Almost all of us experience wounds or injuries at some point. Some wounds are deep and need more time and care to heal, such as deep burns or surgical cuts. Others may affect only the upper layer of our skins and are cured speedily.
Each wound needs a different type of treatment, and for this, it is essential first to understand the process of wound healing and how it works?
How Does the Healing Process Work?
Healing is a biological process in which a living organism replaces the damaged or destroyed tissues with a new one. In other words, it is the restoration of a cell, tissue, or organ to a healthy state.
The wound healing process is a four-stage process that must occur in a sequence and proper time frame; otherwise, it may result in impaired or improper wound healing.
These four stages of the healing process can be categorized as follows:
- Hemostasis: This is the stage where the body responds to an injury to stop the bleeding by coagulation. At this time, blood is changing from a liquid form to a jelly substance.
- Inflammation: At this stage, the wound gets localized swelling called inflammation, protecting it from bleeding and getting infections.
- Proliferation: The phase of wound healing starts when the new tissue is rebuilt at the wound area, which is made up of collagen and extracellular matrix.
- Maturation: The final stage of wound healing is called the maturation phase or remodeling phase. At this point, the new tissue starts to gain strength by reorganizing the collagen fibers. An overall increase in tensile strength takes place. This phase may take anywhere from 21 days to two years, depending on the depth or nature of the wound.
The natural healing process may slow down or get impaired due to certain problems, including:
- A limited supply of oxygen to the wounded cells,
- Post-injury infections,
- The old age of the patient,
- Medical condition,
- The amount of stress,
- Certain medication,
- Improper nutrition
- Unhealthy sleeping patterns.
However, there is a ray of hope that can help address almost all these issues that a patient may encounter during a wound healing process, and that is red light therapy.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is the use of low-level wavelengths of light – red and near-infrared rays. This treatment method may help skin, muscle tissue, and other parts of the body heal up quickly and efficiently. Not only has red light therapy been proven as a safe treatment option for physical ailments such as wounds and infection but also for certain psychological and emotional issues such as depression, sleeplessness, and dementia.
Using red light therapy for speeding up the wound healing process is highly suggested because the natural red light penetrates deep into the skin, where the cells can absorb its energy to activate mitochondria and the energy-carrying molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). With more energy, the cells are in a better position to speed up their self-repairing function and support the natural wound healing process.
The use of red light therapy is also beneficial in the sense that it helps with issues that can adversely affect or slow down the wound healing process.
Let’s discuss how red light therapy helps the healing process in detail.
How Red Light Therapy Helps the Healing Process
1. Red Light Therapy Helps Supplying Oxygen to the Cells.
We know that oxygen is crucial for cell metabolism and also for all wound healing processes. With sufficient oxygen, it is possible to protect the affected area from infections and aid in forming new blood vessels, and increasing the keratinocyte (the cells found in the epidermis). Also, it helps speed up collagen synthesis and wound contraction. With the use of red light therapy devices, the blood circulation in the cells increases, resultantly the sufficient supply of oxygen helps cells repair much quickly.
2. Red Light Therapy to Handle Stress
Just as diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes are associated with stress, wound healing is also highly influenced by the anxiety and stress levels of the patient. Some studies confirm that stress causes the dysregulation of the immune system and thus can cause substantial delays in the wound healing process. At this point, red light therapy has proven advantages in putting people in a better mood and reducing agitation due to dilated blood vessels. Once you feel better and develop a positive attitude toward the sickness, nature starts working at its best.
3. RLT Can Help Healing Wounds of Diabetic Patients
We know that millions of diabetic people worldwide and these individuals may experience impairment in the healing of wounds. The reason is the poor blood flow which makes them vulnerable to infections and ulcers. Here using red light therapy, tiny capillaries are formed, and blood circulation is improved. This helps better oxygen and nutrition delivery to these wounded parts of the body and promotes healing without any pain.
4. Red Light Therapy Can Help Manage Circadian Rhythm
With a healthy circadian rhythm, our natural sleep cycle, the human body heals faster. If for any reason, this cycle is disturbed, we may experience delayed recovery from illness, fatigue, stress, and slow healing of wounds. That’s why doctors suggest patients take adequate sleep after surgeries so that the healing process can work effectively.
Red light therapy comes with releasing a hormone called Melatonin, often referred to as the sleep hormone. Once your sleep cycle is improved, the healing process speeds up.
Red Light Therapy to Overcome Problems associated with Wounds
In case of wounds or injuries, there are several associated issues that we want to fix along with our recovery from pain and inflammation – for example, discolored skin, wrinkles, fine lines, or scars. Here again, red light therapy devices can help you improve your skin texture, maintain your skin elasticity and youthfulness by promoting blood circulation.
In summary, the healing process from wounds and injuries is challenging, but with proper care and treatment, it can speed up, and you may get results within no time. You must take appropriate medication and keep your wounds clean. Along with that, red light therapy devices offer everything it demands to expedite the healing process without any side effects.