Despite what Instagram filters might lead you to believe, nobody has perfect skin. It’s human nature to develop wrinkles, discoloration, pimples and other “imperfections” as you age.
But that doesn’t mean you’re forced to accept those marks on your body forever. Just like acne can be tackled with skincare products and wrinkles can be smoothed away, stretch marks can also be minimized with the help of red light therapy.
What Is Light Therapy?
Imagine the warm, invigorating feeling of the sun on your skin after days and days of rain. The sunlight feels uplifting, enriching, even restorative. There’s something intoxicating about the power of light to transform our mood, health and overall wellness.
Light therapy is rooted in this simple concept. It uses specific, visible wavelengths of light — blue, red, and green, to name a few — to trigger specific responses within the body. From reducing migraines to healing the skin to melting excess fat to alleviating depression, light therapy offers many significant benefits for men and women alike.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks, or striae, are indented streaks in the skin. They develop most commonly on the breasts, arms, hips, abdomen, thighs and buttocks. Though stretch marks aren’t painful or dangerous, they’re often viewed as unwanted and embarrassing skin blemishes.
You can recognize stretch marks by these common symptoms:
- Bright streaks that fade to a lighter color
- Pink, red, black, blue, or purple streaks
- Indented streaks or lines on the skin, especially in areas where the skin has contracted or expanded
Common Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks develop in response to stretching of the skin. Many factors influence the size and severity of stretch marks, including genetics and the degree of stress placed on the skin. Cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, can also weaken elastic fibers in the skin, which prevents stretched skin from “bouncing back.”
Other risk factors increase the likelihood of stretch marks, including:
- Being female
- Being pregnant
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss
- Use of corticosteroids
- Breast augmentation
Many creams and gels are formulated to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but results are hard to predict and often inconsistent. Red light therapy offers a new, non-invasive way to gently treat unwanted stretch marks and restore firm, smooth skin.
Can Red Light Therapy Help With Stretch Marks?
Clinical research suggests that light therapy improves the appearance of stretch marks permanently. In fact, experts believe laser light therapy represents a breakthrough in stretch mark treatment.
Light therapy shines visible red light and infrared light onto stretch marks using a laser beam. This therapeutic application of light triggers many different reactions that benefit the skin:
- Increased cellular energy
- Promotion of collagen for stronger, healthier skin
- Better lymphatic drainage
- Reduced swelling and inflammation
- Improved blood circulation
- Enhanced healing response
- Restored elastin fibers
As the effects of phototherapy rejuvenate the skin and accelerate natural healing, your stretch marks gradually fade from view. You may notice the color, texture, and shape of unwanted stretch marks diminishing.
For the best long-term results, light therapy treatments should occur multiple times per week over the course of one to two months. Experts recommend 20 sessions over the span of four weeks for up to 60% improvement in stretch mark appearance. Follow-up maintenance treatments help maintain your clear skin as well.
The Best Light Therapy Products for Lasting Results
Who doesn’t want to get rid of their stretch marks? Luckily, it’s never been easier to harness the impressive powers of light therapy for your skin’s benefit.
Dozens of handheld light therapy devices are available online, but only a few are designed specifically to target stretch marks. Strialite: “The Stretch Mark Solution” is a small and convenient home medical device engineered with 633 nm LEDS and therapeutic heating elements.
Red light penetrates the skin and stimulates collagen production, which in turn strengthens the skin and diminishes the appearance of stretch marks. Strialite was developed by a board-certified plastic surgeon with the goal of offering a pain-free and effective solution to stretch marks that don’t respond to standard ointments and creams.
According to a clinical study conducted using Strialite, 18 of 30 participants found significant improvement in their stretch marks after eight treatments over the course of four weeks.
Though it’s easier than ever to use handheld light therapy devices to treat your stretch marks at home, you may prefer to receive professional treatment to achieve more dramatic results. Most dermatologists and many medical spas offer light therapy laser treatments proven to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Light therapy treatments use cutting-edge laser machines that are gentle and virtually painless, but results won’t develop instantly. Expect to wait several weeks before seeing changes to your most stubborn stretch marks. You may also experience a few mild side effects after laser treatment:
- Pink or red skin in the treated area that lasts four to eight hours
- A slight stinging sensation, like mild sunburn, in the treated area
- Minimal swelling in the treated area
Be sure to skip makeup and lotion for 24 hours after each light therapy appointment.
Beds are no longer just for tanning or sleeping. Thanks to technology like the LightStim LED Bed, you can lie down to enjoy a natural, non-invasive, full-body light therapy treatment.
The LightStim bed uses different wavelengths of visible light, including red light, to increase blood circulation, enhance healing mechanisms, regenerate the skin, and more. Simply relax in the bed and close your eyes as red light washes over your skin, stimulates collagen production, and enriches your body thoroughly.