Red Light Therapy for Acne Treatment

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Red Light Therapy is a breakthrough in the world of health that is quite popular lately. Red Light Therapy is often used for treatment in the field of dermatology to treat various skin problems, especially to treat acne.

Even though there are researchers who promise that Red Light Therapy is safe and has been proven to be successful in various health centers, several other researchers say that Red Light Therapy needs more research to determine the level of effectiveness and side effects.

Get to Know Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy is a therapy that involves the use of an LED (Light Emitting Diode) device to produce various wavelengths of light that can be used to treat various skin problems, such as acne, psoriasis, fine lines, and wrinkles.

This therapy has many names, such as Low-Powe Laser Therapy (LPLT), Low-Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT), and Photobiomodulation (PBM).

In short, Red Light Therapy is a treatment that uses low levels of red light waves. This therapy utilizes the phenomenon of photobiomodulation, where cell components are activated and then respond to different wavelengths of light.

In addition to treating skin problems, other health problems can also be treated with Red Light Therapy, for example treating hair loss, healing wounds, repairing muscle tissue, reducing pain, and helping to recover from bone injuries.

The Beginning of Red Light Therapy Began to Gain Interest for Acne Treatment

Red Light Therapy was first tested by NASA to stimulate plant growth in space, then used as a way to heal injured astronauts.

Starting from these experiments, research was carried out on Red Light Therapy and it was discovered that this therapy could be used widely with a lot of potential.

In line with reports that Red Light Therapy can be used as a treatment, this therapy is medically accepted as a breakthrough in the world of health. Especially in healing diseases that attack the skin, such as acne, skin cancer, psoriasis, and others.

How Red Light Therapy for Acne Treatment Works

Red Light Therapy works by activating cell power plants or mitochondria which then produce energy. If they have lots of energy, these cells will do their jobs, such as rejuvenating themselves and repairing damage.

More specifically, Red Light Therapy can reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and produce collagen to treat skin problems such as acne.

The way Red Light Therapy works is different from the laser. It could be said that Red Light Therapy is safer because it does not cause inflammation or trauma to the skin like lasers. This means that this treatment will not cause feelings of insecurity or pain during the treatment period or the healing period.

This is because Red Light Therapy will only penetrate as deep as 6 millimeters below the surface of the skin, so that when activating the cells there will be no cell damage that causes inflammation of the skin.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Acne Treatment

Acne is one of the most frequently complained about skin problems. Severe and inflamed acne is a problem in itself. Apart from causing pain, acne also interferes with appearance, causes low self-confidence, and can affect a person’s mental health.

Red Light Therapy is good news for people who have severe acne. This treatment has even been proven to be effective in various countries around the world.

Not just acne, Red Light Therapy can be used as a treatment to improve skin health. Acne arises from unhealthy skin conditions and causes scars that disturb your appearance.

Following are some of the benefits that can be obtained when using Red Light Therapy for acne treatment.

1. Relieves acne

You can cure acne using Red Light Therapy. Red light waves work optimally by penetrating the skin layers without causing inflammation. This red light will suppress the production of sebum, the substance that triggers acne.

Apart from that, red light will also reduce inflammation or irritation around the skin area where acne grows. You can combine blue light therapy for maximum results.

2. Accelerate healing of wounds caused by acne

Some people have different levels of skin cell regeneration, so some people take a long time to recover from wounds caused by acne. Red Light Therapy can be used to speed up the healing of wounds caused by acne.

A study published in the journal Anais Brasileiros de Dermalogia states that Red Light Therapy will speed up wound healing through stages such as:

  • Cure cell inflammation
  • Faster growth of new blood vessels
  • Increases fibroblast production
  • Increases collagen production

3. Remove scars caused by acne

When affected by acne, skin tissue is damaged, these damaged cells can be treated using Red Light Therapy. Especially on dead cells, Red Light Therapy will stimulate the regeneration or growth of new skin cells to replace the old ones. If the skin tissue has been successfully repaired and has regenerated, the scars caused by acne can quickly disappear.

4. Maintain healthy skin

After successfully treating acne, your skin must remain healthy. Red Light Therapy will help maintain healthy skin after healing from acne. Several other skin problems can also be corrected, such as reducing wrinkles and fine lines on the face, as well as improving facial skin texture.

The way Red Light Therapy maintains healthy skin is by improving circulation between tissue cells and blood cells, making skin elastic by producing collagen, and producing fibroblasts to help increase collagen production.

5. Reduces the harmful effects of acne treatment

In contrast to other traditional therapies, such as lasers, which damage skin cells by heating the cells to stimulate the growth of new cells, Red Light Therapy only focuses on producing energy to stimulate the growth of new tissue and heal skin affected by acne. In this way, the level of comfort during the treatment period and the speed of recovery from Red Light Therapy are superior to laser therapy.

6. Cost-effective and time efficient

Another benefit is that Red Light Therapy saves costs. Red Light Therapy does not require further treatment which requires other costs, because this therapy will only help produce more energy to repair skin cells and cell regeneration to speed up the healing of acne and wounds caused.

Red Light Therapy also does not require much time for recovery. When skin cells have a lot of energy to help repair skin cells, the efficiency and speed of recovery time also increase.

Red Light Therapy Intensity for Acne Treatment

In general, Red Light Therapy is performed 3-7 times per week with 3J to 15J per area. The recommended times are:

  • If the light is 6 inches away, it needs 30 seconds – 2.5 minutes per area.
  • If the light is 12 inches away, it needs 1 – 3.5 minutes per area.
  • If the light is 18 inches away, it needs 1.5 – 5 minutes per area.
  • If the light is 24 inches away, it needs 2 – 7 minutes per area.
  • If light is 36 inches away, it needs 3 – 14 minutes per area.

So, the farther the light is from the skin surface, the longer the therapy will take. The recommended distance for treating acne is 12 – 36 inches.

The length of therapy time depends on the level of acne problems experienced by the skin, it can last from 1 month to 4 months.

You can also reduce the intensity of Red Light Therapy, but it depends on the results you get after the initial period.

Side Effects of Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy is said to be a painless therapy, but the use of red light therapy has been reported several times to cause various side effects.

Side effects that generally occur on the skin include:

  • Bruises
  • Redness
  • Mild irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Skin peeling
  • Apart from that, there are also rare side effects, such as:
  • Burns
  • Blisters until pus appears in the treated area
  • Severe pain in the treated area
  • Skin experiences dark pigmentation due to sun exposure after treatment

There are also some cases where Red Light Therapy causes eye irritation. So it is recommended to use eye protection during therapy.

However, there is no need to worry. As long as you find the right healthcare practitioner to perform Red Light Therapy with, then these side effects will most likely not occur. Carry out a thorough consultation with a trusted health service such as a dermatologist or beautician.


Red Light Therapy is a treatment method using low-level red light waves which is claimed to be able to speed up healing and treatment of skin problems. This therapy is widely used to cure acne and maintain healthy skin after acne has healed by regenerating skin cell tissue and producing collagen.

Red Light Therapy also has several side effects even though it is claimed to be safe and painless during treatment. It is best to consult a trusted doctor or health professional before doing Red Light Therapy.

With the possible side effects that may arise, Red Light Therapy still needs further research to eliminate doubts about this therapy.