Types of Bright Light Therapy
Sunlight is a precious renewable resource that is important for our survival. It is not only important for agricultural and temperature control purposes, but our exposure to sunlight helps the regulation of our circadian rhythm. We're talking largely about serotonin and melatonin that impact energy levels in our body and help control our body's sleep-wake cycle. Apart from that, these hormones also help to regulate other functions, including mood, sexual desire, memory, and even appetite. Unfortunately, most of us typically don't get enough sunlight exposure. Most of us live in closed houses with almost zero inflow of natural sunlight. This is where the bright light therapy comes in or the great outdoors when the season and weather permits.
What is Bright Light Therapy?Bright Light Therapy is ideal for people who suffer from circadian rhythm sleep disorders. It is an eye exposure to artificial light sources that exudes high-intensity light, similar to sunlight. Typically in measurement terms more than 10,000 LUX. Bright Light Therapy is used to treat numerous illnesses such as SAD, psoriasis, depression, insomnia, and dementia.
How it Works?Our body has an in-built internal clock that tells us when to sleep or to be awake. This clock is located in an area called SCN, which is located just above a spot in the brain where the nerves travel to our eyes. The purpose of this clock is to regulate the circadian rhythms in our body. The circadian rhythm controls our 24-hour routine related to sleep, alertness, etc. What bright light therapy does is to reset the 'off' clock. Bright Light Therapy is an integral element of the treatment plans that doctors devise to treat sleeping disorders. There are various types of bright light therapies available, including blue light therapy, LED light therapy, light therapy for psoriasis, red light therapy, SAD light therapy, and UVB light therapy. Your doctor may advise one of the above-listed light treatments based on your needs and medical condition. In this article, we'll help you understand different types of Bright Light Therapies and how you can use them for your benefit.
Blue Light TherapyBlue Light Therapy is a popular pain-free treatment procedure that uses light to treat certain health conditions. Blue Light Therapy turned into photodynamic therapy when it started utilizing a combo of light-sensitive drugs and a strong light source to activate them. As its name implies, Blue Light Therapy uses blue or violet lights only. It's also important to understand that Blue Light Therapy is only effective for those body areas that the light can reach. In other words, Blue Light Treatment is only effective for conditions present on, or underneath, the skin surface.
Uses of Blue Light Therapy
Prevents Sun Damage and Skin CancerBlue Light Therapy is mostly used to treat sun damage and prevent malignant skin cancer growth. Blue Light Therapy is effective in treating skin cancer as it kills the cancer cells and also activates an immune system defence against blood vessels feeding those cancer cells.
DepressionBlue Light Therapy is also used to treat depression and anxiety. It's particularly beneficial when treating SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
Acne and Other Skin ConditionsBlue Light Therapy is immensely useful in treating skin conditions such as acne and sebaceous hyperplasia.
LED Light TherapyLED Light Therapy is another popular skincare treatment that uses different light wavelengths to treat skin disorders. Today, LED Light Therapy is widely used by aestheticians to treat skin aging and acne. Unlike other light therapies, LED Light Therapy does not involve UV rays, making it one of the safest light therapy procedures available so far. Also, LED Light Therapy doesn't cause burns like other anti-aging treatments. The best thing about LED Light Therapy is that you can use LED devices conveniently at your home and office without any difficulty. When done right, LED Light Therapy can significantly improve and rejuvenates your skin over time. You may, however, need to follow a proper maintenance regime to keep your skin in good shape.
How it Works?As mentioned above, LED Light Therapy uses varying wavelengths of LED lights to penetrate the skin at different depths.
Blue LED LightAccording to experts, blue LED light lowers down activity in the sebaceous glands. As a result, the glands produce less oil and minimizes acne symptoms. In addition to that, the blue LED light can also kill the inflammation-causing bacteria that contribute to the growth of acne. Research also suggests that blue LED light is also effective in treating patients suffering from third-degree burns.
Red LED LightRed LED light, on the other hand, is beneficial to treat scarring, blemishes, wrinkles, and signs of aging. Red LED lights are capable of reacting with fibroblasts, which are skin cells responsible for collagen formation. Red LED light can also be helpful in reducing skin inflammation.
Light Therapy for PsoriasisLight Therapy, also known as, phototherapy can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis in many patients. Light Therapy for Psoriasis works by reducing skin inflammation and minimizing the generation of skin cells. Doctors usually prescribe Light Treatment for Psoriasis when a patient has mild to severe symptoms. While there are many benefits of using Light Therapy for Psoriasis, there are some side effects too. For instance, continuous and long-term use of this treatment may result in an increased risk of skin cancer.
How it Works?Light Therapy for Psoriasis involves UV rays, which can be an effective way to treat itchiness and plaques. While Light Therapy for Psoriasis doesn't cure disease, it helps patients successfully manage their condition and enjoy a better quality of life. What Light Therapy for Psoriasis does is it slows down the excess growth of cells by impacting the functioning of the DNA. Depending on the skin condition, the patient can get Light therapy on one body area, or across the entire body. Light Therapy for Psoriasis involves multiple sessions. So, the skin gets enough exposure to UV light and heals completely. According to research, narrow-band UVB treatments are effective against acute guttate psoriasis.
Who Should Get Light Therapy for Psoriasis?Your doctor or skin care specialist may prescribe Light Therapy for Psoriasis if other OTC medicines are not enough to reduce the symptoms. Patients who are sensitive to UV radiation should not undergo Light therapy. Also, if you're taking any of the below-listed supplements/medicines, then Light Therapy for Psoriasis is not for you.
- Sulfa drugs
Light Therapy LampDuring light therapy, your doctor will ask you to sit or work near a Light Therapy Lamp, also known as a light therapy box. The purpose of this lamp is to provide high-intensity light, similar to sunlight. There are different types of Light Therapy Lamps available in the market that you can choose according to your condition or doctor's prescription. Some of them include:
- Dawn Simulators
- Light Boxes
- Natural Spectrum Light Bulbs
- Bluewave Technology
- Sun Visors
- A Light on a Timer
Red Light TherapyRed Light Therapy, popularly known as RLT, is a light therapy type which is effective for the healing of skin muscle tissues. Red Light Therapy exposes your skin to red light. Red Light Therapy procedure is also known as Low-Level-Laser-Therapy, LPLT, and PBM. With Red Light Therapy, all you need to do is to expose yourself to the Light Therapy Lamp. The power generators of your cells called mitochondria absorb that light and help cells repair themselves. Red Light Therapy procedure is safe to use and uses very low levels of heat. Doctors prescribe Red Light Therapy to treat:
- Dental pain
- Hair loss
- Wrinkles/skin ageing/other skin conditions