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Red Light Therapy For Wound Healing

The effects of red light therapy on wound healing was first researched by NASA as a treatment method for astronauts on long space flights. Since then, the technology has proven in thousands of scientific studies and clinical trials to speed up tissue repair, relieve pain and to minimize the formation of scars through accelerated wound closure.

“The reviewed studies show that phototherapy, either by LASER or LED, is an effective therapeutic modality to promote healing of skin wounds.” National Library of Medicine, 2014

Deep healing red light therapy offers several advantages over traditional wound healing methods. Unlike medications or surgical interventions, red light therapy is non-invasive, painless, and carries minimal risk of side effects. It can be used alongside other treatments or as a standalone therapy, providing flexibility and customization in the healing process.

Mechanisms of Red Light Therapy For Wound Healing

Studies have demonstrated that low-level light therapy shortens the recovery period, alleviates discomfort, and improves overall outcomes for patients.

“Various positive responses to PBM in wound healing have been noted over the years in vitro and in vivo. PBM leads to photochemical reactions and the production of ATP activates a cascade of cellular events, which in turn leads to biological changes and downstream effects. These effects include, but are not limited to, the restoration of cellular function, mitigation of inflammation and pain, augmentation of tissue regeneration and wound repair, reduced oxidative stress, immunomodulation, neuronal regulation, accelerated cell proliferation and migration, stimulated release of growth factors, and promotion of ECM synthesis.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2021

It is ideally suited following any ablative procedure as well as pre and post-surgery for the following reasons:

Activation of Cellular Energy Production: One of the primary effects of red light therapy is the stimulation of cellular energy production. The photons from the red light interact with mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cells, promoting the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and reducing oxidative stress. Increased ATP production enhances cellular metabolism and accelerates the healing process.

Deep healing red light therapy has been shown to restore normal mitochondrial functioning through a process known as photobiomodulation. When cells are exposed to red light, light-absorbing molecules called chromophores within the mitochondria, such as cytochrome c oxidase, are activated. This activation triggers a series of intracellular events, including the enhancement of electron transport chain activity and increased mitochondrial membrane potential. These effects lead to improved ATP production, enhanced cellular respiration, and optimized mitochondrial functioning. This promotes the synthesis of proteins, DNA, and other molecules necessary for nerve growth and repair. Red light therapy also helps to reduce oxidative stress by promoting the production of antioxidants and scavenging reactive oxygen species, which can damage mitochondria. By restoring normal mitochondrial functioning, red light therapy provides cells with the energy and resources necessary for optimal cellular activities and overall health.

“The laser causes hyperpolarization of the cell membrane and activation of the resynthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides free energy for the regenerative bioprocesses through hydrolysis.” National Library of Medicine, 2021

Increased Blood Circulation: Red light therapy also improves blood circulation, which is crucial for wound healing. The light energy stimulates the formation of new capillaries, enhancing blood flow to the injured area. This increased circulation provides oxygen, nutrients, and immune cells necessary for healing.

Red light therapy enhances blood circulation through a mechanism known as vasodilation. The infrared light stimulates the release of nitric oxide, which leads to vasodilation, expanding the blood vessels. As a result, blood flow is improved, allowing for enhanced delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and other essential molecules to the surrounding tissues. The increased blood circulation induced by red light therapy contributes to various therapeutic benefits, including tissue repair, pain relief, and improved overall cellular function.

“...the laser application resulted in a significantly increased skin blood flow.” National Library of Medicine, 2016

Reducing Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural response to tissue damage, but excessive inflammation can impede the healing process. Red light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation by modulating cytokine levels and suppressing pro-inflammatory mediators. By controlling inflammation, red light therapy creates an optimal environment for healing.

Deep healing red light therapy exerts anti-inflammatory effects through various cellular mechanisms. When cells are exposed to red light, several signaling pathways are activated. One of the key mechanisms involves modulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Red light therapy can downregulate the production and release of these pro-inflammatory cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation. Additionally, red light therapy stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10), which helps to counterbalance the inflammatory response. Furthermore, red light therapy can inhibit the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), a transcription factor involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes. By modulating these inflammatory pathways, red light therapy provides a therapeutic approach for reducing inflammation and promoting a balanced immune response.

“PBM can reduce inflammation in the brain, abdominal fat, wounds, lungs, spinal cord.” National Library of Medicine, 2017

Tissue Repair: By stimulating cellular metabolism and reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, deep healing red light therapy creates an optimal environment for tissue repair.

When cells are exposed to red light, a series of photochemical reactions occur within the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cells. This leads to an increase in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source for cellular processes. The elevated ATP levels stimulate cellular metabolism, promoting the synthesis of proteins, DNA, and RNA necessary for tissue repair and regeneration. Red light therapy also activates signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation, further aiding in tissue healing. Additionally, red light therapy modulates inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines, creating an optimal environment for tissue repair. Through these complex cellular mechanisms, red light therapy accelerates the natural healing process, making it a valuable tool in promoting tissue repair and regeneration.

“The photons are absorbed by mitochondrial chromophores in skin cells. Consequently, electron transport, adenosine triphosphate nitric oxide release, blood flow, reactive oxygen species increase, and diverse signaling pathways are activated. Stem cells can be activated, allowing increased tissue repair and healing.” National Library of Medicine, 2013

Collagen Production: Collagen is a vital component of the extracellular matrix and plays a crucial role in wound healing. Red light therapy stimulates fibroblast activity, leading to increased collagen synthesis. This helps in the formation of new tissue and accelerates wound closure.

Red light therapy stimulates the production of collagen, a crucial component of connective tissues. By promoting collagen synthesis, deep healing red light therapy aids in wound closure and the reduction of scar tissue formation.

“...both novel light sources [...] have demonstrated efficacy and safety for skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen increase when compared with controls.” National Library of Medicine, 2014

Modulation Of Pain Signals: Red light therapy regulate the release of neurotransmitters involved in pain perception, such as substance P, resulting in pain reduction.

Red light therapy effectively modulates pain signals through complex biological mechanisms. Substance P is released by nerve cells in response to pain stimuli, amplifying pain signals. Deep healing red light therapy has been shown to decrease the release and expression of substance P, thereby reducing its availability in the synaptic cleft.

Furthermore, increased mitochondrial function leads to the release of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators involved in pain regulation, such as endogenous opioids and serotonin. These substances help to inhibit pain transmission and modulate pain perception.

Additionally, red light therapy can suppress the production of inflammatory mediators that contribute to pain sensitization, such as prostaglandins and bradykinin. Red light therapy has also been shown to affect nerve conduction and reduce abnormal neuronal excitability, thereby dampening the transmission of pain signals.

Through these multifaceted mechanisms, red light therapy offers an effective approach for modulating pain signals and providing relief from various pain conditions. By targeting multiple components of the pain signaling pathway, red light therapy offers a comprehensive approach to pain management.

“In addition to the demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, LLLT may have benefits provided by its ability to act on nerves by reducing pain transmission and activating endogenous opioid receptors” National Library of Medicine, 2013

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Wound Healing

Accelerated Wound ClosureRed light therapy promotes cell regeneration and enhances the proliferation phase of wound healing. This leads to faster wound closure and reduces the risk of infection and complications.

“As a result, it can be concluded that wound closure was significantly enhanced with lllt on diode laser incisions” National Library of Medicine, 2009

Minimization of Scar Formation: Scarring is a common concern during wound healing. Red light therapy helps minimize scar formation by promoting the production of type I collagen, which contributes to stronger and more organized tissue repair.

“[...] these results suggest that LPL 660 nm and LED 850 nm appear reduced in the inflammatory response and oxidative stress parameters, thus decreasing dermal necrosis and increasing granulation tissue formation” National Library of Medicine, 2016

Pain Relief: Chronic or acute pain is often associated with wounds. Red light therapy has analgesic properties, helping to alleviate pain and discomfort during the healing process.

“In addition to the demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, LLLT may have benefits provided by its ability to act on nerves by reducing pain transmission and activating endogenous opioid receptors” National Library of Medicine, 2013

Non-invasive and Safe Treatment Option: Red light therapy is a non-invasive and painless treatment method. It does not involve the use of drugs or surgery, making it a safe option for individuals seeking alternative wound healing approaches.

“Near-infrared laser light had recently been shown to speed healing of wounds – particularly those that were starved for oxygen – by boosting the production of growth-factor proteins, collagen, and blood vessels.” NASA, 2022

Complementary Therapy: Red light therapy can be used in conjunction with traditional wound care methods, such as dressings and medications. It complements these treatments by providing additional support to the body's natural healing processes.

Clinical Trials On Red Light Therapy For Wounds




Wound Healing

The reviewed studies show that phototherapy, either by LASER or LED, is an effective therapeutic modality to promote healing of skin wounds.

Burn Wound Healing

PBMT favored wound contraction, angiogenesis, and collagen deposition in second- and third-degree burn wounds.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers Healing

Therefore, the photobiomodulation was effective as an adjunct in the management of diabetic foot and nonhealing ulcers in this case series.

Third-Degree Burns

The current literature research indicates that photobiomodulation therapy can be an effective short-term approach to accelerate the healing process of third-degree burns

Benefits Of Red Light Therapy After Surgery

The benefits and mechanisms of deep healing red light therapy are particularly effective after surgery.

Using red light therapy after surgery can lead to faster recovery times, due to the anti-inflammatory effects and the accelerated tissue repair stimulated by red light photons.

Faster recovery also reduced the risk of post-operative complications, and wounds will face minimal scarring.

“The LED therapy had an analgesic effect on the sternotomies of patients who underwent CABG, increasing their incision healing and preventing dehiscence.” National Library of Medicine, 2013

Finally there is the benefit of faster pain relief, so incorporating red light therapy into the post-operative care routine can significantly contribute to a smoother and more comfortable healing process.

Pro Tipp: Studies have even shown that starting deep healing red light therapy prior to surgery may reduce hypertrophic scars and keloids.

How to Use Red Light Therapy for Wound Healing

1. Preparation and Safety Precautions: Before starting red light therapy, it is important to cleanse the wound and remove any dressings or ointments. Ensure that the skin is dry and free from any substances that may interfere with the effectiveness of the therapy.

2. Treatment Duration and Frequency: The duration and frequency of red light therapy sessions may vary depending on the severity and size of the wound. Typically, sessions can range from a few minutes to around 20 minutes per treatment, with several sessions per week. Follow the instructions provided by the device manufacturer.

3. Targeted Application Techniques: When using red light therapy for wound healing, it is important to position the device close to the wound without having the LEDs touch the wound directly to ensure optimal light absorption by the affected area. 

Red Light For Wound Healing - Conclusion

Red light therapy offers a promising approach to enhance wound healing. By stimulating cellular energy production, improving blood circulation, reducing inflammation, and promoting collagen synthesis, it accelerates the healing process and minimizes scar formation.

With its non-invasive nature and minimal side effects, red light therapy presents a safe option for wound care.

Understanding The Unique Benefits Of The Cura ProWave Deep Healing Pad

The Cura ProWave Deep Healing Pad stands out due to its ability to bend, flex, and conform closely to the skin's surface, maximizing the absorption of light energy and unlocking its maximum restorative potential.

With its unique Hygiene+ detachable flexible pad, the Cura ProWave Deep Healing Pad allows for the LED diodes to be as close to the wound as possible for optimal light absorption, while providing a hygienic solution to clean the device after use. 

Being the only Hygiene+ device with a protective layer on the market, the Cura ProWave Deep Healing Pad is sought after by patients seeking a non-invasive approach to support their wound healing all over the US.

In just 20 minutes per day, the portable and lightweight Cura ProWave Deep Healing Pad allows users to achieve the same level of professional treatment as a clinic in the comfort of their own home or while traveling.

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