Have you been undertaking Red Light Therapy treatment recently?
Are you worried about the side effects of too much red light therapy?
Scientific studies and clinical trials have indicated the potential benefits of red light therapy. The practice has found intense use in improving skin conditions, cutting down on belly fat and even managing skin wounds. You even have red light therapy tanning beds which aid such treatment.
But too much of anything is bad for you. Similarly the questions that you may come across when the you use red light therapy are:
- How many times a week should you get red light therapy, or
- Can you get too much red light therapy.
I will resolve these questions for you. First, I will talk about how the right dosage of red light therapy differs. Second, I will then answer the question of the right level of dosage. Finally, I talk about some of the side effects of the treatment.
So is it possible to overdo Red Light Therapy?
As with any treatment, there are limits for Red Light Therapy.
Over the Counter (OTC) drugs have recommended dosages and red light therapy is no exception. Red Light Therapy falls under a class of treatment known as Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).
So when it comes to LLLT, an under dose won’t bear much fruit and too much will also cancel out the effect. So you need to stick to the recommended doses.
Remember the ageing effect or becoming obese also comes gradually. Therefore reversing such an effect can’t occur overnight. So if you want to increase the recommended dosage thinking it will double the results, then you are wrong. It could also prove disastrous to you.
Bear in mind that the body’s response to such treatment varies from individual to individual. So the time taken for the dosage depends on the following;
Size of the area under treatment or covered by the light
The area exposed to the red light and the extent of the area to be treated will determine the duration therapy duration. A device that is not handheld and covers the wider area at a time is therefore better.
At the same time, being near to the source of radiation about 5 cm guarantees maximum dose to the skin cells. Consequently, such a session takes a shorter duration. However, it narrows the area receiving the treatment.
On the other hand, positioning you far away, about 50 cm and above exposes many cells to the low-level light treatment. But such application distance will lengthen the treatment period.
On average, positioning yourself 30 cm from the red light therapy device for approximately 15 minutes should produce a noticeable result in a week or two.
Symptom being treated
Your purpose for treatment also helps to answer the question “how often can you get red light therapy”. For instance, you can obtain relief from skin inflammation or pain in one day. On the other hand, cutting down on the subcutaneous fat can’t happen that sudden.
The device’s power density
The amount of irradiance emitted by the device also accounts for the time taken and the frequency of the treatment. Ideally, a high output power that matches the therapeutic range produces maximum results.
On average, handheld devices should be used for about 3 to 5 minutes per given area. Hence when you have a wider area requiring red light therapy, you’ll have to do several sessions. Lowering the device to about 6 or 5 inches from your body will mean covering a larger area.
So how often should you get Red Light Therapy?
As said, positive response following low-level light treatment happens gradually. And although it occurs progressively, positive improvement should be visible after some days.
But on average expect best result after a treatment period of about 8 to 12 weeks.
In the initial period, it might mean having many therapy sessions. That could be about 4 or 5 times in a week for about 4 weeks before slowing down the frequency. In the subsequent 5 to 12 weeks that follow, you can slow it down to about three times.
After about 12 weeks the treatment should have borne optimum result.
Hence doing red light therapy once a week thereafter isn’t bad, that will help to sustain the achieved result.
Each session can last about 15 minutes, though it depends on the power and the symptom being treated. For best results schedule your sessions to fall either early in the morning or late in the evening.
So if you ask me how many times a week should I do red light therapy, I would say once a day, once or twice a week.
Some side effects of Red Light Therapy for you to watch out
One side effect from Red Light Therapy is due to the overheating of skin tissues. This can lead to a thermal burn of the skin. This differs from a sunburn. While sunburn causes cancer, thermal burns would not cancer. However, its best to take care of overheating. One way to avoid this risk is to use a LED Red Light Therapy device.
An additional cause of concern is damage to the eyes. Our eyes are relatively sensitive and one of the most sensitive organ on the face. The light produced by these therapy devices can be harmful to the eyes. You must use proper eye protection when undergoing red light therapy treatment. Always discuss this with the person incharge. Or if you are undertaking the treatment at home, please ensure you are doing it right.
Can you get too much Red Light Therapy treatment?
You have read about how the treatment works, and also seen an appropriate schedule for the treatment. I have also highlighted some side effects you need to be aware about along with the steps you need to take to protect yourself.
At first, you may need to undertake additional treatment sessions. However, after achieving optimum results from the treatment, reduce the sessions to about once or twice a week. Avoid overdoing the treatment.