Does Red Light Therapy Fade Scars?

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Most people know very little about red light therapy, but it is a natural, safe way to improve skin and promote the healing process for wounds, surgery incisions, burns, and scars.

This type of therapy has gained popularity as a natural pain reliever and healing solution for many people, from arthritic senior citizens to professional athletes.

The burning question is does red light therapy fade scars? Red light therapy can fade scars, but it’s not going to produce miracles. We will go into detail below.


How Red Light Fades Scars and Heals Wounds

Let’s start at the beginning – if you haven’t heard of light therapy, it is a non-invasive, drug-free, natural treatment for various issues like pain, hyperpigmentation, acne, rosacea, wrinkles, etc. 

The red light device delivers concentrated wavelengths of safe, natural, therapeutic light to your skin cells. There, it stimulates cellular production and reduces oxidative stress.

All this results in reduced inflammation and pain, faster healing, and cell regeneration.

Inflammation reduction is the main healing benefit of red light therapy. After operations and injuries, it is common to experience swelling and inflammation, which causes pain, slows healing, and reduces activity levels. However, red light therapy has been proven to reduce chronic and acute inflammation.

In fact, many studies have shown that skin cells that are exposed to natural (red) light are able to produce new tissue, blood vessels, and fibroblasts (these create connective fibers and collagen to heal wounds).

This all leads to stronger, faster healing with less pain.

Where to Find Light Therapy

These treatments were once only done in a clinician’s office, but now they have spread everywhere. There are many home light therapy devices, and you can find them in tanning salons and gyms, particularly Planet Fitness and their Total Body Enhancement machines.

Red Light Therapy for Healing Incisions

Recovering from surgery, especially invasive procedures in areas like the chest and sternum, is a significant source of inflammation, pain, and debilitation for many.

Inflammation and pain medication have many side effects and risks, and have a mixed efficacy record at best.

Researchers did a randomized study with 90 sternum surgery patients, analyzing their recovery and pain levels, half with red light therapy, and half without. The researchers found the following about the patients who received red light therapy :

  • Less bleeding around the incision
  • Minimal coughing pain within the first-month post-surgery
  • Fewer wound ruptures
  • Less complication and excess blood
  • Reduced inflammation and pain

These results have been very encouraging to demonstrate the efficacy of using red light therapy on incisions and scars.

Does Red Light Therapy Fade Scars?

There are so many injuries that the skin can experience, from surgical scars to burns, which leave lasting, often unwanted scars and blemishes.

Luckily, studies have been conducted looking into the effect of red light therapy on scars, with promising results.

Studies have been conducted looking into the effect of red light therapy on scars, with promising results.

Heal Raised Scars

There was one study that looked at raised scars on children. The researchers treated half the children’s scars with red light therapy and then compared it to the half that received no treatment at all.

It was found that the treated scars had a significant reduction in appearance and scarification, concluding that red light therapy is both effective and safe to be used on raised scars.

Less Visible Scars

Studies have shown that patients with burn scars that were treated with red light therapy showed a decrease in visible scarring that was twice as fast when compared with those who didn’t do red light therapy. 

Plus, no patients experienced any negative side effects from the treatment, which emerged as the norm for red light trials.

Red Light Therapy Improves the Healing of Burns

Various trials and studies found that red light therapy provided a natural boost to the healing and recovery of burns. The results showed less inflammation, pain, and oxidative stress with faster healing. 

There were also recovery results cosmetically without the need for chemicals or drugs. Red light therapy for burns has been tested on mammals and rats and has repeatedly shown very promising, encouraging results.


As you can from the studies see above, red light therapy can fade scars, decrease inflammation and pain, while speeding up wound healing.

Studies have shown red light therapy to be a natural, safe way to heal from wounds, surgery incisions, burns, and scars. 

Of course all of this is preliminary and needs much more research. But home light therapy devices are inexpensive and may help reduce scarring!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).