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

A chronic or non-healing wound can be very stressful.

In some cases, it can become infected and lead to amputation, or worse.

When I found that red and infrared light therapy can heal any wound up to 200% faster, I had to let everyone know.

red light therapy for wound healing

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

👉 In a Hurry?

Jump to the best ways to use red light therapy for wounds – at home!

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Can Red Light Therapy Heal Wounds?

According to many studies, biologists have found that irradiating the cells with near-infrared light (photobiomodulation) from LEDs (light-emitting diode) – makes them grow 150% to 200% faster than cells not stimulated by this light.

low level laser photobiomodulation for wounds

Red and infrared light rays increase energy inside cells that speed up any healing process and penetrate all the way into your skin and deeper.

Here’s How Red Light Therapy Affects Wounds

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

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 it works:

1. Studies have found that near-infrared wavelength increases microcirculation and the 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 detoxify the wound without overtaxing the lymph system and prevents lymphedema.

3. Infrared rays clean up dead cells: boosted blood circulation helps clean 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.

Red Light Therapy for Wounds Studies

Here’s a list table of just some of the studies, for your reference:

Study DesignParticipantsRed Light Therapy DeviceResults
Human Clinical Study60 participants with complicated woundsLaser diode at 633 nm (red light)✅ Increased levels of substances that promote wound healing,
✅ Collagen synthesis
Human Clinical Study16 people with uncontrolled diabetic foot ulcers633 nm laser (red light)✅ Reduction in wound size and pain scores after 12 days
Human Cell Study
Double Blind
Human vein cells635 nm LEDs (red)✅ Increased stimulation of cell growth and movement
Human Clinical Study71 people with pressure ulcers658-nm laser (red light)✅ 70% wound closure after 1-month treatments, 5 times per week

2 Ways to Use Red Light Therapy for Wounds (at Home)

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

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.

best near infrared bulb for wound healing
Sauna Space 250W near-infrared bulb – $9 at Sauna Space

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 – view on Amazon

Here’s How to use it:

  1. Clamp the socket to a convenient place (a chair, a bed, a 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.

You can get a pre-made red & infrared lamp HERE – for $45.

red light therapy lamp for wounds
InfraGlow Red & Infrared Therapy Lamp – $45 at LifePro

The LifePro lamp combines 9 LEDs emitting red light rays (660nm) and 9 LEDs emitting infrared rays (850 nm).

This one gets less hot than a near-infrared lamp and is best for heat-sensitive people.

2. 🥇 Red/Infrared Hand-Held Device 

red light therapy device for wound healting
Red Light Therapy Torch with 5 wavelengths – view on Amazon

Several studies have proven the amazing positive effects of red and near-infrared LED therapy for wound healing.

For example, in a 2016 study, researcher Asheesh Gupta found the most effective wavelength range for wound healing was near-infrared light, followed by red light and super-pulsed light.

These wavelengths have beneficial effects on impaired dermal wound healing by promoting photobiomodulation, which stimulates the healing of skin wounds.

You can find all of these wavelengths (and two more) in the UTK Red Light Therapy device, which has 5 different wavelengths and a pulsing mode for each one and costs less than $80 on Amazon.

red light therapy handheld device for wounds
Always use goggles for red light therapy, the light is very bright!

It is lightweight, small, portable, perfect for localized treatments, and comes with two rechargeable batteries to last for years.

I have the UTK Red Light Therapy Device at home and use it for wound healing, psoriasis relief (reduced redness and itching), acne spot treatments and even for treating the scar on my dog’s neck from a recent surgery.

Great relief for Psoriasis flare ups

Alternatively, you can use the CureBio Red Light Therapy Device, which has 3 wavelengths (you only need the red), but also has a separate attachment for small areas, and costs a little less than the UTK:

CureBio Red Ligth Therapy Device for wound healing
The CureBio – view on Amazon

What Type of Wounds Can Red Light Therapy Treat?

Many studies 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 Long Does it Take for the Wound to Heal?

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.

👉 Attention – studies have found that the healing process was accelerated when the LED irradiation started immediately after the wounds were created

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

Side Effects and Risks

Red light therapy is a proven side-effect-free natural method.

If you use it correctly (and especially not tempted to overuse it), 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.

Can Red Light Therapy Penetrate a Cast?

The penetration of red-light therapy depends on the wavelength and wattage of the light, as well as the distance and angle.

If you are using a home device, it is unlikely that the device would be powerful enough to penetrate through a cast.

You’ll need a professional device with a high enough irradiance to get through a cast.

Can You Use Red Light Therapy on an Open Wound?

Yes, you can use red light therapy devices on open wounds, as long as the device does not directly touch the wound surface.

In fact, a study published in Photomed Laser Surgery has proven that low-level laser significantly improved tissue repair for patients suffering from chronic diabetic wounds.

To your health and happiness,



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.

Light therapy by blue LED improves wound healing in an excision model in rats, Adamskaya, Natalia et al. Injury

Immediate Vascular Photochemical Reactions to Infrared Laser Irradiation in Normal Volunteers. Journal of American Science

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.

de Alencar Fonseca Santos J, Campelo MBD, de Oliveira RA, Nicolau RA, Rezende VEA, Arisawa EÂL. Effects of Low-Power Light Therapy on the Tissue Repair Process of Chronic Wounds in Diabetic Feet. Photomed Laser Surg. 2018 Jun;36(6):298-304.

Meital James
Founder and CEO of 4 healthy living blogs, has a background in Naturopathic medicine, research, journalism, and nutrition. Her blogs are the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and experience and all the posts are verified by scientific findings.

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

  1. Would you kindly send me your E-mail address, as i will have a few import points to ask about using 12w hand held red lamp, or ultrared lamp healing open wound on my leg, no medical what ever they are, will not help.

    • It can only help. It increases blood circulation and brings energy to any area it is pointed to. You just have to use it carefully – not too close.

  2. My son had surgery this past Thursday to remove an infected abscess. It is right above his rectum and he has an open wound about the size of a 50 cent piece that is packed. Would this be beneficial?

  3. 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?

    • 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.

  4. 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?

  5. I’m seeing both 1.5 to 5 inches distance and then 12″ to 24″ distance away from wound. which is it?

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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?

    • You can do that, but to get the benefits of the light you’ll need to point the heat lamp to the boil directly, keeping it at a safe distance of 24 inches.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

      • 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.

        • 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.
          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.

  15. 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.

    • 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.

  16. 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 :)

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

    • 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!

  18. 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?

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

  20. 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.

    • 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.

    • I don’t know about kidney weakness curing, but it can sure help because increasing blood circulation is helpful for any condition, disease, or injury. For nail fungus, it can help as well, but for both, I would use infrared and not red light. See our red light therapy FAQ page for more questions and answers

  21. 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.

  22. 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?


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