8 Surprising Red Light Therapy Benefits: No Side Effects

Red light therapy has many health benefits, and it is growing every day. Thousands of peer-reviewed clinical studies are witnessing tons of health benefits. However, red light therapy is now only used for skin conditions. The benefits include wrinkles, scars, tissue damage, acne, and other persistent wounds.

Keep reading to find some of the red light therapy benefits, which are worth knowing. Also, knowing this benefit and side effects will surely come in handy if you wish to take red light therapy.

What is Red Light Therapy?

A very controversial therapeutic technique involving low-level wavelengths of light. It helps to treat skin wrinkles, scars, and some other conditions.
Red light Therapy, or RLT, was first used by scientists in the early 1990s to help plants grow in space. By doing this experiment, they found out that high-intensity light (LEDs) helps the plant to grow and perform photosynthesis. High-intensity light emits from the red-light emitting diodes.
shutterstock 2029437149
Image From: Shutterstock
There are many potential applications of Red Light Therapy, which can be used for educational purposes. Not many studies prove that the RLT can increase human cells’ energy. Scientists believe that Red Light Therapy is good for wound healing, muscle atrophy, and bone density issues. That is generally caused during space travel.
Red light therapy is often called low-level laser light therapy or LLLT. It is an alternative to traditional medicines since it has many potential powers to heal humans. A device emits different levels of red light and targets treating skin, health conditions, and pain relief. The device uses infrared light to emit red light, ranging from 660 to 800 nanometers.

How does Red Light Therapy work?

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of our body cells. But do you know how exactly mitochondria help the body by being the powerhouse of cells? It provides power to your organs, starting from head to toe. If the functioning of mitochondria is not optimal, then we feel different kinds of things. We start to have poor skin, immune deficiencies, aches, pain, and numerous other health conditions.
UV light, when it touches your body, helps to produce Vitamin D in the body. Even if you sleep in blue light, it will affect your circadian rhythm, and you can sleep healthily. UV and blue light are bioactive types of light that provide health benefits to the human body. Similarly, far-infrared light, near-infrared light, and red light therapy give certain health benefits.
These lights have different wavelengths. When they touch the surface, they start penetrating our bodies and reaching different levels. In this way, they help to recover from certain conditions.
The red light produces a biochemical reaction along with the mitochondria. That reaction helps the body to use oxygen more efficiently. Which results in the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP molecules. This ATP transports the produced energy throughout our body. It also helps the body’s organs to function properly and recover from any health conditions.
Red light therapy also works best by exerting the cells more to become more efficient in their job. The stress provoked by red light ignites the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant response in the cells. Which results in making them much stronger.

Different Types of Red Light Therapy

You might have heard red light therapy by different names. The names include

shutterstock 2024685413
Image From: Shutterstock
  • low-level light therapy

  • soft las

  • low power laser therapy

  • cold laser therapy

  • photobiomodulation (PBM)

  • biostimulation

  • photonic stimulation

Red light therapy comes in many different forms. You can find the use of a red light bed only in a handful of salons. Where it is used to reduce cosmetic skin issues including stretch marks or wrinkles.
Also, red light therapy is used in medicine as well. To treat more serious conditions, side effects of chemotherapy, and slow-healing wounds. Though RLT treats many complicated issues, there is still not much medical evidence to prove its full benefits.

How is Red Light Therapy Used?

There have been thousands of experiments after the experiment with plants in space to find the actual power of red light therapy1. Some studies have also succeeded and proven that red light therapy has medical benefits. However, some medical centres have also determined that there is not much evidence to prove the health benefits of red light therapy.

However, there is some evidence available that shows that RLT has some benefits. It can

  • improve hair growth in those people who are diagnosed with androgenic alopecia

  • increases healing rate for slow-healing wounds, especially in diabetes foot ulcer

  • helps in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

  • helps in tissue repair

  • aids with short-term pain relief and stiffness in people who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis

  • it also helps in reducing some of the side effects, which include oral mucositis

  • help in healing sun damage

  • diminish wrinkles and also helps in improving the skin complexion and reducing skin roughness

  • reduce chances of recurrent cold sores caused by herpes, simplex virus infections

  • improve joint health, especially in people with osteoarthritis of the knee

  • diminish the scar

  • relieve pain and inflammation

However, after so many health benefits, the RLT is not covered by any insurance companies due to the lack of sufficient evidence. However, there are a few companies that cover the use of RLT for preventing oral mucositis that is caused during cancer treatments.

Red Light Therapy Benefits – 8 Benefits Listed!

Red light therapy benefits over the years. And this has been proven by showing the improvement in health conditions and other benefits. The study of red light therapy first started in 1967 when NASA was studying red light therapy, typically for pain relief.
Let’s find out the benefits of red light therapy, which are helpful for humans.

1. Red Light Therapy for Pain and Inflammation

When you get released to red and infrared light waves, it releases nitric oxide. When nitric oxide is released, it enhances blood circulation. The increased blood circulation delivers some of the vital nutrients. And also transports oxygen to most of the damaged tissues.

This helps in repairing and regenerating the injured tissues. Thus it helps in reducing pain and inflammation. The RLT also provides less invasive and safe pain relief methods, which are much better when compared to traditional methods.

shutterstock 1846983547
Image From: Shutterstock

More than 50 million people in the USA suffer from chronic pain and are only subjected to opioids for pain relief5. Opioids can be very dangerous, and it is highly addictive. Due to the frequent opioid prescriptions, most people across the country are now going through opioid disorders.

Painkillers are taken simply to cut the signal from the pain receptors to the brain. Thus you don’t feel pain after you take pain medications. But once the effect of the pain medication wears off, the signal rebuilds, and the pain returns. It does not go to the root of the pain and fix it. But, red light therapy acts on pain and inflammation.

Rouge Red Light Therapy emits red light and near-infrared light, penetrating into the body tissues and then optimizes the functioning of the cell. Thus it reduces pain and inflammation in the body.

2. Wound Healing and Repairs Tissue

Some studies proved that RLT could help wound healing and tissue repair. Red light therapy ignites healing by reducing the inflammatory cells. Due to this, blood cells are stimulated, which then forms angiogenesis. Later it helps in increasing collagen production and also the fibroblast production6. This helps in faster tissue recovery.

3. Helps in Muscle Recovery

The red light and near-infrared light emitted from the red light therapy devices. They have the ability to increase blood flow circulation. It also helps to improve oxygenation and cellular regeneration. These improvements always help humans in many ways. Such as to get help for fatigue, stiffness, soreness, and other muscle repair issues.
Muscle recovery is a very important aspect of athletic performance. The faster the muscle recovery, the lesser the soreness feeling during workouts. If you go through red light therapy, treatments can even decrease the chances of muscle damage and oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the antioxidants and free radicals. It limits the body’s ability to detox. Due to less muscle damage, and oxidative stress, muscle recovery takes place at a faster rate.
shutterstock 1346327060
Image From: Shutterstock

There is also some other therapy that shows that red light therapy benefits are much better than cryotherapy. Even if someone takes both red light therapy and cryotherapy7, it can’t match the benefits given by red light alone. In addition, these red light treatments are more effective than cold water immersion therapy, improving the short-term post-recovery.

There are not many significant health risks from red light therapy, and it is very useful for post-workout. Moreover, some studies have shown that red light therapy decreases the return to play time after a sports injury. If this is proven, sports players will not have to wait much longer to get fit and return to the field.

4. It Helps in Increasing Muscle Mass

Taking red light therapy as a pre-workout and post-workout therapy 8will help you increase your muscle mass effectively. Red light therapy works best for decreasing muscle fatigue, and thus it improves muscle performance during a workout.

Many pieces of evidence tell that low-level laser therapy helps oxygen intake, which further helps in the increased sprint time and reduces the perceived fatigue. Moreover, low-level laser light therapy can increase your muscle power and help you get greater force during muscle contraction.

Some studies state that red and near-infrared light prove to be more efficient in increasing your muscle and the strength you gain from weight training. So, the red light and near-infrared light treatment after your training can be very effective for increasing your muscle mass. If you take light therapy before a workout, it will give you strength and let you do more reps in muscle training.

Since red light therapy works with the mitochondria, it enhances the functioning of your organs and produces more ATP. This ATP transfers more energy throughout your body, which helps you gain more strength in your training time. Even this enhancer boosts your muscle recovery.

Most athletes now use red light therapy since it has such extraordinary benefits, and it gives the user a competitive edge which can improve the athlete’s performance.

5. Helps in Joint Pain

Low-level laser therapy improves muscle health. If an athlete has healthy joints, then it can give him great mobility and independence. Red light therapy has shown better joint health, thus reducing pain and extending the period between retreatment.

Especially for people suffering from morning stiffness, the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis can be treated quickly with the help of red light therapy devices. Moreover, a study in 2019 found that red light therapy greatly reduces the pain and disabilities caused by knee osteoarthritis.

shutterstock 616456355
Image From: Shutterstock

You can get rid of your neck pain with the help of low-level laser therapy.9 It has shown improvements in neck pain and proper functioning of cervical osteoarthritis. Moreover, it has also shown great effects in acute neck pain, and even research suggests that low-level laser therapy can be beneficial for treating chronic myofascial neck pain.

There are also studies in which the participants suffering from nonspecific chronic low back pain were given low-level light therapy and showed greater pain levels when compared with the other group with different kinds of treatment for more than five years. To date, enough evidence proves that red light therapy significantly benefits joint pain.

6. Red Light Therapy for Skin

People have been trying to fight against ageing since ancient times. Most use several cosmetic items to look good and keep their skin healthy. Unfortunately, cosmetic products are mostly risky and invasive. They involve adding some foreign substance onto your skin. The motive for promoting the anti-inflammatory reaction in the cells is to generate collagen density. However, with the emergence of red light therapy and its benefits, people have started using it for skin care.
Earlier, it was only available at spas or some specialized clinics. But with the emergence of the Rouge’s red light therapy, the device is much cheaper. It helps people to stop and reverse sun damage and shows greater improvements in unwanted skin issues.
The skin structure and elasticity found in the skin are mainly due to collagen and elastin. Both of these proteins are produced less by the body with age, which forms few stretch lines, and wrinkles on the skin. But since, red light therapy increases the power of mitochondria, and thus, it optimizes ATP production and cellular energy. Due to this, the body produces more collagen and elastin, which helps with ageing issues.

Even when exposed to the sun for a long time, you will face patchy sun spots, melasma, and actinic keratosis, which can cause skin cancer. Most of them are treated with skin peels and some chemical creams. But, this skin rejuvenation procedure can be painful and, at times, harsh on your skin. Instead, you can use a red light therapy device. The light-emitting diode device emits red light, which is naturally produced by the sun and has a warming effect like the UV rays. The best part of this light-emitting diode device is that they are not harmful and gives patient satisfaction.

LED red light therapy also gives acne treatment. It has a positive effect on acne with no other harmful side effects. It is better when combined with blue light. When you get treated with red and near-infrared light, your skin conditions will improve and help you diminish your scars.

7. Red Light Helps in Sleep

More than 40% of the population suffers from insomnia, and around 15% of the people have to deal with chronic insomnia. These people develop some chronic illness that later affects their mental health. The blue light emitted from the screen is mainly responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm.10 Blue light also inhibits the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that makes us sleepy.

shutterstock 2120121431
Image From: Shutterstock

On the other hand, red light helps you get better sleep. A blue light on the display conveys that blue light means morning and a red light means sunset or sleeping time. Red light therapy is not only relaxing but there is some evidence that proves that red and near-infrared light can boost serum melatonin levels. It also increases energy throughout the day

8. Helps in Hormone Health

Red light therapy is an effective treatment that improves your hormone health. Though the research is limited, red light therapy can increase your sexual drive. The low-power light therapy stimulates the photoreceptive proteins in the testicles and testosterone production. The epigeal gals are known as secret melatonin or testosterone production inhibitors. Which get stimulated by red light wavelengths.
Not only this but the light-emitting diode of the red light devices is very effective in treating the GSM issue in females. The GSM or genitourinary syndrome decreases estrogen in the vaginal tissues. Which ultimately causes menopausal issues. Red light therapy promotes collagen and elastin production. In this way, it helps in reducing the effects of vaginal thinning.
Red light therapy also reduces the effects of loss of natural lubrication. It strengthens the urethra and urethrovaginal sphincter.
There are also many pieces of evidence that it is very effective on Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. This therapy improves thyroid function and then lowers thyroid antibody levels. If any patient uses red light therapy frequently, then it can even help to reduce the thyroid medication dose, and in some cases, it can eliminate it totally.

Side Effects of Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy is considered a safe and painless therapy. However, some reports state that red light therapy has caused burns and blisters in some cases. Only a handful of people have developed burns on their skin after falling asleep in the active unit. On the other hand, a few people have experienced burns from broken wires or device corrosion, which was totally due to technical failure.

However, there is a chance that the eyes can be damaged due to RLT. But, these devices are much better than traditional ones, which pose a greater threat to the eyes. Proper eye protection is necessary when going under low-wavelength red light therapy to ensure total safety.

There are also other kinds of light therapies available. However, you should always consult your healthcare provider before undergoing any therapies.

  • Laser treatments

  • Blue or green light therapy

  • Ultraviolet Light B (UVB)

  • Natural sunlight

  • Sauna light therapy

  • Psoralen and Ultraviolet light A (PUVA)

Key Takeaways

Red light therapy is safe when taken under a control group’s guidance. There are tons of health benefits of red light therapy. However, if you are unsure about taking the therapy, then you can go through the case studies and know how it works and provides benefits.
We hope by now you have got to know about the red light therapy benefits. If you are thinking of taking red light therapy, you should first consult with your doctor. Because it is important to know your health conditions, and then only undergo this therapy. This therapy even helps in weight loss, so if you are tired of being overweight, you can choose this therapy.


1. Are red light therapy benefits real?

Ans. Yes, if you want to improve your skin texture and improve your pain management then you can try red light therapy. 

2. How much red light therapy is enough?

Ans. Three times each week, 10 minutes each session is enough if you want effective red light therapy. 

3. Is red light therapy safe for my facial skin?

Ans. Yes, red light therapy is generally safe for your facial skin too. 

  1. Chaves, Maria Emília de Abreu, et al. “Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED.” Anais brasileiros de dermatologia 89 (2014): 616-623. ↩︎
  2. Lolli, Francesca, et al. “Androgenetic alopecia: a review.” Endocrine 57 (2017): 9-17. ↩︎
  3. Werner, Robert A., and Michael Andary. “Electrodiagnostic evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome.” Muscle & nerve 44.4 (2011): 597-607. ↩︎
  4. Felson, David T. “Osteoarthritis of the knee.” New England Journal of Medicine 354.8 (2006): 841-848. ↩︎
  5. McQuay, Henry. “Opioids in pain management.” The Lancet 353.9171 (1999): 2229-2232. ↩︎
  6. Frazier, Ken, et al. “Stimulation of fibroblast cell growth, matrix production, and granulation tissue formation by connective tissue growth factor.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology 107.3 (1996): 404-411. ↩︎
  7. Swenson, C., L. Swärd, and J. Karlsson. “Cryotherapy in sports medicine.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 6.4 (1996): 193-200. ↩︎
  8. Harty, Patrick S., et al. “Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 15.1 (2018): 41. ↩︎
  9. Farivar, Shirin, Talieh Malekshahabi, and Reza Shiari. “Biological effects of low level laser therapy.” Journal of lasers in medical sciences 5.2 (2014): 58. ↩︎
  10. Rusak, Benjamin, and Irving Zucker. “Neural regulation of circadian rhythms.” Physiological reviews 59.3 (1979): 449-526. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Annanya Chakraborty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *