New Study: Light Therapy Helps Heal Burns Faster

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We burn ourselves all the time. It could be we stayed in the sun too long, touched a hot pot, or something more serious like a chemical burn. Either way, burns can be extremely painful. But did you know that light therapy can help burns heal faster?

So what is a burn, exactly? Burns are tissue damage that result from heat, overexposure to the sun, or chemical and electrical contact. Typically, the treatment of burns depends on the location and severity of the burn, itself. While sunburns can usually be treated at home, deep or wide burns need medical attention. There are four classifications of burns:

  • First-degree: are burns that affect the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. The burned area is red, itchy, and painful, but has no blisters. 
  • Second-degree: are burns that affect the epidermis and the lower layer of the skin, the dermis. The burned area looks blistered, red, and possibly swollen and painful.
  • Third-degree: are burns that destroy the epidermis and dermis. They may even enter the subcutaneous tissue, which is the innermost layer of the skin. The burned area may look charred or white.
  • Fourth-degree: are burns that go all the way through the layers of the skin as well as the deeper tissue, possibly including the muscle and bone. The nerve endings are destroyed in a fourth-degree burn, so there’s no sense of feeling of the burned area.

When it comes to treating a burn, the tactic really depends on the degree of the burn. Mild burns need minimal attention and can be attended to with aloe vera gel or other anti-burn gels. Most people apply cool compresses and, within a day or two, heal from the burn. However, for serious burns, undergoing a skin graft may be necessary. 

However, it’s been discovered that light therapy has the ability to speed up the healing of burns by activating growth protein. According to a University at Buffalo-led study, their red light therapy skin research found that photobiomodulation - a form of low-dose light therapy - sped up recovery from burns and reduced inflammation in mice. 

The findings are profound and may impact future therapeutic treatment for burn injuries, which affect over 1.1 million people annually in the United States, alone. Lead investigator Praveen Arany, DDS, Ph.D., assistant professor of oral biology in the UB School of Dental Medicine, says that number jumps to 6 million when looking at worldwide burn injuries.

“Photobiomodulation therapy has been efficiently used in supportive cancer care, age-related macular degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease,” says Arany. “A common feature among these ailments is the central role of inflammation. This work provides evidence for the ability of photobiomodulation-activated TGF-beta 1 in mitigating the inflammation, while promoting tissue regeneration utilizing an elegant, transgenic burn wound model.” 

The study was performed on third-degree burns over a period of nine days. The treatment was able to stimulate various cells, bringing them into the healing process. These cells include fibroblasts (connective tissue cells that play a role in tissue repair) and macrophages (immune cells that reduce inflammation and fight infection). So, if you’ve been wondering, ‘is light therapy good for skin?’ - the answer is yes. 

The effectiveness of treating pain and stimulating healing via light therapy has been positively documented in hundreds of clinical trials and thousands of academic papers. In other words, it’s showing that red light therapy treatment provides positive results for those looking to heal from their injuries and illnesses in a shorter time span. The future of medicine is here, and it's using the power of light.

At Kaiyan, we’re one step ahead and have developed a series of MDA-certified and FDA-approved red light therapy products and devices that cater to various needs. Whether you’re looking to private label your own light therapy products or for home use, contact our team as we would love to help you through your light therapy journey.