Red Light Therapy Psoriasis: Will It Actually Work?

By Last Updated: April 3rd, 202414.7 min readViews: 345

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Red Light Therapy Psoriasis
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About the Author: Daryl Stubbs
Daryl Stubbs
Daryl Stubbs is a multi-disciplinary health professional, combining his roles as an award-winning athletic therapist, registered massage therapist, and certified holistic nutritionist to offer a comprehensive approach to wellness. Graduating in 2013, Daryl has been recognized as the best massage therapy clinic in Victoria for 2022 and 2023 and has received national athletic therapy awards. He is known for his holistic approach to health, focusing on treating the body as a whole. Clients appreciate his focus on the science of probiotics, supplements, gut health, and the human body, ensuring a well-informed and evidence-based approach to their wellness journey.

Discover the transformative power of Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis, a cutting-edge, non-invasive treatment that is revolutionizing the way we approach this chronic autoimmune skin condition. With psoriasis sufferers constantly seeking safer, more effective treatment alternatives, RLT emerges as a beacon of hope, offering relief without the harsh effects of traditional therapies. This innovative method uses specific wavelengths of red light to target and alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis, reducing inflammation and slowing down the rapid skin cell production characteristic of the condition. Dive into the world of Red Light Therapy with us, as we explore how this gentle yet effective treatment can enhance your skin health, improve your quality of life, and potentially turn the tide in the battle against psoriasis.

Key TakeAway Red Light Therapy For Psoriasis

Red Light Therapy (RLT) for psoriasis include its emergence as a promising and innovative treatment option, offering a non-invasive alternative to traditional therapies. RLT, utilizing LEDs to deliver specific red light wavelengths, aims to alleviate psoriasis symptoms by reducing inflammation and regulating skin cell production.

Its appeal lies in its safety profile, notably the absence of UV radiation, making it a preferable choice for many seeking relief from psoriasis without the risks associated with UV-based treatments.

While the effectiveness of RLT can vary among individuals, it often forms a part of a comprehensive management plan, including medications and lifestyle changes, under professional guidance.

To get the most out of using red light for psoriasis, you’ll need to use a quality red light device with proper red light wave lengths.

The best red light device for psoriasis will be the Platinum light therapy devices – biomax 450 for spot treatments or the biomax 600/900 series. You can also choose a Health Canada approved Infraredi Pro series device.

Red light therapy (RLT) is gaining traction as an alternative approach to managing psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition that accelerates the life cycle of skin cells.

This innovative therapy uses light-emitting diodes (LED) to expose the skin to specific wavelengths of red light.

The treatment aims to reduce inflammation, slow down skin cell production, and alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis. While the exact mechanisms of RLT are still being studied, preliminary evidence suggests that it may offer relief for some individuals with this persistent skin condition.

A person with psoriasis sits under red light therapy, with a soothing glow enveloping their skin

The appeal of red light therapy lies in its non-invasive nature and the absence of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, making it a safer option compared to traditional phototherapy that often employs UV light.

Patients are exploring RLT for psoriasis to manage flare-ups and improve their skin’s appearance.

However, the effectiveness of red light therapy can vary, and it is not a universal solution for everyone with psoriasis. Its application typically forms part of a comprehensive psoriasis management plan that may include topical treatments, systemic medications, and lifestyle modifications.

Understanding the nuances of RLT is essential for those considering it as a treatment option.

Professional guidance from healthcare providers is crucial to evaluate if red light therapy is a suitable modality for an individual’s specific psoriasis condition and to determine the appropriate treatment protocol.

Understanding Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy (RLT) is an emerging treatment that leverages low wavelength red light. Medical professionals and patients have reported its effectiveness in treating various skin conditions, notably psoriasis.

How it works: RLT exposes the skin to a lamp, device, or laser with red light. The therapy is thought to work by acting on mitochondria in cells, potentially leading to various cellular benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects and increased collagen production.

Conditions treated: Although initially used to aid in muscle repair and recovery, its use has expanded to skin conditions such as psoriasis. Multiple studies suggest that RLT may help reduce psoriasis symptoms.

Treatment details:

  • RLT uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • It is non-invasive, involving no cuts or blood.
  • Sessions are typically short, ranging from a few seconds to minutes.

Effectiveness:

  • A study highlighted patients with plaque psoriasis who saw significant clearing of the skin after red light therapy sessions.
  • It may improve skin appearance by reducing wrinkles, scars, and redness.

Safety and Side Effects:

  • RLT is generally considered safe.
  • Some may experience mild side effects.

For those considering RLT, professional guidance is recommended to discuss individual needs and treatment plans.

Note: The effectiveness of RLT can vary from person to person. It is important to have realistic expectations and consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis

Red light therapy (RLT) offers a non-invasive treatment option for individuals with psoriasis.

Psoriasis typically manifests as red, scaly patches on the skin, which can be both uncomfortable and aesthetically concerning for patients.

Physicians and patients alike are interested in RLT due to its potential to alleviate symptoms without the use of pharmaceuticals.

Key benefits of red light therapy include:

  • Reduction in Inflammation: RLT is known to help in reducing the skin inflammation associated with psoriasis, which in turn can decrease redness and irritation. HealthCentral outlines RLT’s anti-inflammatory impact on the skin.
  • Encouraging Cell Repair: It is believed that the wavelengths used in red light therapy can penetrate the skin and promote cell repair and regeneration. This can be particularly beneficial for healing the affected skin areas.
  • Improvements in Skin Texture: Some individuals report an improvement in the texture of their skin, experiencing smoother and less scaly skin after undergoing RLT.
  • Ease of Use and Accessibility: RLT can be performed in a medical setting, or with FDA-approved devices at home, providing flexibility for those seeking regular treatment. Healthline discusses targeted RLT administered by a dermatologist.

It’s important to note that while red light therapy may offer these benefits, responses to treatment can vary and more research may be needed.

Patients interested in RLT should consult with a dermatologist to explore this therapy as part of their treatment regimen.

Treatment Protocols

When utilizing red light therapy (RLT) for psoriasis, a healthcare provider typically outlines a specific treatment protocol tailored to the patient’s condition.

These protocols are designed to safely administer RLT, aiming to reduce symptoms of psoriasis with minimal side effects.

Initial Consultation

Before commencing RLT, patients should receive a thorough evaluation by a dermatologist.

This evaluation includes assessing the severity of psoriasis and determining whether RLT is a suitable treatment option.

Frequency and Duration

RLT sessions might vary in length, and the number of treatments per week can depend on the individual’s response to the therapy.

Generally, treatment may start several times a week, with each session lasting a few minutes to longer duration as needed.

Device and Setting Selection

Providers may choose between different RLT devices, including panels, beds, or handheld units.

The selection is based on the extent of psoriasis and the target treatment area. Providers should set the devices to emit light at specific wavelengths that have shown efficacy in treating psoriasis.

Monitoring and Adjustment

Throughout the treatment course, the patient’s response should be monitored.

Adjustments may be required, such as altering the frequency or duration of therapy sessions.

Monitoring helps to ensure optimal treatment efficacy while reducing the risk of potential side effects.

Safety and Side Effects

Red light therapy (RLT) is typically considered a safe treatment option for various skin conditions, including psoriasis.

However, patients should be aware of potential side effects although they are uncommon.

  • Eye Damage: Direct exposure to intense light can be harmful to the eyes. It is important to wear protective eyewear during treatment sessions.
  • Skin Irritation: Some individuals may experience mild skin irritation, redness, or rash, especially if they have sensitive skin.

When discussing the safety of RLT, it’s noted that the procedure does not use UV light, reducing the risk of skin damage associated with UV exposure.

Treatments should be performed following the device’s guidelines or under the supervision of a healthcare professional to minimize risks.

Individuals with certain medical conditions such as skin cancer or photosensitive disorders must consult a doctor before undergoing RLT.

Furthermore, while RLT is generally considered safe for psoriasis, it is essential to monitor for any adverse reactions during the treatment period.

  • Wound Healing: There is a theoretical risk that RLT could affect skin healing, so care must be taken with existing wounds.

Effectiveness of Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis

Red light therapy (RLT) is increasingly recognized for the potential benefits it may offer in the treatment of psoriasis.

Psoriasis is characterized by a quick turnover of skin cells resulting in scaly, rough patches on the skin’s surface.

Clinical observations suggest that RLT can help by:

  • Reducing skin inflammation
  • Slowing down the production of skin cells

Studies have found that using LED-red light emitters is an emerging treatment option due to its positive results. However, more research is required to substantiate these findings.

Effectiveness:

  • Promising: Initial studies and patient reports point towards symptomatic relief.
  • Variable: The degree of effectiveness can vary between individuals and psoriasis severity.
  • Adjunct: Considered an adjunct to traditional treatments, not a standalone cure.

The potential of RLT, specifically the use of near-infrared (NIR) and visible red light, lies in their deep penetration and ability to induce photobiomodulation, fostering healing processes within the skin.

Limitations:

  • Risks: Minimal risks are present, but patients should consult healthcare providers before initiating RLT.
  • Accessibility: Availability may be limited, and treatments can require multiple sessions.
  • Cost: Potential out-of-pocket costs could be a barrier for some patients.

It’s important for individuals to discuss the opulence of RLT as part of their psoriasis management plan with their doctor, to weigh its benefits against personal health backgrounds and other treatment options.

Comparison with Other Psoriasis Treatments

A person sitting under red light therapy while various psoriasis treatments are displayed nearby

Red light therapy (RLT) offers a distinct approach to managing psoriasis when compared to traditional treatments.

Unlike topical corticosteroids like triamcinolone or clobetasol, which are directly applied to affected areas and can produce skin thinning over time, RLT does not have such adverse effects.

Phototherapy, another common treatment, exposes the skin to ultraviolet light. However, it differs from RLT in several ways:

  • Wavelength: Phototherapy typically uses UVB light, whereas RLT utilizes red and near-infrared wavelengths.
  • Mechanism: UVB phototherapy targets DNA in skin cells to reduce their proliferation. RLT, on the other hand, works by stimulating cellular repair and reducing inflammation.

Here is a brief comparison:

Treatment Method Type of Light Mechanism of Action Potential Risks
RLT Red & Near-Infrared Light Stimulates cellular repair, reduces inflammation Minimal risk when used appropriately
Phototherapy UVB Light Suppresses skin cell proliferation Potential for skin burns, increased cancer risk

Studies have indicated that RLT may have a less pronounced but notably safer profile in the long-term management of symptoms.

Patients with psoriasis seeking new treatments may explore FDA-approved wearable blue light devices, which represent a subclass of light therapy designed for home use. These treatments, while effective, may have limitations and are not suitable for all psoriasis cases.

Red Light Therapy Devices

Red Light Therapy (RLT) devices are instruments that emit red, low-level wavelengths of light. These devices are designed for various settings, including professional medical offices and personal home use.

When selecting a Red Light Therapy device for psoriasis, considerations should include:

  • Wavelength: Ideal devices emit light in the ranges of 630-670 nm and 810-880 nm.
  • Intensity: The power output should be sufficient to provide therapeutic benefits without causing harm.
  • Size: Devices range from handheld units to full-body panels.

Types of Devices:

  • Handheld Units: Convenient for targeted areas, easy to handle, and great for travel.
  • Tabletop Units: Slightly larger, they are suitable for treating a bigger area while remaining portable.
  • Free-Standing Panels: Best for full-body treatments, often used in clinical settings.

Practitioners often recommend devices that have FDA clearance or approval, ensuring safety and efficacy for treating psoriasis.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for usage, including exposure time and frequency, to achieve optimal results.

Users should wear protective eyewear and not exceed the prescribed treatment time to prevent overexposure.

For further details on specific products and their benefits for psoriasis, one can explore information provided by Cleveland Clinic and HealthCentral.

User Guidelines

When considering red light therapy for psoriasis, patients are advised to follow specific guidelines to ensure safety and effectiveness:

  • Consultation: A healthcare provider should be consulted before starting treatment. Dermatologists often recommend red light therapy as it may have an anti-inflammatory impact on the skin.
  • Frequency of Use: Treatments should be consistent yet not excessive, typically ranging from 2 to 3 times per week. The exact frequency should be determined by the healthcare provider.
  • Duration: Sessions usually last from a few minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes, depending on the equipment used and the severity of the psoriasis.
  • Equipment: Only use devices that are FDA-approved for treating psoriasis. Ensure they are well-maintained and clean.
  • Eye Protection: Patients must use eye protection during sessions to prevent exposure to harmful rays.
  • Skin Exposure: Affected areas should be exposed, while unaffected skin should be covered or shielded.
  • Documentation: Monitoring and documenting the skin’s response to treatment can be helpful for healthcare providers to adjust protocols.
Do Don’t
Follow doctor’s instructions Use without a consultation
Wear protective eyewear Stare at the light source
Cover unaffected areas Overexpose the skin
Document changes Ignore adverse reactions

Patients should promptly report any adverse effects to their healthcare provider and should always adhere strictly to the prescribed treatment regimen.

Insurance and Cost

A red light therapy device treating psoriasis, with insurance and cost information displayed nearby

When considering red light therapy for psoriasis, patients should be mindful of both insurance coverage and associated costs.

Medicare, for instance, may cover light therapy for psoriasis if it is deemed medically necessary, and the patient has a written order from a healthcare provider. It is crucial for patients to verify this coverage, as policies may vary.

Health insurance plans could also provide coverage for light therapy, but patients may encounter variability depending on their specific plan and the treatment’s classification—whether it’s considered a medical necessity and prescribed by a doctor.

Detailed information regarding insurance coverage for psoriasis treatments can be gathered from resources like the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Costs for red light therapy can range significantly. If not covered by insurance, patients may face high out-of-pocket expenses. A careful review of insurance benefits is recommended before undergoing treatment.

Coverage Type Key Considerations
Medicare Written order required, medically necessary treatments only.
Private Insurance Dependent on individual plan details and necessity criteria.

Conclusion

In light of current evidence, red light therapy emerges as a potential non-invasive treatment with promising outcomes for managing psoriasis.

It operates on the principle of using specific wavelengths to provide anti-inflammatory effects and promote skin healing.

Clinicians may offer red light therapy as an adjunct to conventional treatments, especially for patients seeking alternative or complementary options.

Dermatologists have noted that the therapy’s effectiveness varies and it may not work for everyone.

Hence, patients are advised to have realistic expectations.

Continuous research is essential for understanding the complete effects of red light therapy on psoriasis.

Patients interested in this therapy should consult with their dermatologist to discuss the benefits and risks.

Individual responses to red light therapy can depend on various factors, including the severity and type of psoriasis.

Treatment protocols, such as duration and frequency, need to be tailored to each patient’s condition.

As clinical trials and patient reports contribute to the growing pool of data, red light therapy could be refined and more widely adopted in the management of psoriasis.

Patients are encouraged to follow developments and remain informed through reliable medical sources.

Key Takeaways:

  • Red light therapy may help reduce psoriasis symptoms.
  • Outcomes can vary; not all patients may experience benefits.
  • A dermatologist should be consulted before starting red light therapy.
  • Ongoing research is expected to further elucidate its therapeutic potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

A red light therapy device shines on a psoriasis-affected area, emitting a warm and soothing glow. The affected skin appears to be receiving the healing benefits of the therapy

This section addresses common inquiries about red light therapy for psoriasis, providing evidence-based insights.

How often should red light therapy be used to treat psoriasis?

The frequency of red light therapy sessions can vary, but studies suggest consistent treatments may lead to improvement in symptoms.

It is important to follow a healthcare provider’s recommendation for optimal results.

What are the benefits of using red light therapy for psoriasis as observed in before and after studies?

Red light therapy has been shown to reduce the severity of psoriasis symptoms, including inflammation and scaling.

Before and after studies indicate significant symptom reduction, especially when therapy is administered consistently.

Can red light therapy potentially improve psoriasis symptoms and how does it compare to traditional treatments?

Yes, red light therapy can potentially improve psoriasis symptoms by promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

Compared to traditional treatments, it offers a non-invasive alternative with few known side effects.

Which type of light therapy is more effective for psoriasis treatment, red or blue?

While both red and blue light therapies can be beneficial for skin conditions, red light therapy is typically more effective for psoriasis treatment; blue light is often used for acne management.

Where can one purchase a UVB lamp specifically for treating psoriasis?

UVB lamps designed for psoriasis treatment can be purchased from medical supply stores or online retailers.

It is crucial to choose a device cleared by health authorities and to use it under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

Does undergoing light therapy for psoriasis also cause skin tanning?

Light therapy for psoriasis, especially when using UVB light, may lead to tanning of the treated areas.

However, the primary goal is to treat psoriasis, and skin tanning is a secondary effect that may occur.

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