Can Red Light Therapy Really Remove and Prevent Scars?
"Scars show that you went through some hard things and survived," Christina Applegate said on her Netflix series "Dead to Me." Unlike Applegate's character, however, whose scars are from a mastectomy, most of our scratches and scrapes come from tripping over rocks, falling off a bike, or being bitten by bugs to the point of injuring ourselves . Whatever the reason, if your scars won't go away, red light therapy may be just what you need.
Red light therapy (RLT), also known as low-level light therapy (LLLT) and photobiomodulation, is a treatment that uses low-wavelength red and/or near-infrared light to improve the appearance of the skin. Specifically, it may help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and redness. This treatment technique can also aid the healing process of scars, wounds, burns, acne, keloids, and surgical incisions.
There are many other uses for RLT. In today's writing, we'll focus on the potential scar lightening benefits of LED red light.
How Red Light Therapy Helps Scars Heal?
Using red light is a unique way to treat scars. Rather than minimizing their appearance, red light utilizes specific wavelengths of light (from 630 to 850 nanometers) to penetrate tissue and support the healing process at the cellular level.
Our cells respond positively to red and near-infrared light waves. We can compare this response to how plant cells respond to sunlight: Moderate exposure generates energy and optimizes cellular function, which then promotes the body's self-healing process.
Effective red light therapy for surgical scars, etc.
According to extensive research and articles published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, red light therapy heals scars in the following ways.
Poor or damaged blood vessels can disrupt the healing process of damaged skin. Fortunately, red light therapy helps speed up the production of endothelial cells. These wafer-like members constitute blood and lymphatic capillaries near the surface of the skin.
On a related note, exposure to certain forms of red light also increases blood vessel diameter (vasodilation), which promotes good circulation, according to a 2017 analysis by the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Since increased blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients to the wound, and increased lymph flow eliminates waste products that can lead to infection, the vasodilatory effects of LED red light therapy can facilitate the wound healing process. In addition, the treatment prevents long-term complications from scar tissue formation.
2.Stimulates cellular energy production and targets inflammation
A 2013 study co-authored by Harvard researcher and noted photobiomodulation expert Michael Hamblin concluded that red light therapy activates cellular energy production and reduces inflammation. In layman's terms, RLT helps repair and regenerate damaged tissues in the body. This combination of effects heals with minimal scarring and reduces the appearance of existing scars.
3.Stem cell activation
Stem cells can develop into different cells in the body. Adult stem cells are a special type that arise from fully developed tissues such as skin. These cells can adopt the properties of their neighbors and later become the cells that make up the skin.
When a wound or wound develops after an injury, the stem cells can become normal, healthy skin cells in stark contrast to the genetic makeup of the scar cells. Skin (dermal) stem cells are active in skin renewal and repair, the former being an ongoing process.
In addition to the aforementioned 2013 study, results from a 2020 study suggest that red light therapy is a powerful tool for tissue engineering and cell therapy.