- What is Light Therapy?
- Red Light Therapy for Natural Rosacea Treatment
- Amber Light Therapy for Natural Rosacea Treatment
- Green Light Therapy for Rosacea Treatment
- Blue Light Therapy for Rosacea Treatment
- Frequently Asked Questions about Light Therapy for Rosacea
- How to Buy Light Therapy for Rosacea Treatment
- Related Products
- Related Articles
Are you suffering from the burning, redness, and other symptoms of rosacea? Have you already tried most everything without success?
I have good news for you. Light therapy is proving effective in soothing, and even reversing rosacea symptoms. It can work very well in combination with other natural rosacea treatments, and has not had any side effects reported in conjunction with its use. Many rosacea sufferers can start to feel a difference within 24 hours of their first session.
You may be wary, and for good reason. There are endless pages of conflicting information out there about light based therapies for rosacea.
Well, now that you’re here, you can take a deep breath and relax. I am going to teach you what light therapy is, and what is isn’t, and exactly how it can help you end the burning, redness, and long list of other symptoms you may have been dealing with for years. As we go, I’ll be here if you have any questions.
Let’s get started.
What is Light Therapy?
If you’ve been doing your research on effective natural rosacea treatments, then you’ve already read more about light therapy than the average person. So let’s start with what light therapy is not.
Light therapy is not laser therapy.
Lasers take light and focus it (unnaturally) into a continuous beam. Lasers work by destroying specific tissue, then depend on your body to clean up the mess. Lasers have the potential to do a great job – they also have the potential to do more harm than good. Light therapy poses no such risk.
Light therapy is not IPL.
IPL takes non-laser light and blasts it at your skin at high intensity. Again, specific wavelengths of light are chosen to target certain cells or depths of skin, damage is done to those targeted areas, then your body cleans up the mess. Granted, the damage is usually less with IPL than with lasers, resulting in a less painful experience, and less drastic risks, but still, it’s not light therapy.
What light therapy is. (Photobiomodulation)
Light therapy is a branch of alternative medicine. It has been gaining more and more credibility in the conventional medical community, and has finally been accepted as a legitimate therapy and formally named “photobiomodulation.”
Light therapy uses natural light of different colors (wavelengths) to cure, treat, and prevent a growing list of conditions, including rosacea.
Light by nature is electromagnetic energy, traveling at roughly 186 thousand miles per second. It does not need any help from man to have an impact.
Here’s an example from the field of light therapy that you might be familiar with: blue light therapy for jaundice.
Blue light has been the standard treatment for neonatal jaundice for decades. These infants do not have to be bludgeoned with light for it to work. Instead, their delicate skin is bathed in gentle blue light for hours. Without any sensation or side effect, the light interacts with their blood through the capillaries in their skin, breaking down the bilirubin, so their body can clear it away. That is light therapy.
Every color of light works in a different way, but the overall experience of treatment is the same. Light therapy does no harm. It is natural, gentle, safe, effective, and without side effects.
Here’s how light therapy can work for you.
Red Light Therapy for Natural Rosacea Treatment
Red light therapy is the foundation of light therapy for rosacea treatment. It is often recommended as a starting point. Red light helps to reduce redness, swelling, itching, the dry/tight feeling, the burning feeling, and even the little pimple-like bumps seen in the second rosacea subtype.
While red light is the powerhouse, it can be combined with certain other wavelengths (colors) if more benefits are needed.
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 three other wavelengths that you may wish to consider:
Amber Light Therapy for Natural Rosacea Treatment
Amber light is the second most recommended form of light therapy for rosacea treatment. Amber light can effectively reduce the symptoms of redness (erythema).
Again, there is too much information on this subject to include on this page. Please visit our Amber Light Therapy page for all the details.
Green Light Therapy for Rosacea Treatment
Many people find that green light therapy on rosacea flushes can be soothing and can reduce the redness, heat, itchiness, and overall discomfort. Some have found that green light helps reduce permanent redness over time, in addition to amber.
Blue Light Therapy for Rosacea Treatment
I was recently contacted by someone who wanted blue light for her rosacea. It came recommended by her dermatologist. She was told it would make her skin more resilient and less sensitive. She has found that it is working for her.
If you decide to try blue light as part of your treatments, please heed these warnings:
- Get a light that is around 450 nm or above. This will reduce the chance that there is any UVA in it. I have heard several reports that 415 nm blue light was irritating to rosacea prone skin. (415 nm is actually violet and is closer to UV than blue.) A lot of blue light therapy products out there will peak around 415 nm, because that is the most effective wavelength against acne bacteria. But rosacea is not fueled by acne bacteria. So the blue you need is the more soothing color of blue – look for 450 nm and above.
- Don’t over use it. When it comes to light therapy, (with any color), it’s not a “more is better” type of thing. Your skin is already sensitive and volatile. Ease into blue light therapy treatments for rosacea and see how it goes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Light Therapy for Rosacea
How does red light therapy work?
Red light 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 will find that many red light therapy products include near infrared wavelengths (700 nm – 1200 nm). Will that be helpful or not? Well, it would not be harmful. But it won’t be as helpful as it would be to have the full power of the light devoted to red. Why? Near infrared is used to target deeper areas of the body, such as muscles, joints, bones, and organs. Rosacea affects the surface of the skin. Red penetrates plenty deep enough. Near infrared would be overkill.
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 against the high glare of LED light therapy.
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. This is why sunscreen is often recommended by the prescribing doctor or the pharmacist who fills prescriptions for this medication.
If you are using a topical medication, you may still be able to use it, provided that you use the 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.
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?
Light therapy is not a cure for rosacea. 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.
How to Buy Light Therapy for Rosacea Treatment
Buying light therapy for rosacea can be complicated, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Follow these steps:
- Decide what colors you want to try first.
- Decide what kind of device would suit you best.
- Pay attention to the return policy.
- Do not consider devices like these.
- Buy the light you can comfortably afford.
Step #1 – What colors do you want to try first?
You want to try red, that’s a given. So really this question is, do you want to add amber to it right off the bat? Here’s how to decide that.
Do you have persistent or permanent redness? Do you have broken capillaries? If you answered yes to either of those, then start with a combination of red and amber. Go back to pure red if you aren’t getting good results with the red/amber combination after a couple of months (or within the return / exchange policy for your product.)
You can play with green and blue if your symptoms persist or as your budget allows.
Step #2 – What kind of device suits you best?
Light therapy devices come in various types. In order to make your daily treatments fit into your lifestyle as best as possible, give some thought to device type before you buy. Here’s your options:
- Hand-held devices. These are good if your rosacea is isolated to one or two small spots, and you have a habit of sitting still for awhile at least once per day. (not me.) These direct you to hold the device against your skin, but you could always hold it a tiny bit off the skin if you’d like. These are best for taking with you on the go.
- Table top devices. These are good if your rosacea is covering your whole face, because they can usually treat the whole face in a single session. This saves time. With a table top or panel device, the device does not touch your skin. One drawback is the possibility of sitting in a not-so-comfortable position for awhile – sometimes 20 minutes per day. Another is the space the unit will take up. Also, you can’t really take it with you.
- Masks. A light therapy mask will cover your whole face in one shot, and at an ideal angle all around. There are lots of masks that emit red light, and a few that emit amber, green and blue as well. A mask is nice because you can just lie down, put it on and forget about it for the allotted time. I’m not sure about durability, but they are small enough to travel with. One drawback of a mask – it usually touches your skin, unless you purposefully hold it off, which detracts a bit from the relaxation factor.
Step #3 – Pay attention to the return policy.
Return policies for light therapy products range from zero (because it’s a personal thing) to lifetime. (Hammacher.)
Most of them will be 30 days. Good ones will be 60 or 90 days. I do not want to be discouraging at all, but you might need the return policy. Be sure to find out what it is and read the fine print before you buy. The longer you have to try out the device the better, because that persistent redness can take months to recede.
Step #4 – Do not consider products like these:
- Disposable products – light therapy devices are something that you should only ever have to buy once. They should not have to be regularly replaced.
- Products requiring replacement parts – when you buy a high quality red light therapy product for rosacea treatment, the heads should rarely, if ever, need to be replaced.
- Battery operated products – batteries cause power strength to gradually decrease. It is also a completely unnecessary recurring expense.
- Products requiring topical substance application – red light therapy works as a rosacea treatment all on its own. There is no need for anything else to make it work. In fact, the best way to use it is with a clean face, with no additional substances in the way at all.
Step #5 – Buy the light you can comfortably afford.
While light therapy for rosacea specifically is hardly even on the radar yet, the light therapy market itself is exploding. There are literally hundreds of products to choose from. Each is using any form of marketing technique to make themselves look better and get you to click that buy button. You can safely ignore any hype you encounter. Light is light. Color is color. Power needs to be sufficient, but a lower power will just mean a longer treatment time. So after you decide on color and device type, buy the light you can comfortably afford, and be confident in the healing power of the light itself.
The Dual Care HP LED Powerhead. The perfect combination of red and amber LED light. $299. Use it hand-held or hands-free. Never touches your skin. No hassle, 90 day return policy. Lifetime warranty. Check it out at SmarterLights.com now.
Contact me. I’ll answer your question and add it to the FAQ for the benefit of others.