What is Light Therapy and does it work?


A cure for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and many skin conditions, light therapy or phototherapy has been proved to have healing effects on the human body in case of certain diseases. The therapeutic effects have been proven through scientific research and controlled experimentation and are currently being applied at hospitals and registered practice centers.

What is light therapy?

Light therapy is a process of curing a disease or easing its symptoms by exposure to the sun or artificial light. When used to treat seasonal affective disorder, sleep disorders or other kinds of depression, light therapy is used as a compensation for the lack of exposure to sunlight that has a major role to play when it comes to chemical imbalance in the brain, circadian rhythm and mood changes. As a skin treatment method, specific wavelengths of red or blue or a combination of both lights is projected onto the skin to kill bacteria.

Why should we consider using light therapy?

Noninvasive, light therapy can almost never be termed as dangerous or life threatening as is the case with other medical procedures when tried at home or by unprofessional individuals. Secondly, it is a very convenient method of treatment and can easily be carried out at home. For this reason home light devices are readily available in the market and your doctor may advise you to use one after making sure you're well informed about the details regarding its proper use. The third reason you might try light therapy is that it is safe and no severe side effects have ever been reported after its use. A small number of mild side effects that you might come across during treatment through light therapy are listed below.

Possible side effects of light therapy

Although not severe but you may face some side effects after or during light therapy that your doctor might inform you of prior to the start of the treatment. These might include

Does light therapy really work?

Light therapy is not just an idea without logical evidence but it has been backed by science as well. Besides, the results have been enough to prove the worthiness of this idea. Although not a cure for seasonal affective disorder or depression, light therapy has been known to ease symptoms relating to them within days. People feel better and more energized after light therapy.

When used to treat skin diseases, light therapy has even better results.  In a study where people were treated with blue light for five weeks, 77% of the cases improved dramatically. People also felt their skin to be more conditioned after the blue light therapy.

Painless and gentle, light therapy can be done at home without much trouble. Although not difficult to use, It is still recommended you consult you doctor and make sure you know the right way around it before you begin its use.