Can I use red light therapy for [insert your condition here]?

This is the most popular question I get. Here is my best answer.

Does red light therapy work?

Yes, it does. Red light therapy is actually a true science with decades of research behind it. However, it helps to set your expectations properly. Read this article for details.

How does red light therapy work?

The Light Therapy Options red and red/infrared LED lights use ranges of wavelengths that penetrate the outer layer of the skin, providing the cells with usable energy. This brings about various reactions in the cells including improved healing, the reduction of inflammation and enhanced production of collagen. More info here.

How long does it take for red light therapy to work?

It is not an immediate miracle transformation that will occur overnight, but it will provide you with ongoing improvements that you will begin to see in anywhere from 24 hours to 2 months, depending on the condition, its severity, and how regularly the light is used.

  • For the “healthy glow” of a photofacial, you’ll see a difference right away.

  • When used in conjunction with infrared light for pain relief, results can arrive in under 20 minutes.

  • As a skin healing therapy, some improvements should be noticed in as little as 24 hours from the first treatment. If the wound is quite small and superficial, a healthy person should see quite a dramatic improvement in a short period of time.

  • Healing a longstanding open wound that has been non-healing, such as in the case of diabetic wounds, the process does take longer, but there should be a gradual, noticeable differencethat is certainly better than what was occurring without the light therapy.

  • Acne scars and scars from other types of injuries can start being visibly improved in as little as two weeks, and should gradually fade over time with continued use.

What is the difference between red and near infrared light therapy?

Red and near infrared light therapy are exactly the same except for two differences:

  1. Red light is visible and near infrared light is invisible.

  2. Near infrared light penetrates into the body deeper than red light.

What is the difference between red light and LED light?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. It’s a type of general lighting technology. For example, the first lighting technology was incandescent light. Next came fluorescent. Halogen is another example. So LED is just the next advancement in lighting technology.

Is Red Light Therapy FDA Approved?

Yes. And no.

The therapy isn’t what gets the approval, it’s the device that must go through the FDA approval process. Each device much prove that it works and is safe to use.

Red light therapy devices have been FDA approved for a growing list of things including acne treatment, anti-aging, hair-loss and regrowth, pain relief, fat loss, etc., so the therapy has been proven to be save and effective over and over again.

So yes, red light therapy has been FDA approved. But not all red light therapy devices have FDA approval.

If FDA approval is important to you, ask for proof that the device you are thinking of buying is actually FDA approved, or FDA cleared.

Does red light therapy work through clothes, bandages or dressings?

No. The good thing about red light is that you can see it. Shine the light at your clothes and see if it comes out the other side. The color will be absorbed by the fabric. Only red light that you can see reaching your skin can be absorbed by your skin.

Does near infrared light therapy work through clothes, bandages or dressings?

Yes. Near infrared light, which is invisible to the eye, will penetrate through clothes and many bandages and dressings. Somewhere I saw a list of what types of dressings will block it… next time I find it I will post it here. If you know where it is, please kindly let me know.

How often do I need to use red light therapy?

This depends on the condition you are treating and the device you are using. For most conditions, daily use for at least two weeks is recommended, followed by a once- or twice- weekly maintenance regimen. It is best to follow the directions that come with the device you choose, or as recommended by your doctor.

Can I use it more than once per day?

Yes. Twice per day would be fine.

Do I need to continue to use the light as much when I start seeing results?

Yes. Just because you’re seeing results, it doesn’t mean that your skin cells are finished doing their jobs. It’s just that the results of their efforts are starting to become something you can see and/or feel. Keep up the treatments until you reach your goal level of results. Then you can start a weekly maintenance schedule.

Once my skin problems have been resolved, do I stop using the light?

When your skin is clear or your fine lines, wrinkles, or scarring have been reduced or even eliminated, it is best that you continue the use of the light once or twice per week as a part of a regular maintenance practice. This will help to make sure that the benefits will continue over the long-term.

Is there such thing as getting too much red light therapy?

Yes. Using red light therapy for too long can reduce the effectiveness of your treatments. Red and near infrared light therapy has a “sweet spot” where the light is most effective. Follow the directions that come with your device and resist the urge to over do it.


Does red light therapy work for everybody?

Yes, it should. Red light therapy will work for the minimization of scarring, inflammation, fine lines, and several other skin conditions. The amount of time that it takes for a visible difference to occur will vary from one person to the next, depending on several factors including the type of skin condition to be corrected and its severity. Results will usually start to be seen in anywhere from 24 hours to 2 months of proper use, or under 20 minutes for pain relief with infrared and red light.

As the results usually occur gradually, the best way to monitor the difference is by taking weekly or monthly pictures with a good quality camera, at the same time of the day, in the same lighting. Looking in the mirror is not always the best gauge of progress as it is much more difficult to notice subtle, gradual improvements over time.

Can red light therapy be combined with treatment lights of other colors?

Yes. In fact, some conditions will experience more improvements when two colors of light therapy are used instead of one. For instance, many acne patients experience a broader spectrum of benefits when they use red and blue light therapy, combined, instead of one or the other. Some customers prefer to use both red and amber or red and green for anti-aging treatments.

Can I use more than one color of light therapy simultaneously?

Yes. If you are treating your skin with more than one color of light, they can be used at the same time, or at separate times.

Can I still use my regular skin care products while I’m using red light therapy?

Absolutely. If you are happy with the skin care products that you are currently using, then there is no reason to change them. Simply make sure that your face is gently but thoroughly cleansed of all products before using your light, then follow up with your typical skin care routine. The reason is that some products can block the penetration of the light, while others – such as benzoyl peroxide, vitamin A, Retin-A, or alcohol – can cause irritation when used under intense light. That issue is completely avoided when the products are removed before the light therapy and applied afterward.

Can I use my existing prescription products?

For the most part, yes. As is the case with over-the-counter skin care products, simply make sure that you remove any topical products before using the light therapy and apply it afterward, according to your prescription directions. It is important to consult with your doctor or a pharmacist before using light therapy of any kind with medication that you are taking internally. Some medications cause sensitivity to light and may require you to shorten the length of your session times.

Is red light therapy safe to use on sensitive skin?

All Light Therapy Options products are approved for all skin types and skin tones. However, if you have any specific concerns, it is recommended that you speak with your physician or dermatologist.

Can I use red light therapy after botox injections?

It is typically recommended that you wait two weeks after the injections before beginning the therapy. If you have any concerns, speak with your doctor or dermatologist.

Can I use red light therapy on tattooed skin?

The effect of red light therapy on tattoos is not yet fully known. The extra pigment in the skin could cause more light to be absorbed in that area, but this is very unlikely. The primary concern would be to the tattoo itself, as the impact is unknown. As tattoos are often very important and have sentimental value, we recommend covering your tattoos to protect them from any unforeseen reaction to the light. This makes sure that both the tattoo and your skin will be protected against any unpredicted effects. Covering your tattoo to keep it safe is as easy as using a piece of white fabric that is taped or rested in place.

Do I have to wear the protective goggles if I am not facing the light?

When using red light therapy on your face, the goggles are meant to shield your eyes from the extreme brightness of the Pure Red LED Red Light. The goggles make the sessions comfortable for you. When you are not facing the light (for example, if you are treating acne scars on your back), you don’t need to wear the goggles as long as you don’t shine the light into your eyes. Red light has never been shown to be harmful to eyes. That said, when combined with blue light, protective goggles should always be worn.

Is there UV in red or near infrared light therapy devices?

No. UV is on the opposite end of the spectrum. For UV to be in a red or near infrared light therapy device, the manufacturer would have to put it in there on purpose for a reason.

Can red light therapy cause skin cancer?

No. Skin cancer caused by light exposure is from UV wavelengths, which are at the opposite end of the spectrum from red.

Can I get a sunburn from red light therapy?

No. Sunburn is caused by UV wavelength exposure. There is no UV in red or near infrared light therapy products.