Red light therapy for psoriasis scientific research

Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis: Review Of The Scientific Research

Red light therapy (RLT) is a type of phototherapy that has been used to treat various skin conditions, including psoriasis. Red light therapy for psoriasis involves exposing the affected area to a specific wavelength of red light, which reduces inflammation and promotes healing.


Scientific research and clinical trials show that red light therapy can be effective in improving the symptoms and make living with psoriasis much more comfortable. 

Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis

How It Works

Red light therapy works by using wavelengths of red and near-infrared light to penetrate the skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.


Additionally, the light stimulates the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy for our cells. This helps to reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of the skin through tissue repair. It also helps to increase blood flow to the affected area, which can help to reduce redness and scaling.

"The main medical applications of LLLT are reducing pain and inflammation, augmenting tissue repair and promoting regeneration of different tissues and nerves, and preventing tissue damage in situations where it is likely to occur." [1]

Benefits of Red Light Therapy

As shown in the studies below, red light therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment of psoriasis, with tremendous therapeutic effects on overall skin health.


One of the benefits of red light therapy is that it is non-invasive and does not require any medication. It is also painless and has no known side effects. This makes it an ideal treatment option for those who are looking for a natural and safe way to manage their psoriasis symptoms.


The therapy can be used in combination with other treatments, such as topical creams and medications. As a result, it has become an increasingly popular treatment option for psoriasis patients.

At-Home Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy devices are now available for at-home use. These devices use light emitting diodes (LEDs) to deliver red and near-infrared light to the skin. They are easy to use and can be used in the comfort of your own home.


When using an at-home red light therapy device, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. This will ensure that you get the best results possible and minimize the risk of side effects.

Clinical Studies and Research

There have been several clinical studies conducted on the efficacy of red light therapy, in scientific studies often referred to as low-level laser therapy, for psoriasis. 

Study

Link

Findings

Recalcitrant Psoriasis

Red light therapy shows promise in the treatment of recalcitrant psoriasis.

Skin Diseases

LLLT appears to have a wide range of applications of use in dermatology, especially in indications where stimulation of healing, reduction of inflammation, reduction of cell death and skin rejuvenation are required.

Skin Healing

In pigmentary disorders such as vitiligo, LLLT can increase pigmentation by stimulating melanocyte proliferation and reduce depigmentation by inhibiting autoimmunity. Inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and acne can also be managed. 

UV Light Therapy for Psoriasis

UV light therapy is another type of phototherapy. It uses ultraviolet light to treat psoriasis. UV light therapy may be administered in a doctor's office, clinic, or at home using a specialized light box. There are two types of UV light therapy: UVB and UVA.

UVB therapy uses a specific wavelength of UVB light to slow the growth of affected skin cells and reduce inflammation.

UVA therapy is often used in combination with a medication called psoralen, which increases the skin's sensitivity to UVA light.


While light therapy may be an effective treatment option for psoriasis, there are some risks associated with this type of therapy. UV light therapy, in particular, may increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of light therapy with a healthcare provider before beginning treatment.

Comparing Red Light Therapy With Traditional Psoriasis Treatments

Psoriasis affects the skin, causing red, scaly patches on different body parts. It is a chronic autoimmune condition that is non-contagious and affects millions of people worldwide.


The symptoms of psoriasis can vary depending on the type of psoriasis a person has. The most common symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Red, raised, and scaly patches of skin

  • Itching, burning, or soreness in the affected areas

  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed

  • Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails

  • Joint pain or stiffness

Treatment Type

Effectiveness

Benefits

Red Light Therapy

Effective

Non-invasive, effective and affordable solution to manage psoriasis symptoms.

UV Light Therapy

Effective

Effective solution to manage psoriasis symptoms. Due to risks of UV light, usually performed at the healthcare provider, which can be costly.

Topical Treatments

Short-Term Effective

Topical treatments are the first line of defense for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Their effect is short-term.

Oral and Injectable Medications

Effective

For moderate to severe psoriasis, oral and injectable medications may be prescribed. These medications can have negative side-effects.

Lifestyle Changes

Mildly Effective

Lifestyle Changes such as weight management, quitting smoking, and reducing stress can ease psoriasis symptoms in the long term but require serious commitment and discipline.

Home remedies

Fairly Ineffective For Healing

Home remedies such as ointments, moisturizers and humidifiers that help to prevent itching and keeping the skin moist. These remedies may prevent the condition from getting worse but have little effect on the healing process.

Conclusion

In light of the invasive nature of alternatives, it is no wonder why there has been hype about red light therapy as a convenient and safe option to manage psoriasis symptoms.


 Unlike topical creams or oral medications, red light therapy does not require any preparation or downtime, and it can be easily incorporated into a person's daily routine.


While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and effectiveness, red light therapy is a safe, convenient, and promising type of therapy that can be used in combination with other treatments to help manage psoriasis.

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References

[1] Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, Vecchio D, Pam Z, Pam N, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar;32(1):41-52. PMID: 24049929; PMCID: PMC4126803.


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