Q: How Long Does It Take For Light Therapy To Work
A: Everyones body is different. Many people using light therapy experience acute benefits, like a boost in energy, focus, or mood. People treating skin conditions like cold sores may see improvements within a few days. For longer-lasting benefits like reduced inflammation, improved skin health, or better sleep, it usually takes a few weeks of consistent light therapy sessions to see results.
Where To Place Your Light Therapy Lamp
Having the correct position is vital to light treatment. Your light should be:
- Angled at around 15 degrees
- Project over you from a downward angle
- And centralized with your eyes, so it is shining directly into your eyes
For a 10,000 LUX lamp, consult the companies guidelines for the best distance. Most recommended light therapy distance is between 16 and 24 from the screen. If this distance is too close for comfort, you may sit further away but sit for more extended periods. This will vary based on the make/model of your lamp.
Its important not to stare directly into the light. This can cause eye damage. You can try reading, writing, eating, etc. during sessions. To be effective, the light needs to shine straight into your eyes. Another critical aspect to note is that your light will get weaker over time as its bulbs age. Thus, losing their 10,000 LUX intensity. Its best practice to replace your lamps bulbs after two years, so they stay effective.
Do Light Boxes Work For Sad
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression, is a type of depression that coincides with each year. This mental health condition is usually accompanied by a surge of sadness, low energy, and thoughts of hopelessness. Seasonal depression lamps work to relieve SAD symptoms by mimicking sunlight to boost serotonin and melatonin levels.
A study from 14 research centers with 332 patients over five years found:
- 2,500 LUX light therapy for a minimum of two hours daily for one week resulted in significantly more remissions compared to dim light
- Morning light therapy is most effective. When looking at efficiency, the study compared how well each time resulted in a Hamilton Depression Rating Scale of 50% to a level under eight:- Morning: 53%- Midday: 32%- Evening: 38%
A study involving 177 adults with diagnosed SAD compared six weeks of cognitive-behavioral therapy to six weeks of daily 30 minute 10,000 LUX light therapy. The study found comparable results with the following remission rates:
Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression-SAD Version :
The study concluded that both are comparable for treating acute episodes of SAD and may be considered as treatment options.
61% of the 96 patients during a four-week study experienced a 50%+ remission of SAD symptoms after exposure to a 6000 LUX seasonal affective disorder lamp for 1.5 hours daily.
An analysis of 17 studies on sun lamps for SAD found:
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What Are The Benefits Of Red Light Therapy
Many of the most popular benefits of red light therapy involve treating signs of age in the skin. Red light treatments have been shown to help reduce the appearance of:
- Crows feet
- Dark spots
Additionally, red light energy may also help with healing wounds and mitigating the appearance of scars. When used with blue light therapy, red light may also help reduce acne and blemishes. Other applications for red light therapy include regenerating muscle tissue, gum tissue, and other areas of the body.
Red Light Therapy Before and After Photo
What Does Light Therapy Do
LED Light Therapy is great in every single facial to calm any areas of irritation and its also brilliant at brightening the skin.
When used consistently, over time, LED lights are thought to penetrate your skin at different depths and cause various reactions in your skin, such as fighting acne-causing bacteria, plumping skin and reducing wrinkles.
‘A course of treatments offers corrective and long-lasting results, although youll be able to see a difference after the first session. Light therapy is also particularly calming, so youll leave feeling refreshed,’ says Tarmey.
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There Is Some Evidence They Work But Its Far From Conclusive
The claims about light-emitting diode skin devices certainly sound appealing. Theyre touted to treat everything from wrinkles, redness, and signs of aging to acne, scarring, and dark spots.
If youve visited a spa or even a drugstore lately, youve probably seen one of the growing number of treatments and products on the market. The question is, are these claims true? Can LED light devices really do all these things for your skin? And more importantly, are they safe?
Experts say that its too early to know whether these devices are effective. Some small studies have shown promise for certain conditions, says Dr. Elizabeth Buzney, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School. “I think its a really exciting emerging area,” she says. But the evidence isnt quite there yet.
Preparing For Light Therapy
Before a light therapy treatment, clean your skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Your skin should be free of any makeup. During the week leading up to your treatment, avoid any grooming techniques that can irritate your skin, such as waxing or shaving. If your eyes will be exposed to the light during treatment, you’ll need to wear goggles for protection.
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More Regulated Digestion And Appetite
Another aspect that serotonin impacts are our digestion and appetite regularities. Having a healthy amount of serotonin is essential to healthy eating habits. It aids in regular bowel function and reduces your appetite as you eat. Many studies have shown light therapy to be effective in helping treat those with eating disorders.
The Pros And Cons Of Light Therapy Lamps
When it comes to selecting any holistic health practice, understanding the pros and cons is essential. Below, we highlight the many benefits of therapy lights in addition to the cons to help decide if this treatment is proper for you.
|Theyre not invasive: Phototherapy lamps are a noninvasive method for treating conditions such as SAD, insomnia, and more. Treatments only require users to sit in front of them for 30 minutes each morning.Safe: Light therapy treatment is generally safe. An adequately built therapy lamp blocks out harmful UV rays to keep the user safe.Convenient to use: Almost anyone can add light therapy to their morning routine. Users can sit in front of them in the morning while they read, eat, or get ready for the day.Little to no side effects: Unlike medications, therapy lamps produce little to no side effects.||Side effects and complications sometimes do occur: Users have reported adverse bright light therapy side effects such as insomnia, headaches, fatigue, sunburn, dry eyes, fatigue, dry nose and eyes, and hypomania.|
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Look For Low Uv Light
Not all light therapy products are safe for your skinread the specifications closely on any lightbox you’re considering buying. As noted above, be sure to choose a lightbox that emits low levels of UV light.
UV is the light that causes skin damage , so you want to make sure you’re not upping your risk of developing skin cancer when using your lightbox.
Best Red Light Therapy Devices For Skincare
Red light devices have come a long way from when NASA first used them for clinical purposes. Now anyone can buy them to perform red light treatments at home. Finding the right device depends on the size of the device and its range of applications.
Portable devices like Gl and the reVive® Clinical Wrinkle Reduction wand can be easily stored in a purse for on-the-go wrinkle treatments, while larger foldable panels like the dpl® IIa can treat large areas of the face, neck, or back in single treatments.
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What Can I Expect With Led Light Therapy
In most instances, multiple treatment sessions are required with a typical treatment session lasting up to 30 minutes. Depending on the device being used, you will either lay down directly underneath the light source, or a more targeted device such as a mask or wand may be employed directly on the area to be treated. Though LED light therapy can be used anywhere on the body, it is most commonly used to treat damage on the face caused by the sun and other elements.
LED light therapy is noninvasive and thus carries few risks with no downtime. It can be used on all skin types and does not burn the skin. Additionally, no pain is associated with LED light therapy. However, there may be some rare instances in which it may not be advisable to have treatment to an area, such as an active rash or if you use Accutane.
Although there may be a noticeable improvement after LED light therapy, follow-up treatments or maintenance may be required. If you are thinking about LED light therapy, the first step is to consult with a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who also has experience with using LED light devices. Be sure to do your homework and research the credentials of your plastic surgeon. While this does not guarantee results, it is the best way to make sure that you will be happy with the outcome.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Red Light Therapy
There are a lot of variables to consider when thinking about red light therapy:
- Is RLT covered by my health insurance? Red light therapy is typically not a covered treatment. You may want to call your health insurance company before seeking treatment.
- How many treatments will I need? Youll likely need ongoing treatments. This is not a one-time treatment for most skin conditions. Youll need to be seen one to three times a week for weeks or even months. Also, is there a need for additional touch-up treatments? This may add up to a lot of time and considerable out-of-pocket costs.
- Will I achieve the desired results? Everyones skin is different so results can vary. Also, the wavelength of the red light source ranges. The wavelength affects how deeply the light penetrates your skin. The wavelength of the red light device being used in a doctors office versus in your at-home device could affect your desired result.
- Do you trust the experience of the person providing the red light therapy? For example, is a tanning salon a place you feel comfortable receiving this treatment or might it be better to first be seen and possibly treated by a medical professional?
- Is red light therapy an appropriate treatment for my skin condition? Are other, more scientifically vetted approaches a better choice for my skin condition? See your healthcare provider to confirm a diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment options.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
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How Does Light Therapy Work For Skin
How does light therapy work for skin health and rejuvenation? And which wavelengths and colors are used for light therapy skin benefits? Most light therapy devices used for skincare shine blue light, red light, or a combination of both.
Blue light therapy is mostly used as an acne treatment because blue light kills bacteria on the skin that leads to acne. Red light therapy is also used to treat acne and other skin conditions because of its anti-inflammatory and healing effects on the skin. It reduces inflammation by increasing blood flow to damaged tissues.
Red light therapy also helps skin cells to produce energy. The mitochondria in our cells absorb wavelengths of red light and use it to make energy and power the body with adenosine triphosphate .
Daily light therapy treatments ensure that skin cells get an abundance of red light and produce energy efficiently. That translates to rejuvenated skin and better healing outcomes. Keep reading for a breakdown of the skin health benefits of light therapy treatments.
What You Should Know About Led Facials
Theres nothing like LED therapy for your best glow-up ever. Literally. LED light facials have been around for decades, but theyve gone more mainstream over the years – with spas and facial bars performing the treatment in-house and celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenners and Kate Hudson showing off their LED masks at home on social media. They may look creepy at first glance, but this treatment is no joke. LED facials provide clear, glowing, and energized skin… no filter needed. Read on for everything you need to know about LED light facials.
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The Effectiveness Of Light Therapy In Treating Neuropathy Based On Clinical Trials
Neuropathic pain can be defined as pain caused by damage to the central or peripheral nervous system. Low-level laser therapy has become widespread as a treatment for this type of pain.
The following studies provide evidence of the efficacy of light therapy in neuropathy.
A large-scale study was involving 2239 patients with established peripheral neuropathy . They had neuropathic pain and loss of sensation on each leg. The patients were treated with infrared light therapy for 60 days. As a result of treatment, the number of areas of numbness on both feet decreased on average by 66%, pain decreased by 67%.
Thus, light therapy is associated with a significant clinical improvement in foot sensitivity and, at the same time, with a decrease in neuropathic pain in a large group of patients.
The next study included 40 patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which is associated with pain, systemic inflammation, and a deterioration in overall quality of life. The patients were divided into two groups: the first light therapy treatment, the second simulated light therapy. After a 12-week intervention period, pain levels were significantly reduced in the light therapy group, although some results were noted in the simulator group. The serum IL-6 index also decreased, which once again emphasizes the effectiveness of this type of treatment.
What Are The Different Kinds Of Led Light Therapy
There are different wavelengths of the visible light spectrum, each corresponding to different colors and penetrating the skin to different depths. It is thought that LED light produces different effects depending on the level of skin it penetrates.
The most common frequencies used in LED light therapy are the red and blue wavelengths, which are readily absorbed into the skin and do not contain harmful ultraviolet light. Red light is used to treat the outermost layer of skin, otherwise known as the epidermis. It is thought that when this layer of skin absorbs infrared light, the fibroblast cells that are responsible for the production of collagen proteins are then stimulated. The increase in collagen production can make the skin look smoother, which can mitigate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Blue light, on the other hand, targets the oil glands located in the deeper layers of skin. By reducing the amount of oil that these glands produce, the skin can become drier which in turn could lead to fewer acne breakouts.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Led Light Therapy
Dermatologists agree that these devices are generally safe for both in-office and at-home use. Better yet, “generally, is safe for all skin colors and types,” Dr. Shah says. “Side effects are uncommon but may include redness, swelling, itch, and dryness.”
If you’re taking any medications or using any topicals that make your skin more sensitive to light, this “can potentially increase your risk of side effects,” Dr. Shah explains, “so it’s best to discuss LED therapy with your doctor if you are taking any such medications.”
It is worth noting, though, that in 2019, one at-home LED face mask was pulled from shelves in what the company described as “an abundance of caution” regarding potential eye injury. “For a small subset of the population with certain underlying eye conditions, as well as for users taking medications which could enhance ocular photosensitivity, there is a theoretical risk of eye injury,” read the company’s statement at the time.
Overall, however, our dermatologists give the seal of approval for anyone who’s interested in adding a device to their skin-care regimen. “They may be a good option for people who are pregnant or potentially pregnant, or for an acne patient who doesn’t feel comfortable using prescription medications,” says Dr. Brod.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Red Light Therapy
Some clinical trials have demonstrated just how effective red light therapy can be for improving your skins appearance and for improving skin health.
According to the derms, red light therapy has the ability to help with wound healing, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and even treat premature signs of sun damage.
Herere a summary of the benefits of red light therapy:
- Speeds up wound healing
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Major Or Persistent Depressive Disorder
One study showed bright light therapy to be effective and well-tolerated in adults with nonseasonal major depressive disorder. The most dramatic results occurred with the use of light therapy alone or in conjunction with the medication fluoxetine.
Another study revealed that light therapy decreased depressive symptoms and helped to regulate the circadian rhythms of cancer survivors. Symptoms of depression are common in cancer survivors, even many years after their treatments end, so this is a significant discovery.
How To Do Light Therapy At Home
Before you start light therapy, its a good idea to talk with a doctor or mental health professional. Light therapy may interact with other treatments youre currently taking, such as medications.
Once youve had a doctors sign off, you can start by reading the instructions provided by the light box manufacturer.
A light with lower intensity may require longer exposure time meaning youll have to sit in front of the box longer. The instructions can also help you identify specific risks and hazards for the brand of the light.
To use a light therapy lamp with 10,000 lux intensity, follow these steps:
You can adjust this schedule and the duration of sessions according to how you feel. You can also try passing the time in front of the light box with an activity like reading a book or working, as long as youre still facing the light.
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