How to Use Red Light Therapy for Wound Healing (at Home)

I’m sure you’ll agree:

A chronic or non-healing wound can be terrifying.

It can easily become infected and lead to amputation, or worse.

When we’ve found that red and infrared light therapy can heal any wound up to 200% (!) faster, we had to let everyone know.

red light therapy for wounds

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Red LED light therapy for wound healing is a natural, non-invasive, and scientifically proven and safe way to heal chronic and non-healing wounds, no matter their cause.

(Note: I am not a doctor and I encourage you to consult with your doctor about any wound).

In this post you’ll find:

1.  How red and near-infrared light speeds wound healing (by 170 – 200%) 

2. NASA and other studies proving the amazing ability of red light waves in closing and healing chronic wounds

3. How to easily use red light therapy for wound healing at home (based on science)

4. The best home device for wound care

5. When to expect results

6. Side effects and warnings

Can Red Light Therapy Heal Wounds?

According to many studies, biologists have found that irridating the cells with near-infrared light (energy just outside the visible range) from LEDs (light-emitting diode) – grow 150% to 200% faster than cells not stimulated by this light.

low level laser for open wounds

(Image source)

Infrared light rays increase energy inside cells that speed up any healing process, and penetrates all the way into your skin and deeper.

What’s infrared light?

Infrared light therapy is described by science in terms of wavelength, measured in nanometer.

Any number between 620 nm to 680 nm is visible red light.

Any number between 700 and 1100 is invisible near-infrared light.

Here’s how infrared wound therapy works:

1.  Studies have found that near-infrared wavelength increases microcirculation and formation of new capillaries.

The result:

The wound area receives more oxygen and nutrients to help with the natural wound healing process.

2. Low-level laser promotes lymph system activity – this helps with detoxification of the wound without overtaxing the lymph system and prevents lymphedema.

3. Infrared rays clean up dead cells: boosted blood circulation helps with cleaning up dead or damaged cells, including dead bacteria.

4. Infrared therapy promotes collagen production – as proven in many studies, cold laser (red light waves) stimulates collagen and elastin production in the final wound healing phases.

5. It helps release ATP (raw cellular energy) which gives energy to the damaged cells in the wound so they can heal better and faster (study).

Did you know?

Israeli physicists have discovered that the heat from laser light can weld flesh back together. Now they’re experimenting with using it to heal wounds instead of using traditional stitching.

What Type of Wounds Can Benefit from Red Light Therapy?

There are many studies that prove that red light therapy (Low-Level Laser Therapy) can close any non-healing wound (a wound that doesn’t heal after 4 weeks), even in diabetics.

People with the following conditions can greatly benefit from infrared therapy:

1. Diabetic ulcers

2. Venus ulcers

3. Pressure ulcers

4. Nonhealing surgical wounds

5. Serious burns

6. Oral sores from chemotherapy/radiation

7. Metabolic-disease-related wounds

8. Wounds that repeatedly break down

How to Use Red Light Therapy to Heal Wounds – at Home

red light therapy wound healing

These days you don’t have to pay for expensive clinic appointments to naturally treat a non-healing wound.

There are a few excellent red light therapy home devices and lamps you can use every day at home – starting today.

Here are your best options:

1.  A Near-Infrared Heat Lamp

Infrared heat lamps are reddish near-infrared bulbs, also known as “heat lamps”.

These powerful 250-watt heat bulbs emit near-infrared rays with red, orange, and yellow light combined.

philips heat lamp for wounds
Philips Heat Lamp (250 watts) – check price on Homedepot

The heat from these lamps can penetrate deep into your wound, up to about 2 inches in!

To use a near infrared heat bulb safely, you’ll need a clamp socket designed for a 300-watt bulb, like this one.

clamp lamp for infrared bulb
Bayco Brooder Clamp Light with Porcelain Ceramic Socket – see today’s price 

Here’s How to use it:

  1. Clamp the socket to a convenient place (a chair, a bed, headboard, etc.) where you can move your wound close to the lamp.
  2.  Keep a safe distance of about 12 inches away from the lamp, and if at any point the heat feels too much, move further away from the lamp.
  3. Do not let the lamp directly touch your skin. Also, move the lamp or your body slightly during the lamp session as otherwise, it may cause a slight burn. Point the light to the surrounding area of the wound too.
  4. Remember to disinfect the lamp/device with alcohol.
  5. Set a timer for your session. Red Light therapy is very relaxing and you may fall asleep and over treat yourself.

According to studies, the optimal treatment time is 1.5 – 5 minutes per treatment area, every day until the wound is healed.

Shortcut
You can get a pre-made infrared lamp HERE.

2. Red/Infrared Hand-Held Home Device

If you trust the FDA, you should know that at the time of this writing, red light therapy has not been approved by the FDA for wound care.

That’s why you won’t find home devices advertised for this purpose.

However:

Home LLLT devices have already been approved for things such as pain relief and wrinkle reduction, and you can find a few high-quality LED infrared devices on the market right now.

red light therapy hand held device for wounds
Handheld red & near-infrared device for wound healing – see on Amazon

You’ll need a home device that is powerful enough though (and is mostly infrared), and place it closer to the wound, about 1 inch away from it.

Through our research, one of the best home infrared devices for wound care is TOPlight handheld device.

It’s not expensive and it’s yours to use 24/7.

Note: Handheld devices are better than panels because they are portable, easier to point in the exact position, and easier to hold in place.

How Long Does it Take?

Through my study-based research I’ve found:

Depending on several factors (your nutrition, for instance), it takes an average of 47 days and no less than 4 weeks of daily treatments, to heal a chronic wound.

Studies have shown that healing can occur even after only 3 days. But for some, it can take months.

Obviously, a natural and side-effect free treatment that can prevent infections and amputation is worth it – no matter how long it takes.

Are There Any Side Effects or Risks?

Red light therapy is a proven side-effect-free natural method. If you use it correctly, you’ll enjoy a safe treatment.

However, you still have to protect your eyes, to be on the safe side. These products can produce high glare, so use eye protection, like these safety goggles.

Never look directly into your home red light therapy device.

Conclusion

Red and infrared light therapy for wound healing are safe and proven to work.

No matter the cause of your chronic wound (Neuropathy, Diabetes, surgery, anything), this natural wound healing method can prevent infections and amputation.

It’s easy to use at home – the simple equipment is available and affordable (especially the infrared lamp of course)

You will have no adverse side effects if you don’t overdose yourself.

You can get started today.

I truly hope you give it a chance and spread the word about this wonderful natural treatment for non-healing wounds.

Do you have any questions or comments? What’s your experience with natural wound healing?

Let me know in the comments below.

To your health and happiness,

Meital

References:

Chaves ME, Araújo AR, Piancastelli AC, Pinotti M. Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED. An Bras Dermatol. 2014;89(4):616–623. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20142519

Light therapy by blue LED improves wound healing in an excision model in rats, Adamskaya, Natalia et al. Injury, Volume 42, Issue 9, 917 – 921

Immediate Vascular Photochemical Reactions to Infrared Laser Irradiation in Normal Volunteers. Journal of American Science 2011;7(6):203-208]

Harry T. Whelan, et al. Effect of NASA Light-Emitting Diode Irradiation on Wound Healing, Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery.Dec 2001.305-314.http://doi.org/10.1089/104454701753342758

55 thoughts on “How to Use Red Light Therapy for Wound Healing (at Home)”

  1. What about anal fissures after childbirth. I have a set up of three Phillips heat-ray250watt infrared bulbs.” Do you think this will help even if the fissure is slightly internal? Doctors say I need surgery but I am only 29 but in daily pain. Trying everything! Also, how long should I do treatment?

    Reply
    • It may help, though I don’t know about research done specifically for this condition. Infrared light therapy penetrates 2-3 cm into your tissues. You can do the treatment for 20-30 minutes, as long as you feel comfortable. Make sure to keep a safe distance of 24 inches away from the light.

      Reply
  2. I had abdominal surgery one week ago and have a lot of swelling that is slow to resolve. I have a joove like near infrared panel, should I use that, or wait until swelling goes down?

    Reply
  3. Hello, thank you for this article.
    I had laparoscopic abdominal surgery yesterday and have clear large bandaids covering the wounds. Would you suggest waiting a week until I get the bandaids off or can I start red light therapy sooner?

    Reply
  4. Hello I had surgery on my foot 6 weeks ago just had cast removed yesterday and there’s still some swelling. Should I wait to use near infrared? Thank you

    Reply
  5. How do I use an infrared hex handheld heat lamp on a pubic boil? Should I use it as the heater for my warm compresses?

    Reply
  6. I have a kind of wound on my lips, a kind of inflammation that the outer layer of the skin of the lips keeps peeling off because of an old wound(both lower and upper lips). Each time a new layer of skin starts to grow, it peels off again because apparently it is a new skin and there is always pressure on the lips hence I have to talk, eat and drink through it. I had the issue twoyears before but after some months and after a lot of vitamin c,and plasma therapy it got heald.
    Can the infrared of 100 watts (R95E) help to heal it.

    Reply
    • It’s worth a try, but keep it at a safe distance and use safety goggles to protect your eyes. I would also use those vitamins and supplements again since it helped you the last time it happened.

      Reply
  7. My small dog had a lump removed from his tail and the skin graft did not work, now he has an open wound that we are treating. Would 1 to 2 miniutes, 12″ away everyday, with / without bandages be a good routine for him?

    Reply
  8. My husband is in a dementia facility & he has had sore buttocks for 3 months, but, now (8 months) he has open ulcers & I have had 4 different doctors look at him–primary, dermatologist, wound specialist and facility medical personnel & they all prescribe different kinds of creams. Now, they have him on a cream that is almost $400.00 an ounce that insurance does not cover. He is in so much pain, he screams every time someone wipes him. I was there yesterday, determined to leave him naked from the waist down, and after 6 hours, free up pull-ups, he seemed better from the air! I am tired of crying every time I visit, because he does not deserve this condition & they won’t do what I say. I am going to buy an infrared light & go there a couple of times per day. I want a hand-held. Thank you for whatever you can suggest!

    Reply
    • First I would continue with airing out the area as it helped so much. Always continue with what helps. As for a hand-held red light therapy device, I would suggest the baby quasar red as mentioned in the post. I hope he feels better soon.

      Reply
  9. I have a rather deep surgical wound that will not heal. It still has to be packed and bandaged everyday. Can I use the red light even though my wound is packed and bandaged? Will it be effective at this point? Or should I wait until the wound progresses to the point that it does not have to be packed or bandaged anymore? Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    • To be on the safe side, I would consult my doctor about this. However, to my knowledge it’s safe to use it without the bandage, as long as you keep it in a safe distance. Listen to your body and see how it feels.

      Reply
  10. Hi,

    The local Home Depot and Lowe’s have Red 630, Green 525 and Blue 450 led bulbs at 3W and 8 W. Could I use the 8 W for treatment? I cannot find the power density info for these bulbs to calculate treatment doseage.

    Reply
  11. Hi there,

    what do you think about this bulbs ? Which is best ?

    TheraBulb Infrared Bulb NIR-A 250 Watt 700 nm to 1200
    RubyLux Infrared Bulb NIR-A 250 Watt 850nm
    ABI 25W Deep Red LED 660nm

    Reply
        • The link you’ve provided does not work so I can’t look at it. As for your cupboard size, it seems a little small to me, and I would only use 1-2 bulbs in it. You have to make sure you’ll be able to keep a safe distance from the light as instructed in the post.

          Reply
          • I will try to keep the distance, maybe find bigger cupboard, I think it would be better if it is place for rotating on a chair.
            I want to do like on the link, very simply, just piece of board, lamp sockets, lamps, cables and power switch but I want to put it from outside on cupboard http://drlwilson.com/Images/saunawiring.htm
            Please and can you write me the best material for covering an electrical cables-use shielded cables? So how to minimize EMF? Or with infrared lamps is not so bad?

          • I’m sorry but I’m not very good with electricity, I can’t help you with that. Maybe someone in the community can answer this? As for the EMF, as you can see in the video, the EMF is very low and reduces to none if you keep that safe distance.

  12. Can you use and IR illuminator that’s made for night vision cameras? They admit a 850nm of light and are far cheaper than what’s designed for therapy.

    Reply
    • That’s an interesting idea…:) However, it’s not thought to be the best wavelength for wound healing – it should be more in the range of red and near infrared wavelength.

      Reply
  13. I am doing a rotator cuff surgery. I assume I will ice for a couple of weeks.
    At what point would one use the red light therapy?
    Thx :)

    Reply
  14. Hello
    What would be the best time each day and distant treatment for a deep leg ulcer for a lady who is 88 ?

    Reply
    • From the post: “According to studies, optimal treatment time is 1.5 – 5 minutes per treatment area.” Do this every day for at least 40 days. Good luck!

      Reply
  15. Hi I live in the UK. I want to purchase a high quality near infrared bulb 250w more or less like ruby but we do not have them over here.

    What reputable brand would you recommend?

    Reply
  16. I have the light now but will welding glasses protect me well enough from the light? thank you in advance :)

    Reply
  17. How often do I use the 250 watt infrared lamp on on 1/4 inch diameter shallow pressure wound on my bottom. I’m a paraplegic.

    Reply
    • I would start with once a day. But, please make sure you keep the light at a safe disatnce of at least 12 inches, because you will not feel if it’s burning your skin. I would also consult my doctor about how to do ths treatment.

      Reply
  18. Hello, will this work for a very bad case if plantar Fasciitis. I have been to 5 doctors inured extremely painful shots, Acupuncture, physical therapy, you name it. I’ve tried it. I have been in alot of pain daily for over 3 years now. It has destroyed my life.

    Reply
  19. Please let me know if the wound has to be uncovered for the light to work or will it still work through a bandaged wound?

    Reply

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