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Illustration of a woman with red light spots on her face, symbolizing red light therapy, next to text "go red light therapy" and the logo "10 almonds.

Red Light, Go!

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Casting Yourself In A Healthier Light

In Tuesday’s newsletter, we asked you foryour opinion of red light therapy (henceforth: RLT), and got the above-depicted, below-described, set of responses:

  • About 51% said “I have no idea whether light therapy works or not”
  • About 24% said “Red light therapy is a valuable skin rejuvenation therapy”
  • About 23% said “I have not previously heard of red light therapy”
  • One (1) person said: “Red light therapy is a scam to sell shiny gadgets”

A number of subscribers wrote with personal anecdotes of using red light therapy to beneficial effect, for example:

❝My husband used red light therapy after surgery on his hand. It did seem to speed healing of the incision and there is very minimal scarring. I would like to know if the red light really helped or if he was just lucky❞

~ 10almonds subscriber

And one wrote to report having observed mixed results amongst friends, per:

❝Some people it works, others I’ve seen it breaks them out❞

~ 10almonds subscriber

So, what does the science say?

RLT rejuvenates skin, insofar as it reduces wrinkles and fine lines: True or False?

True! This one’s pretty clear-cut, so we’ll just give one example study of many, which found:

❝The treated subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling, profilometrically assessed skin roughness, and ultrasonographically measured collagen density.

The blinded clinical evaluation of photographs confirmed significant improvement in the intervention groups compared with the control❞

~ Dr. Alexander Wunsch & Dr. Karsten Matuschka

Read in full: 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

RLT helps speed up healing of wounds: True or False?

True! There is less science for this than the above claim, but the studies that have been done are quite compelling, for example this NASA technology study found that…

❝LED produced improvement of greater than 40% in musculoskeletal training injuries in Navy SEAL team members, and decreased wound healing time in crew members aboard a U.S. Naval submarine.❞

~ Dr. Harry Whelan et al.

Read more: Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing

RLT’s benefits are only skin-deep: True or False?

False, probably, but we’d love to see more science for this, to be sure.

However, it does look like wavelengths in the near-infrared spectrum reduce the abnormal tau protein and neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in increased blood flow to the brain, and a decrease in neuroinflammation:

Therapeutic Potential of Photobiomodulation In Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review

Would you like to try RLT for yourself?

There are some contraindications, for example:

  • if you have photosensitivity (for obvious reasons)
  • if you have Lupus (mostly because of the above)
  • if you have hyperthyroidism (because if you use RLT to your neck as well as face, it may help stimulate thyroid function, which in your case is not what you want)

As ever, please check with your own doctor if you’re not completely sure; we can’t cover all bases here, and cannot speak for your individual circumstances.

For most people though, it’s very safe, and if you’d like to try it, here’s an example product on Amazon, and by all means do read reviews and shop around for the ideal device for you 😎

Take care!

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