Red Light Therapy for Bruises: Does It Help?

Red Light Therapy for Bruises: Does It Help?

Medically Reviewed by | Heidi Wright, BSN, RN, PCCN

Bruises are a common hindrance that can be uncomfortable and unsightly — so does red light therapy have the potential to help support the healing process?

Here at Mito Red Light, we're bringing you a spotlight on how this cutting-edge technology could be a helpful option if you’re dealing with a bruise. If you’re tired of waiting for bruises to fade on their own, keep reading. 

What Are Bruises?

Bruises, or contusions, occur when a part of the body takes a hit. The impact causes tiny blood vessels under the skin to break, releasing blood into the surrounding tissue, which results in that familiar mark. 

Bruises generally start with a reddish tint, then turn blue or purple, and eventually fade to green or yellow. Initially, there might be some swelling and tenderness around the bruised area. Depending on the impact, bruises can span a wide range of sizes, from small dots to large patches.

These common marks stem from the body's rapid response to protect itself from further internal injury after an impact occurs, and a bruise is a signal that the body's healing process is kicking off.

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy refers to using low-level wavelengths of red light. It's not just any light, though — it's a specific spectrum that's been shown to have potential healing properties, making it a popular topic among those looking for alternative ways to support the body's natural processes. 

Red light therapy is grounded in a substantial amount of scientific research, offering a non-invasive option to potentially help support overall health, skin integrity, and now, possibly, overall recovery from bruises.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light therapy may seem like magic, but the science behind it is rooted in cellular function. When red light wavelengths penetrate your skin, they don't just heat it up. Instead, they trigger a fascinating process called photobiomodulation. When the skin absorbs these red wavelengths, it stimulates a reaction in the mitochondria. This process, known as photobiomodulation, can boost the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell. 

With more ATP at its disposal, the cell has the energy it needs to perform its functions more efficiently, including repairing and rejuvenating the skin.

What Are the Benefits of Red Light Therapy?

Exploring the realm of red light therapy unveils a spectrum of benefits that go beyond just skin deep — let's take a glimpse at what it brings to the table:

  • Skin Health and Rejuvenation: Red light therapy may help support proper collagen production, potentially working to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful look.
  • Discomfort Relief: RLT may be able to help ease feelings of discomfort from various causes, like everyday wear and tear.
  • Support for Circulation: RLT may help support healthy blood flow, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients efficiently reach cells throughout the body.
  • Support for Cellular Function: RLT might be able to help support proper cellular energy production, contributing to healthy, glowing skin and healthy overall cell function.
  • Mood and Sleep Support: RLT may support proper melatonin production in the body, potentially also supporting healthy sleep patterns and emotional wellness.

These benefits underscore red light therapy’s role as a versatile wellness tool, not only offering aesthetic improvements but also contributing to the body's overall functioning and restorative capabilities.

Can Red Light Therapy Help With Bruises?

Given the promising benefits of red light therapy, you might wonder how this technology fits into bruise recovery.

Red light therapy shines in its potential ability to support the body's natural healing processes. When it comes to bruises, red light therapy may help support an overall healthy inflammatory response, and may support the overall recovery and healing process in your body. 

By potentially working to support healthy cellular activity, red light therapy may be able to help minimize the look of a bruise and support overall healthy-looking skin.

Integral to the healing process, the potential soothing effects of red light therapy may also be particularly beneficial in managing some of the swelling associated with bruising.

How To Use Red Light Therapy To Help With Bruises

Now that you understand a few of the key ways that red light therapy may work to help support your skin health, healing process, and bruise management, it’s also important to know how to use red light therapy properly for the best results. Knowing how to use this method properly to aid in the healing process is key for reaping the most benefits. 

Here's how you can seamlessly incorporate red light therapy into addressing the look of bruises:

  • Frequency and Duration: For bruises, a daily session lasting five to 15 minutes may make a significant difference.
  • Comfort and Safety: Wear protective eyewear and ensure the skin is clean and dry.
  • Direct Application: Place the light directly over the bruised area, ensuring the affected area receives optimal exposure.
  • Post-Session Care: After your red light therapy session, hydrate well. Drinking water helps flush out toxins and supports the body's healing processes.

By following these guidelines, utilizing red light therapy for bruise management becomes an effortless addition to your health routine. 

It’s important to keep in mind that you should always adhere to the recommended usage times and directions as instructed by the specific device you are using. This can help ensure you're getting the optimal experience tailored to your needs without inadvertently increasing your risk of any adverse effects. Red light therapy is largely regarded as generally safe, but it is crucial to follow the instructions. 

It’s also beneficial to consult your healthcare provider before adding red light therapy into your routine for the management of bruises or conditions. Your doctor will be able to give you personalized, professional advice.

What Are Some Tips for Making the Most of Red Light Therapy?

Diving into red light therapy for bruises doesn't have to be daunting. With the right approach, you can maximize the benefits while keeping things simple and efficient. 

Here are some tips to get the most out of your sessions:

Stay Consistent

Like with any good skincare routine, consistency is key. Stick to a regular schedule to see the best results.

Keep It Cool

Apply a cool compress to the bruised area before your red light therapy session. This can help soothe any immediate discomfort and prep the skin for light therapy.

Optimize Your Environment

Create a relaxing atmosphere for your sessions. A calm setting can enhance the overall experience, making it something you look forward to.

Combine With Gentle Massage

After red light therapy, gently massaging the area may help promote circulation and aid in further dispersing the bruise. “Improved circulation can deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissue, aiding in the removal of waste products and promoting faster recovery. By combining red light therapy's potential for cellular repair with the benefits of massage for circulation, you might experience a quicker reduction in the appearance and discomfort associated with your bruise,” notes Heidi Wright, Registered Nurse.

Revamp Your Nutrition

Incorporating foods rich in vitamins C and K into your diet can complement the healing effects of red light therapy. These vitamins are known for their skin health benefits, including supporting collagen production and blood clotting. 

“Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collard greens), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, fermented foods (sauerkraut, natto – a fermented soybean dish), some cheeses, and egg yolks are good sources for adding balance to your diet. Source vitamins from real foods; do not begin a vitamin supplement without consulting first with your healthcare provider,” Wright highlights.

Mindful Movement

While rest is important, gentle movement or stretching can help improve blood flow to the bruised area, supporting faster healing. Combine this with your red light therapy sessions for an added boost to recovery.

Sun Protection for Sensitive Areas

If you’re using red light therapy on parts of the body that are also exposed to the sun, ensure you’re applying sunscreen to protect your skin. While red light therapy may be able to promote healing, sun exposure can increase the risk of skin damage.

Sleep Support

Take advantage of the potential sleep-enhancing benefits of red light therapy by timing your sessions a few hours before bed. A good night's rest is key for the body's healing process, and red light therapy might be able to help support your sleep quality, aiding in your overall recovery.

Wrapping It Up

Now that you understand the ins and outs of potentially using red light therapy for bruises, it's clear that this innovative approach holds a lot of promise. From supporting overall skin health to supporting healthy blood circulation, red light therapy can work in several key ways throughout the healing process.

DISCLAIMER: Mito Red Light devices are not clinically proven to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical conditions. Mito Red Light devices are Class II general wellness devices aimed at affecting the body through topical heating and supporting cellular function. The scientific studies referenced in this article are for informational purposes only. To see a list of precautionary warnings and contraindications, click here.

Sources:

Bruise Information | Mount Sinai

Red Light Therapy: Benefits, Side Effects & Uses | Cleveland Clinic

Photobiomodulation in human muscle tissue: an advantage in sports performance? | PMC

12 Reasons to Drink More Water | Unity Point Health