As of 2019, acne was reported to be the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting over 50 million Americans every year. If you have a history of acne, we’re sure you’re familiar with endless treatments that require a lot of sacrifices. And don’t get us started on acne scars that can be even harder to get rid of than acne itself.
In recent years, red light therapy has emerged as a popular method for targeting numerous skin issues, including acne. The versatile properties of the treatment make it universal for different skin types.
Do you want to know how the power of light can improve your skin? In this article, we dig deep into the science behind treating skin acne with red light therapy.
There are several things that may cause acne. The most common causes include:
- Excess oil production;
- Hormonal changes;
- Clogged hair follicles;
When dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil) blend into each other and clog pores. This sends an alarm to your immune system, which starts to push out the substances that are stuck in hair follicles. As a result, inflammation occurs, and whiteheads are popping up on the surface of your skin.
Common Acne Treatments
Depending on the severity of acne, it may require a combination of treatments. Here are the few that are tried and tested:
A proper cleansing system is important when treating acne. This ensures that you wash off the excess sebum and dead skin cells before they clog pores. Choose products according to your skin type and if possible, get a dermatologist’s opinion on your daily routine. The best cleansing practice is to start with an oil-based cleanser and follow it up with a water-based one. First breaks down the products and sebum, and the second step effectively removes it.
Simple cleansing is not enough for improving your skin condition and texture. Dermatologists recommend using chemical exfoliants on a weekly basis. If you’re suffering from clogged pores, salicylic acid exfoliant can be your savior as it reaches deep into the hair follicle and dissolves the buildup oil.
Topical treatments aren’t always effective for treating acne. In such cases, doctors prescribe drugs that target acne causes. Very common meds are antibiotics and retinoids. The former fights the bacteria, while the latter targets every possible cause of acne. The retinoids are only prescribed when nothing else works because they come with their fair share of adverse effects.
Maintaining a proper skincare regimen is a must, but before you sign up for strong medications, it’s worth considering red light therapy as an alternative.
How Does Red Light Therapy Help Acne?
Red light therapy may sound like one, but it is no miracle treatment. The secret behind it lies in the low-level light wavelengths that reach deep beneath the epidermis. Red light particles have a powerful effect on our cellular functions. They increase ATP production, which gives our body the energy it needs to repair and function properly.
Red light exposure has anti-inflammatory properties that are crucial for acne treatment. What’s more, this non-invasive method promotes new vessels’ formation, which helps deliver necessary nutrients to the skin, leading to faster healing.
That’s not all! Red light therapy has been proven to aid in fading out acne scars. This is achieved with enhanced collagen production. This essential protein keeps the skin tissue firm and healthy, promoting a smoother appearance.
Where To Get Red Light Therapy?
Nowadays, you have several opinions when it comes to red light therapy. First is signing up for appointments in a clinic or a salon. This way, you’ll be able to get a consultation with a professional and plan your sessions accordingly. However, as red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment with no side effects, you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home. Red light therapy products are readily available online. The light panels come in all sizes and functionalities, so you’ll be able to pick one that is tailored to your requirements.
If you decide to purchase an in-home red light therapy device, make sure they have FDA approval. This way, you’ll be sure that you’re getting medical-grade benefits and no harmful rays are produced in the process.
Is Red Light Therapy Safe?
As we’ve already mentioned above, red light therapy has no proven side effects, so it is generally considered safe. With that in mind, it is encouraged to see a healthcare professional before you start treating acne with RLT sessions. The success of red light therapy greatly depends on your medical history and the severity of your condition. Therefore, only the doctor can help you figure out whether it is the most optimal course of action for you.