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LED Red Light Therapy: Risks, Costs, Time

The helpful anti-inflammatory effects of LED red light therapy, and the potential uses for this light therapy, are abundant. The research is still preliminary. Past studies have stressed the importance of the specific LED red light wavelengths that people use to target their skin.

However, as the review in Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery explains, the collected research found that in many cases, the very specific LED wavelengths made relatively little difference during treatment.

LED Red Light Therapy Risks

RLT is a completely natural process. It exposes the skin to levels of light that are not harmful — unlike UV light coming from the sun. Because of this, there is virtually no risk of side effects from undergoing red light therapy. However, a practitioner with little experience or someone who exposes themselves to too much of the treatment may cause tissue and cell damage.

Red light therapy is generally safe and may be a very effective treatment option for people seeking smaller changes in their skin or to keep the skin healthy and reduce inflammation. Other applications of LED red light therapy have promising early evidence, but there is not enough reliable evidence in humans to call it effective in every case.

Overall, the American Academy of Dermatology deems this procedure safe. Since LEDs don’t contain UV rays, this is considered a safer form of light therapy that won’t cause long-term damage to your skin. The procedure is also non-invasive and has few risks. Red light therapy products for use at home may also lead to misuse, causing damage to the skin, burns, or damage to unprotected eyes.

Your provider may recommend LED light therapy if you have darker or sensitive skin. Unlike more invasive procedures such as laser therapy, LEDs don’t burn your skin. They also don’t cause any pain.

However, there may still be risks associated with LED red light therapy. Do not use LED red light therapy if you’re using anything on your skin that makes you sensitive to sunlight.You also might consider avoiding this treatment if you currently have an active rash. Talk with your doctor if you have psoriasis. Red light therapy could help but only if you use it in conjunction with your regularly prescribed treatments.

Side effects of LED red light therapy are rare and were not noted during clinical trials trusted source. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms post-treatment:

Increased inflammation






LED Red Light Therapy Costs

Red light therapy is available in a number of gyms, day spas, and tanning salons.

RLT has a relatively low operating cost. It is also not a medicine in the traditional sense, so it is widely available. Many establishments may offer red light therapy devices or panels, including:


Day spas

Tanning salons

Wellness centers


Dermatology offices

Many companies also offer products that use targeted LED red light therapy panels as a spot healing tool. Anyone purchasing such red led light therapy devices for use at home should check to be sure that the device delivers red light within the effective wavelengths before completing the purchase.

LED Red Light Therapy Time

LED light therapy is non-invasive, so no recovery time is required. You should be able to continue with your everyday activities once your treatment is over.

At home LED red light therapy requires up to 10 sessions or more, each spaced out about a week apart. You may start to see minor results after your first session. Results will be more dramatic and noticeable once you’ve finished all of your treatments.

Even after you’ve achieved the recommended number of sessions, your results aren’t permanent. As your skin cells turn over, you may lose some collagen and start to see signs of aging again. You may also start to see acne breakouts. This is why it’s recommended that you go back for maintenance treatments every few months or as recommended by your provider.

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