Psoriasis And Red Light Therapy: An Incredibly Easy To Use, At-Home Treatment
It's no secret that one of the most popular uses of red light therapy is to treat the skin. Managing psoriasis comes with a list of challenges. Symptoms can be unpredictable and can significantly interfere with one's life. Some tips on treating and managing psoriasis are easier said than done. Trying something new can be daunting and you may have some questions about how red light therapy can support your psoriasis management. We will focus on answering those lingering questions with the information provided in this article.
The myriad amount of therapies and miracle cures that can be found on the internet provide some hope to those who suffer from psoriasis. The frequency of flare-ups and their influence on one’s life is determined by the severity of their psoriasis. Red light therapy is quickly emerging and becoming more recognized to treat and support conditions like psoriasis. This often-misunderstood skin condition is unpredictable, but it doesn't have to impact your life or your self-esteem.
Symptoms and Causes
This long-term autoimmune condition causes the skin to become red, itchy, and scaly. The incurable condition manifests itself as patches everywhere on the body. Most commonly found on the insides of elbows, knees, and scalp. If you have psoriasis, you know how uncomfortable, itchy, relentless, and increasingly more entirely misunderstood and life-altering psoriasis can get.
Psoriasis is assumed to be an issue with the immune system, causing the skin to regenerate at a quicker pace than normal. It's not totally apparent what causes the immune system to malfunction. Both genetics and environmental variables are thought to play an impact, according to researchers.
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Plaque psoriasis
- Nail psoriasis
- Guttate psoriasis
- Inverse psoriasis
- Pustular psoriasis
- Erythrodermic psoriasis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Options for treating psoriasis include the following:
- Lotions and ointments that are administered directly on psoriasis lesions
- Systemic and biological medication
- Red Light Therapy to aid in the treatment of psoriasis
Remember that what may work for one may not be right for another. Always consult a healthcare professional when introducing new healing modalities in your daily routine such as red light therapy. What works in one particular context and set of circumstances may not be generalizable or extrapolated to all.
Red Light Therapy and Psoriasis
While there is solid data and research done on red light therapy and its skin benefits, the research is still in its infancy specific to psoriasis. Many findings suggest that the skin-clearing benefit can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory effects of red light therapy. Essentially, red and near-infrared light will encourage the cell's engine; the mitochondria to produce ATP, the source of energy for every cell in the body. This type of therapy has a diverse range of beneficial properties, including clearing the skin of the discomforts associated with psoriasis.
What does the research say?
This 2011 study titled, “ Efficacy of blue light vs. red light in the treatment of psoriasis: a double-blind, randomized comparative study," confirmed the consensus that red light therapy was effective in treating psoriasis. Researchers measured the efficacy of RLT vs blue light therapy in this particular study with participants with psoriasis. Participants received high-dose treatments three times per week for four weeks while plaques were treated with a 10% salicylic acid solution. All around, it is vital to keep in mind that these medications were administered in a medical environment at high doses. Results from at-home use may differ from person to person.
This challenging skin disease is complex in nature. It goes through cycles, with flare-ups lasting a few weeks or months, and then diminishing or going into remission. Because of this, most people find themselves lost in treatment. Red light therapy offers therapeutic support by aiding discomfort and ease while clearing up unwanted skin lesions.
Researchers have done peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of red light treatment for persons with psoriasis in pursuit of effective therapy. The findings are limited, but they are encouraging.
This 2010 study looked at the correlation between patients with chronic psoriasis and the use of a combination of 830-nm and 633-nm LED phototherapy (also known as red light therapy). Psoriasis symptoms improved significantly when patients were treated for 4-5 weeks with follow-ups, according to this study. The researchers stated in their results, “Clearance rates at the end of the follow-up period ranged from 60% to 100%. Satisfaction was universally very high," (Ablon G., 2010). Giving psoriasis individuals a much better outlook on the expectations when using red light therapy. Additionally, Red light therapy significantly reduced the skin inflammation of psoriasis patients in this study. This reduction in inflammation relieves itching and discomfort while also supporting the healing process.
Why Choose Red Light Therapy
The skin is the organ that is naturally exposed to the most light and as research states, it responds effectively well to red and near-infrared wavelengths provided at the optimal conditions with a therapeutic aim. The reality is that red and near-infrared light stimulates dozens of biochemical cascades both within the cell and between cells in our bodies. Most scientists agree that the major underlying mechanism is how it boosts mitochondrial energy production. A cell with greater energy will be able to execute more of its natural duties, such as self-regeneration.
According to this article, inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis can benefit from low-level laser therapy, also known as red light therapy. This article states the following, “LLLT has beneficial effects on wrinkles, acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and healing of burns. LLLT can reduce UV damage both as a treatment and as a prophylaxis. In pigmentary disorders such as vitiligo, LLLT can increase pigmentation by stimulating melanocyte proliferation and reduce depigmentation by inhibiting autoimmunity," (Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, et al., 2013). This is a promising statement for skin conditions alike. Interested in learning more about skin health and red light therapy, check out The Skinny on Red Light Therapy for Skin.
Top Five Reasons why to choose RLT for Psoriasis according to peer-reviewed clinical trials
- Attain better skin clearance. Among the many benefits of red light therapy, improvements to skin tone and texture were widely reported in many studies.
- There are many forms of psoriasis treatments. Biohacking is emerging fast and trying something new could be what was missing all along.
- Red light therapy could serve to cool the vicious cycle of overly fast skin growth which is one of the underlying factors in psoriasis. Red light therapy may help to restore normal cell function, which may lead to fewer and milder flares.
- Red light therapy may offer a protective benefit to the heart and joints. Psoriasis is more than just a case of itchy skin. The cardiovascular system may be harmed as a result of the chronic underlying inflammation
- One can enjoy red light therapy to your wellness routine in the comfort of your own home!
Experts claim that the best biological response comes from two wavelengths of red light: 660 nanometers and 850 nanometers. When becoming more acquainted with red light therapy, it is important to understand the wavelengths and the differences between red light and near-infrared light (NIR). Rouge lights are always balanced with half our lights at 660 nm and the other half at 850nm. 660-nanometer wavelengths are more easily absorbed by the surface of the skin, making them the preferred wavelength for superficial areas. 850-nanometer wavelengths penetrate deeper into the body to aid deeper skin layers, muscle recovery and overall wellness.
We wish you the best of luck in managing symptoms associated with psoriasis while overcoming psoriasis with a consistent wellness routine that may include red light therapy. By incorporating a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle habit with available treatments, managing this condition can be facilitated.
Following up with a qualified healthcare professional may also provide assistance on how to combine oral or topical drugs with red light therapy, as well as what lifestyle modifications you should consider to minimize psoriasis triggers. Finding the psoriasis therapy that gives you the appropriate balance of skin clearance, convenience, and comfort can require some trial and error.
Ablon G. Combination 830-nm and 633-nm light-emitting diode phototherapy shows promise in the treatment of recalcitrant psoriasis: preliminary findings. Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 Feb;28(1):141-6. doi: 10.1089/pho.2009.2484. PMID: 19764893.
Avci P, Gupta A, Sadasivam M, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):41-52.
Feldman SR, Goffe B, Rice G, et al. The Challenge of Managing Psoriasis: Unmet Medical Needs and Stakeholder Perspectives. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2016;9(9):504-513.
Ferraresi C, Hamblin MR, Parizotto NA. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) on muscle tissue: performance, fatigue and repair benefited by the power of light. Photonics Lasers Med. 2012;1(4):267-286. doi:10.1515/plm-2012-0032
Jiang M, Yan F, Avram M, Lu Z. A prospective study of the safety and efficacy of a combined bipolar radiofrequency, intense pulsed light, and infrared diode laser treatment for global facial photoaging. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Jul;32(5):1051-1061. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2207-9. Epub 2017 Apr 23. PMID: 28434049.
Kleinpenning MM, Otero ME, van Erp PE, Gerritsen MJ, van de Kerkhof PC. Efficacy of blue light vs. red light in the treatment of psoriasis: a double-blind, randomized comparative study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Feb;26(2):219-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04039.x. Epub 2011 Mar 24. PMID: 21435024.
Zhang P, Wu MX. A clinical review of phototherapy for psoriasis. Lasers Med Sci. 2018;33(1):173-180. doi:10.1007/s10103-017-2360-1