- What is red light therapy?
- How does it work?
- What are the benefits of light therapy for rosacea sufferers?
- Does infrared light also treat rosacea?
- Can other light therapy wavelengths (colors) help rosacea?
- Is it safe? Are there side effects?
- If it’s safe, why are goggles provided along with the LED red light therapy products?
- Can I use red light therapy for rosacea while I’m using other medications?
- Can I use it with topical rosacea medications?
- Is red light therapy all I will need to make rosacea symptoms go away?
- How long until I see results?
- Will I have to use red light therapy for rosacea forever? Is this a cure?
What is red light therapy?
Red light therapy for rosacea is a form of alternative medicine that uses the red wavelengths of light, which range from 620 nanometers to 700 nm. When it comes to treating rosacea, home products are usually focused on the 630 nm to 660 nm range. For example, we typically recommend our Peak 630™ LED red light to help to treat the symptoms of the skin condition.
How does it work?
The wavelengths from our red light therapy products can penetrate the skin to a depth of 8 mm to 10 mm. The energy from that light is used by the mitochondria in the cells to turn it into a form of energy that the other parts of the cells can use for activities such as:
- Improving circulation to the area and encouraging new capillary formation. 1
- Increasing collagen and fibroblast production. 2, 3
- Boosting ATP (raw energy that cells can use) release. 4
- Stimulation of tissue granulation. 5
- Reduction of skin inflammation. 6, 7
- Enhanced “clean up” of the cells (phagocytosis).
- Raised activity from the lymphatic system.
What are the benefits of light therapy for rosacea sufferers?
The processes that red light therapy promotes in the skin can help to generate the following benefits for people with rosacea:
- More even overall skin tone
- Reduction in redness, flushing, and broken capillaries
- Improved natural moisture levels in the skin
- Faster healing of “acne rosacea” bumps and pimples
- Sun damage repair
- Lowered inflammation
- Decrease in rosacea-related skin discomforts such as burning, itching and tightness.
Does infrared light also treat rosacea?
You may have noticed that our store sells both red light and red/infrared light products. We recommend using red (visible) light therapy as a rosacea treatment. The reason is that while infrared light does have its potential health benefits – primarily in reducing pain – those benefits aren’t yet known to improve the causes or symptoms of rosacea. That is why we recommend the Peak 630™ Red LED Light Therapy Set as opposed to the light that combines both red and infrared.
Can other light therapy wavelengths (colors) help rosacea?
The main form of light therapy as a rosacea treatment is red light therapy. However, red can be combined with certain other wavelengths (colors) if more benefits are needed. Red light is usually recommended as a starting point and will often be all that you need to reduce the inflammation, redness, bumps, itchiness, tightness, dryness, and burning feeling. If you are trying light therapy for the first time, try red light for a few weeks to see how your skin reacts. It may be all that is required.
If you have a more advanced case of rosacea or if you have tried red light therapy and would like further calming benefits, there are two other wavelengths that you may wish to consider:
- Amber light therapy for rosacea – amber wavelengths can be very calming to the skin. Many rosacea sufferers combine this with their red light sessions to further soothe the skin as well as reduce red spots and blotches and minimize visible blood vessels. Our Peak 589™ Amber LED Light Therapy Set combines well with red light therapy.
- Green light therapy for rosacea – even when your skin is doing very well when being treated with red light, and if you don’t experience many flushes at all, they can still occur. Many people find that green light therapy on rosacea flushes can be soothing and can reduce the redness, heat, itchiness, and overall discomfort. Our Peak 535™ Green LED Light Therapy Set works very well when combined with red light therapy.
Aren’t sure which wavelengths are right for you? Learn more about light therapy for rosacea with our Buyer’s Guide.
Is it safe? Are there side effects?
Right light therapy for rosacea is a natural, safe, alternative therapy. Due to the many advantages that it has been shown to provide, from anti-aging to anti-acne benefits, studies are being continually conducted on the use of these treatments. That said, there have yet to be any adverse side effects that have been discovered in medical studies. There also have not been any side effects reported by any of the users of our products.
If it’s safe, why are goggles provided along with the LED red light therapy products?
The goggles are provided as a precaution. As studies are ongoing, we want to ensure that your eyes are protected in the off chance that there could be any impact of using red light therapy that has not yet been discovered.
Many of our customers have said that they’re glad to have the Super Sunnies which come free with all of our lights, or the premium total blockout goggles, simply because the lights are very bright. The shade from the goggles allows the eyes to be relaxed, regardless of the fact that bright light is shining directly on the face. For that reason, the goggles are as much a matter of comfort and convenience as they are for potential vision protection.
Can I use red light therapy for rosacea while I’m using other medications?
The majority of medications can be used perfectly safely with red light therapy. However, because there is a vast spectrum of different types of drugs and medications out there and some do cause light sensitivity, it is best to consult with your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist, just to be sure.
Can I use it with topical rosacea medications?
Some topical rosacea medications can cause light sensitivity. For example, one common type of topical prescription topical medication has the generic name of metronidazole (brand names include: Metrocream, Metrogel, Metrolotion, and Noritate). It is usually among the first medications prescribed to treat rosacea and it can make your skin more light sensitive. This is why sunscreen is often recommended by the prescribing doctor or the pharmacist who fills prescriptions for this medication.
If you are using this or another topical medication, you may still be able to use it, provided that you use the red light therapy on a clean face and then apply the medication afterward. Check with your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist about the best way to proceed if you are using a topical medication for your rosacea, to be sure.
Is red light therapy all I will need to make rosacea symptoms go away?
While some people find that regular red light therapy is all they need to keep their rosacea symptoms under control, we recommend a skin care routine that involves several healthy, practical, and realistic practices including:
- Proper hydration – simply by drinking enough water each day.
- Avoidance of triggers – such as certain foods, hot temperatures, excess physical exertion, etc.
- Gentle skin care – using products with mild, anti-inflammatory ingredients.
- Sun protection – limiting direct sunlight (without sunscreen or shade) to 10 minutes or less per day.
- Sleep – regular restful sleep can make all the difference in healing rosacea symptoms.
- Stress management – anxiety is hard on even the best complexion but it is a leading cause of rosacea flare-ups.
For regularly updated information about natural ways to treat this skin disorder and that complements red light therapy for rosacea, visit our helpful rosacea care articles page. This provides more information about how red light helps and how to incorporate it into a complete rosacea-friendly lifestyle.
How long until I see results?
Results vary from one person to the next and from one case of rosacea to the next. It can depend on your own unique response to red wavelengths as well as the severity of your rosacea symptoms.
The results that you experience will also depend on your skin care routine, your diet, attention to hydration, sleep quality, stress level, exposure to natural sunlight, weather extremes where you live, the amount of physical exertions that you experience in a day, and other factors that can worsen or improve rosacea symptoms.
All that taken into account, some people can start to see some very preliminary benefits after the first 24 hours of use while others will take notably longer. The typical case of rosacea will experience improvements within the first 2 weeks of treatment that has been consistent and according to the LED red light therapy directions. After 4 weeks, there should be a considerable improvement in the visible rosacea symptoms. It has been our experience among our customers that by 12 weeks, many of the symptoms have greatly cleared while many have entirely healed.
It is important to continue maintenance treatments once or twice per week in order to prevent the rosacea symptoms from returning.
Will I have to use red light therapy for rosacea forever? Is this a cure?
Unfortunately, rosacea has no cure. However, red light therapy for rosacea has been shown to be able to control many of the symptoms – both visible (such as redness and bumps) and the overall discomforts (such as dryness, burning, and itching). Therefore, while you will likely have the condition for the rest of your life, by keeping up the short treatments (usually 90-180 seconds per area) it is possible to control it indefinitely.