria soak up this light and produce more energy which, consequently, also helps other cells to do their work more efficiently and this can be reflected in repairing skin, enhancing skin rejuvenation or boosting new cell growth.
When getting a device to try red light therapy, make sure that it used the light you need and works as it should. This therapy uses low levels of heat and doesn’t burn or damage your skin so the treatment is safe. You will normally be exposed to this light for a short period of time, 15 to 30 min per session.
Some of the benefits that have been shown from the use of red light therapy on the skin are the regulation of collagen production and the reduction of inflammation, pigmentation, and redness in the skin amongst others.
Is Red Light Therapy effective?
Red Light Therapy has been used for many years to treat certain skin conditions and most experts agree that the results shown are positive and it has been reported to help with the reduction of wrinkles, scars, redness and acne. Although you can start seeing the results fairly early once you start with this therapy, you will also keep using the therapy for long-time results .
But the best thing is that it can help in many other areas that will improve your overall well-being. Moreover, if the device you decide to get can work on different parts of your body at the same time, it will be easier to include into your routine and treat a larger part of your body —even all of it.
Some of you probably already know our two-sided Lamp. When creating this device, we wanted it to be as effective, safe and comfortable to use as possible. It has two sides, one emits bright light and the other is for red light, so this lamp is perfect to try Light therapy from home and can be used not only on the face but on your whole body without needing to be in constant touch with the skin as is the case with face masks. If you are hesitating about buying a Red Light Lamp or a Mask., you can head to this article to know our thoughts on both devices and why we opted to offer the Lamp in our products.
In the last years, there have been several studies conducted on the effectiveness of red light therapy for treating acne and scars. These studies have shown promising results, suggesting that red light therapy can be an effective and safe treatment option for improving acne and reducing the appearance of acne scars. More studies are being conducted constantly to give further details and information on this topic but, for now, the results shown in most of the people who tried it are favorable.
The first and most important step to start trying Red Light Therapy at home would be to find a good device and if necessary to ask your doctor if there is any inconvenient for you to use such device. Again, as we mentioned above, our lamp is a great tool to try this therapy, safe to use and many people have seen beneficial results from using it not only on their face but in their whole body.
You should choose a device that emits wavelengths in the red or near-infrared range and has sufficient power to penetrate the skin. You can start by using the device for short periods of time, gradually increasing the duration and frequency over time. It is also important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and avoid looking directly into the light.