Next time you have a common skin problem, instead of buying creams or other expensive treatments, try picking up your light therapy device to treat it! Here are some common skin ailments that can be treated with light therapy:

Rashes

A common problem of the summer, rashes caused by poison ivy or poison oak can be itchy, uncomfortable, and can cause scarring! To help combat a rash, try red light therapy. Red light works by reducing inflammation and speeding up healing.

If your rash is accompanied with a fever, or is blistering, make sure you see your dermatologist because those symptoms could mean something more serious.

Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that causes dry, rough patches and tiny bumps, usually on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks or buttocks. The bumps generally don’t hurt or itch.

Keratosis pilaris results from the buildup of keratin — a hard protein that protects skin from harmful substances and infection. The keratin forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle. Usually, many plugs form, causing patches of rough, bumpy skin.

Red light therapy can help reduce the redness and inflammation caused by keratosis pilaris.

Bug Bites

Another common and annoying problem of the summer, mosquito bites and black fly bites are incredibly itchy and can be painful. Scratching can cause infection and scarring. Like with rashes, red light therapy works on bug bites by reducing inflammation and speeding up healing.

Stretch Marks 

Stretch marks are reddish, purple or pink (or sometimes brown, depending on your skin tone) depressed streaks that can be found on your breasts, stomach, butt, hips, and thighs. Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis. This is often from the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes. Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, or hormone replacement therapy.

Because a stretch mark is essentially a type of scar, it can be treated with red light therapy. The reason red light therapy works so well in treating scars is that red light has a long enough wavelength to penetrate the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) and reach the dermis (the middle layer of the skin). This enables it to reach fibroblasts, special types of cells that sit beneath the skin and manufacture collagen – a protein that helps tighten and firm the skin and heal wounds.

Wrinkles

Red light therapy works well on wrinkles and to improve general signs of aging because red light tells fibroblasts in the skin to produce more collagen to firm, tighten, and overall improve the appearance of skin.