Light therapy

From ArticleWorld

Lasers, LEDs, fluorescent lamps or very bright full-spectrum light are used in the process of light therapy, also known as phototherapy. This therapy is prescribed for a certain amount of time and is proven in treating a variety of illnesses and disorders

Treatments benefit

Acne vulgaris: light is usually created with fluorescent lamps or bright LEDs; application for three consecutive days has been shown to reduce bacteria in pores by 99.9 percent. This treatment, which is believed safe, is often accompanied by red light (to activate ATP in human skin cells). Overall improvements are 80 percent over three months. Treatment can be done with home-use light boxes or in a dermatologist’s office.

  • Neonatal jaundice: Phototherapy aids in the breakdown of bilirubin in the skin.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: Although full sunlight is preferred, other treatments use infrared light exposure.
  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome: The timing of exposure is critical in that light must be provided as soon after waking as possible.
  • Psoriasis: UV radiation to the skin damages it and slows the fast turnover of skin layers that characterizes Psoriasis.
  • Anti-aging: Visible red light increases the rate of production of collagen for a few days (thus giving a lifting effect) by activating ATP in skin cells. No permanent improvements have been documented.

Safety concerns

Ultraviolet light is proven to cause damage to human skin (genetic damage as well as collagen damage and destruction of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in the skin. Meanwhile, it has been suggested that visible blue light causes DNA breaks, but there has been no proof of carcinogenesis. It is believed that enzymes within the cells repair the breaks well. Cancer, however, has been induced in cells with damaged repair systems. The modern phototherapy lamps used to treat SAD are considered safe and effective for the intended purpose, since they don’t emit ultraviolet light.