Light Therapy and Age Related Conditions – Is It Right For You?

Get Enlightened About This Diverse Treatment

Light therapy, phototherapy, heliotherapy.

Regardless of what you call it, light is being used more and more frequently to treat a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including many that are related to aging.

By the end of this article, you’re going to have a better understanding of what these treatments are good for and what the different methods are.

You’ll also have a good idea about whether or not light therapy may be an option for you. Let’s get started.


Skin Related Conditions

It’s been common knowledge for a long time that sunlight helps skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis but it was suspected that it was because of the antibacterial and drying effects found in the rays.

Acne

It’s since been determined that what really happens is that certain types of violet light in sunshine activates a substance in your skin that works to kill bacteria. The bacteria that causes acne is one of those that these substances released by sunlight kill. Therefore, what’s known as blue light therapy is used to effectively treat acne, and works in about 90% of the people who try it.

Psoriasis

About 3% of the population suffers from psoriasis, a skin condition that results in the buildup of skin cells into layers of shiny, scaly-looking patches. UV radiation has been proven to suppress your immune system and reduce your inflammatory responses.

Since psoriasis is suspected to be related to some sort of immune system response or malfunction, light therapy is a logical treatment for it. Common treatments include UVA or UVB lightwaves combined with psoralen, an oral drug that is made from a photosensitizing agent found in plants. It makes the skin more sensitive to the light therapy. This treatment is also effective for eczema.

Wound Healing

There are new studies being conducted that suggest that low-level laser therapy may be effective in helping to treat wounds. There isn’t a ton of research yet but what has been done is promising.

Hair Loss

The FDA approved the use of low-level laser light therapy to stop hair loss and stimulate new growth within the follicle. People who are the best candidates for this type of light therapy are those who have just started losing their hair because the follicles are most likely still functional.

Don’t let this stop you from checking into the procedure though; it’s worked for people whose follicles were dormant for more than 20 years. Still, you have a better chance of success if you’ve only lost your hair in the last 7-10 years.

Laser treatment for hair regrowth will require treatment for anywhere from 9 months to a year but you should start seeing new growth in the first 3 months. The procedure is painless and has no known side effects.

Wrinkles

Finally, you say! Yes, light therapy is now being tested as a viable means to reduce or eliminate wrinkles. LED red light therapy, also known as photorejuvenation, is best performed by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon though there are some machines available for use at home that claim to be effective.

In theory, red light therapy works by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, the two substances that keep our skin elastic and smooth. Unfortunately, our bodies produce less of these two youth-maintaining chemicals as we age, and we get wrinkles and saggy spots.

There’s also the much more heavy-hitting and serious laser resurfacing therapy that can only be done by a doctor. This procedure actually uses two types of lasters, depending upon which procedure you’re getting.

The first procedure uses a wounding (or ablative) laser to actually remove layers of your skin. The second procedure is extremely similar to the red light therapy in that it uses a nonwounding (or nonablative) laser to stimulate collagen growth and tighten up the underlying layers of your skin. Both procedures have risks.

My only suggestion here is that you should always consult a doctor before you start any home treatments on yourself. That way, you know the risks and you know how to perform the treatment correctly without causing any damage or injuring yourself.

I did some research for you, and if you’re interested in trying the at-home red light treatments for wrinkles, I found a product that’s receiving rave reviews. It’s not cheap, but since you’re using it for medical purposes, you may not want to go for economy here. Click here to find the best deal on the LightStim Anti-Aging Light.

If you’ve had light therapy treatments for any of the conditions that we’ve discussed, or for any other treatment, please tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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