Red Light & Blue Light Therapy
Light therapy is a rapid treatment that utilizes concentrated wavelengths of light to address both medical and cosmetic dermatological issues. Certain forms of light therapy can be used to reduce the symptoms of chronic skin conditions like psoriasis or vitiligo, while others can repair and rejuvenate the skin.
Two of the most effective forms of light therapy are red light therapy and blue light therapy:
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy involves the use of UV-free LED therapy lamps to transfer low wavelengths of red light deep into the skin. This red light works to boost blood flow to the treated area while spurring the production of collagen and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), improving skin tone and texture. Red light therapy can also reduce inflammation, skin discoloration (pigmentation), pore size, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red light is also effective at addressing pre-cancerous areas called actinic keratoses (AKs).
Blue Light Therapy
This form of light therapy transfers blue light to the skin using specialized LED lamps. Blue light therapy can treat a host of chronic skin conditions. It is often used as treatment for acne as blue light has been shown to both reduce overproduction of oil (sebum) while simultaneously eliminating bacteria from within pores. Blue light is also effective at addressing actinic keratoses (AKs) as treatments can destroy precancerous lesions while leaving surrounding healthy tissue unaffected.
In some instances, patients can benefit from a treatment plan that combines blue light and red light therapy. In this two-tiered approach, patients will often alternate between each type of therapy under the close watch of their dermatologist.
What Conditions Can Light Therapy Treat?
Both types of light therapy have been shown to treat a variety of medical and cosmetic skin issues including:
- Actinic Keratoses (AK’s)
- Sun Damage
What areas of the body can be treated?
Both blue light therapy and red light therapy is safe for use on all areas of the body. Commonly treated areas include the face, chest, back, legs, arms, and hands.
What should I expect during a light therapy treatment?
Light therapy is a non-invasive treatment. During the treatment patients either sit in a chair or lie down while the light is administered to the treatment site. Your physician may recommend incorporating a topical medication in conjunction with the light therapy treatment in order to make the targeted area more sensitive to the light, resulting in a more effective treatment.
How long are light therapy treatments?
Treatment time can vary from patient to patient, depending on their needs. However, typical treatment sessions last anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
The number of treatment sessions needed can also vary by patient need. While some patients realize their desired results after a single light therapy session, usually patients will need multiple treatment sessions of a specified period.
Is blue light therapy or red light therapy covered by medical insurance?
Light therapy may be covered by medical insurance if the insurance provider determines that treatment is medically necessary. Patients should contact their insurance provider to verify that their particular policy will cover light therapy prior to beginning treatment.