Red light therapy (aka RLT) has been studied for years now but has recently come on the forefront of consumer knowledge. You might also have heard of it as LED Therapy or Low Level Light Therapy, but essentially it is near-infrared red light exposure on the body for the purposes of healing. Interestingly, red light therapy first came about from NASA research trying to grow plants in space by inducing photosynthesis without the sun. Experiments were so successful that the astronauts also began testing it on their own skin to heal wounds. Research since then has been spotty, with not enough robust studies to truly show a definite result, but red light therapy is commonly used to treat skin conditions such as:
- Rosacea, psoriasis & eczema
- Heal wounds
- Reduce stretch marks, wrinkles, fine lines and even scarring
- Improve sun-damaged skin
The way this works is that the red light stimulates the mitochondria (aka cell power supply) of skin and possibly immune cells which triggers production of collagen and new vibrant cells. Other possible outcomes are being studied such as relieving cold sores, oral mucositis (a chemotherapy side effect), and joint inflammation, but no statistical results have yet been found. The good news is that red light therapy seems to be very safe and does not have side effects, so if you are curious you can likely give it a try! There are higher dose treatment options in spas and some medical facilities that deliver results fairly quickly. While we do not offer red light therapy here at St. Jude Wellness Center, there are many at-home options now available as well. These are typically lower dose so they are incredibly safe but may also take longer for any noticeable improvement to your skin. Here is a great list of consumer options.
Another option for skin therapy is a facial! We will soon be offering spa and medical facials with a licensed holistic esthetician who is comfortable working with all skin types and skin conditions, even those as side effects from treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Facials offer the added benefit of relaxation and mini massage, and can most certainly be used in combination with any red light therapy that you might be experimenting with. Be sure you are on our email list for updates on when facials will be available to book!