Red Light Therapy for Eczema

Recently, I've gotten back into using my red light machine, also known as RLT (red light therapy). Medical-grade RLT machines are touted to be great for skin, amongst a plethora of other things.

But where is the data?

What is red light therapy?

There is more and more research coming out about red light. It's not a heat lamp or LED. It's red light waves that penetrate the skin and (are said to) act upon our mitochondria. Our mitochondria are a power source, where we get our energy. The red light gives them that go-go juice in order to work better, faster, and stronger.1

How does RLT help the skin?

With eczema, we are usually desperate for relief when flares hit. With red light therapy, the light is supposed to help with skin rejuvenation. As stated in a research study in 2014, "RLT ... are large-area and full-body treatment modalities for skin rejuvenation and improvements in skin feeling and skin complexion. The application of RLT and ELT provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal, atraumatic photobiomodulation treatment of skin tissue with high patient satisfaction rates."2

In English? Red light therapy is seen to be a safe method of plumping our skin and getting it back to that youthful complexion. But it must be used daily. Just like any routine for a chronic condition, we can not expect it to continue working if we don't continue using it.

Before and after photos showing a persons improved skin condition

Red light therapy, besides plumping the skin, can accelerate wound healing, much like the ones I had on my face back in 2022. I bought myself a small, handheld machine (they can be expensive) and saw incredible results. There was nothing that would help heal my deep cuts. But, by the end of week 2, the cuts were doing so much better!

How can it help with sleep?

Lack of sleep is a stressor on our body. It slows us down, as well as negatively affects our skin. If we don't rest and allow our skin time to heal, then it's going to act up. However, a study has also shown that RLT isn't just good for the epidermis. We can, in fact, see better sleep when using a red light therapy machine in our daily lives.3

How else can it help the body?

As much as we like to focus on just our skin, we've learned a lot about the mind-body connection. Our skin is a messenger. If one part of us is off, it can show up on our skin.

What's great about red light therapy is that it targets many things at once. Besides our skin and sleep, it can also enhance other things in our life that will, in turn, impact our skin.

Can it be used for anxiety and depression?

The National Eczema Association posted a study on Instagram showcasing that people with eczema are at a greater risk of depression and anxiety disorders. They also showcased that 44 percent of people with eczema are more likely to exhibit suicidal ideations.4

Scary, right? It's not just a skin condition. And RLT can help!

A group of patients were tested to see if their depression and anxiety disorders were improved by using red light therapy. Within a 2-week and 4-week study, these patients showed improvement. It only took 4 minutes per day!5

What else can it help with?

Other red light therapy benefits that are not related to skin include increased libido (sexy time!), hair regrowth, and muscle recovery. Many athletes use these machines.

What are the cons of red light therapy?

The one downside: It's expensive. A small machine is about $350. However, when doing light therapy at a doctor's office, those prices also hit the pocket hard. Imagine being able to do it at home. You'd be saving on co-pays, gas, and time.

What's the verdict?

So, all in all, it's not just a gimmick! There is real research backing all of these things. I think it's worth a shot, loves! I don't regret ordering mine. Just make sure it's medical-grade!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AtopicDermatitis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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