No one wants to have inflamed and itchy skin, yet, over 31 million people in the U.S. suffer from eczema. But can light therapy treatments actually improve eczema?
Let’s first understand exactly how the skin disorder works. Atopic dermatitis, known as eczema, is a skin condition involving the immune system and can be identified by itchy and inflamed patches of skin. However, there are multiple types of eczema, such as contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic dermatitis, and nummular dermatitis.
In general, symptoms of eczema include rough, itchy, dry, inflamed, and irritated skin. Eczema typically flares up and subsides, flaring up again. While it can occur anywhere on the body, it's typically found in the inner elbows, knees, head, arms, and hands. You may think only specific people are susceptible to this skin condition, but eczema doesn't discriminate. People of all skin tones and ethnicities can be affected by it.
A recent study of adults with moderate to severe eczema found that 70.5% reported severe, unbearable itch in the past two weeks, 85.5% reported daily itch, and 62.8% reported itching at least 12 hours per day. These numbers are alarming and show how it negatively impacts someone's life.
Interestingly, the medical community doesn't have much information on eczema. But what causes this skin condition? It's believed to be due to an overactive immune system when the body responds aggressively to an irritant. Common triggers can include synthetic fabric, rough material, chemicals in detergents and cleaners, sweat, stress, animal dander, and food allergies.
Currently, there is no cure for eczema. Most physicians recommend an anti-itch cream or prescription medication such as injections or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. However, those are temporary solutions, treating the symptoms and not the cause.
So - does light therapy work on eczema? And the answer is yes. Let's dive in a little deeper.
Red light therapy uses near-infrared and/or red light to restore the body's healing system. Red light therapy stimulates the ATP cells within the mitochondria, resulting in a quicker turnover of damaged cells and new cell production. The body's autoimmune system is also stimulated, which aids in recovery. As a result, red light therapy reduces inflammation that triggers eczema. As the inflammation decreases, the itching and redness diminish as well.
Dermatologist Michele Green, M.D., Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, says, “When the itching improves, patients are less likely scratching, and the thickened areas of rash begin to resolve.” She explains, “people feel better, sleep better, and are able to live their lives more comfortably.”
Through light therapy, eczema sufferers may find more lasting relief. Whether the eczema is present on the face, knees, arms, head, light therapy has shown promising results in aiding in the condition. While creams and injections provide momentary relief, light therapy can help support the body's immune system and reduce inflammation, the main cause of eczema. In addition, many people suffering from eczema also experience other skin conditions such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and psoriasis. Light therapy has the power of treating multiple conditions simply with light.
Luckily, Kaiyan Medical produces MDA-certified and FDA-approved light therapy products and devices for your own at-home treatment or even for your patients. We've worked hard to provide solutions for both patients and healthcare practitioners, catering to various needs. Whether you're looking to private label your own light therapy devices or for home use, contact our team, as we would love to help you through your light therapy journey.