Is Red Light Therapy Safe? (The Truth about Red Light Therapy Side Effects)

is red light therapy safe

The facts are:

  1. Red light therapy is a natural treatment.
  2. Low level laser therapy is considered a non-invasive treatment.

But what you really want to know is:

Is red light therapy completely safe?

Can it hurt your eyes? Can it burn your skin? Or dry it? Can it cause skin redness?

Can anyone use red LED light therapy without side effects?

In this post you’ll get your answers, and much more.

But first:

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy treatment involves exposing the skin to relatively high intensity light in the red spectrum. The precise wavelength of the light used can range from 600 nm (orange/red) to 850 nm (infra-red).

The majority of the research on this suggests that red light activates processes that lead to a decrease in inflammation, improved healing of skin tissue and collagen production (yay!).

Red light easily penetrates the skin, boosts circulation and brings more blood and nutrients to where ever you point it.

It also stimulates production of our anti-aging friends – Collagen and elastin. Collagen helps plump the skin, while elastin firms the skin.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

Studies so far has found no adverse side effects or risks from using red light therapy, in short or long-term use.

In fact, at the LLLT Symposium, held in 2009, one of the scientists chose to put it like this:

The only way a (low-level) laser is going to hurt somebody is if they drop it on their foot.”

But, if you are pregnant, have skin cancer, or take immune-suppressant drugs – Do not use red light therapy. Also, do not point red light towards your thyroid gland.

Is Red Light Therapy Safe for The Eyes?

According to the FDA, red light at 633nm has a “non-significant risk” status and is completely safe for the eyes. But, to be on the safe side, never look directly at the light source, and use safety goggles when doing a facial treatment with red light therapy.

Red/infrared light itself are not damaging to your eyes, but the best red light home devices can produce high glare, which is best avoided looking directly at.

Can Red Light Therapy Damage Your Skin?

Too much sunlight can affect the skin due to the emission of broad spectrum ultraviolet energy through the atmosphere. Red Light treatment lamps utilize the visible spectra of light at 633nm (red), but contain no UVA or UVB rays.

What’s the Difference Between Red Light Therapy and Laser Treatments?

Red light therapy does not cut, burn or break the skin as with laser treatments. It produces no vaporization or burning of the tissue, and therefore no inflammation or erythema.

Does Red Light Therapy Work for ALL Skin Types?

The Collagen Red Light Therapy is safe and effective for all skin types and colors. The main prerequisite is that skin be clean for effective light transmission.

What About Short-Term Side Effects?

Some  users experienced skin redness after treatments. This side effect is usually caused by improper use of red light therapy, especially over-use.

Any side effect can be avoided by following the manufacturer’s instructions and not being tempted to speed up results by over-use.

How to Choose a Red Light Therapy Home Device

My review for Baby Quasar MD

My review for Baby Quasar MD

With so many red light therapy home devices, it can be quite overwhelming to choose the right device for you (and find the best price).

By the way, you should know that some red light therapy devices are FDA approved, yet some are not.

This is a simple (but complete) guide to choosing a LED light therapy home device.

It will help you find out the best type of device for you, based on your specific needs, and will give you examples of FDA-approved red light therapy devices.

[yellowbox]See the Guide to choosing the best red light therapy device – Right Here.[/yellowbox]

Alternatively, you can read my post about the top 2 red light therapy home devices.

Do you have any questions or comments? I’d love to answer all of them. Just comment below and I’ll get back to you right away…

To your health & happiness,


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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  1. I have lens in my eyes, also I have a pacemaker. Should I do red light therapy in a (like tanning bed) ?

    • Nancy,

      The contact lens are not a problem, but you could take them off before treatment to be in the safe side.
      As for the pacemaker, I think you should consult your doctor about this.

  2. My Mother fell and has a scar across her upper lip, she still has the stiches in. When the stiches come out will the light therapy help to get rid of the scar?

    • Maria,

      Yes it probably will. I would also suggest that she applies some pure aloe vera gel as of today, it can even prevent scarring in the first place.:)

  3. I have noticed that I am getting dizzy and headaches after red light therapy do you think they are related?

    • Sally,

      If it happens every time you use red light therapy than yes, i would think it’s related…

      Are you using it for too long? Are you using it on your face or other parts of your body? Do you wear safety goggles?

    • I too have experienced dizziness to the point of almost passing out after using red light therapy. I was in a bed with 32 100 watt bulbs for 15 minutes. I thought perhaps it was just too much wattage for my body to handle. I do have hypothyroidism and though I don’t take medication (I chose not to) I do take supplements that help keep my TSH levels in the proper range. I assumed it had something to do with this. I did hours and hours of research and found not one negative side effect for red light therapy. Feels good to know I’m not the only to experience a negative response to the treatment. Do you know how much wattage you were exposed to?

  4. If red light therapy is safe, then why do you say not to point it toward the thyroid gland?

    How does red light therapy affect the thyroid. (I’m hypothyroid, and have to take medication, and I’ve just started red light treatment.

    Please give more information.

    • Virginia,

      Actually red light therapy was found to help with Hypothroid: Studies show that applying red light directly to the thyroid gland (front of the neck) improves production of the hormones. (Höfling et al., 2010,2012,2013. Azevedo LH et al., 2005. Вера Александровна, 2010. Gopkalova, I. 2010.

      Many times when someone has a a slow (hypo) thyroid condition they may be on medication to speed up their thyroid. The use of the light will stimulate and increase circulation…which is what they are trying to accomplish. They may or may not have to take the meds or may be able to take a lower dose. So, for those who have a slow thyroid the increase in circulation that is created will actually help with that.

      , if you are already taking medication to speed up metabolism, red light therapy could cause over-doing it, and this is why you should consult with your doctor before aiming it directly at your thyroid.

      I hope it’s clearer now:)

  5. Used Opatra light therapy for the recommended 15 mins but now have sensitivety and pain in my top and bottom jaw, I did have a sensitive tooth but now I have a lot of pain, is this from using the device and what do you receommend apart from using sensitive toothpaste?

    • I think that your pain is caused by the tooth and not by the red light, but I’m not a doctor of course. I would advise you to try clove oil and oil pulling.
      Red light therapy, if your device is good (I don’t know this brand) should help with pain and inflammation, not make it worse.
      I hope this helps!

  6. I have purchased Bio-Ceramic socks with use FIR. I use them because of cancer treatments which left my feet with a diabetic numbness and pains in bottom of foot and toes. I have used them for 3 days except when I go to bed. I have broken out with red blotches on both legs starting at above the sock line and all the way up to my knees. It is not tender or itchy . Sort of looks like a sun burn. Not sure to stop using the socks or not. It does seem to help the problems with the chemo treatment which caused the problems with my feet…. Any ideas???

    • James,

      It seems obvisouly connected to the socks…I don’t know about these socks and have never reviewed them.
      I would suggest to stop using them for a few days and try placing your feet on an infrared heating pad if you have one. It will produce the same beneficial results but without the side effects you’ve described.

      This is only my suggestion of course…I hope it helps and I wish you the best of health.


    • Monica,

      Yes, it’s been used for that purpose, for until now no research has proven it’s efficiency for fat burning.

  7. What about bad rosacea? It seems to me the heat would make it worse as heat extremes (hot or cold) are not recommended.
    You also didn’t mention eczema or psoriasis conditions.

    • Judith,

      To my knowledge Red light therapy is great for mild to moderate Rosacea, not bad rosacea. Yes.
      As for eczema and psoriasis:
      For eczema, red light will help with the itching and discomfort, and heal it faster than without it.
      For psoriasis, red light is great healing red inflamed areas and relieving pain and itching. It will heal it faster, but won’t prevent it from coming back again.
      That requires of course, diet changes and huge emphasis on stress relief.
      I hope this helps,