How Often Should You Use Red Light Therapy?

How Often Should You Use Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy can be used to treat a wide range of health conditions. In most cases, you require a regular and consistent treatment regimen to see and sustain results. However, how often is enough?

It depends on your condition and how well you respond to the treatment. It also depends on whether you use at-home red light therapy or get professional services.

For at-home devices, we recommend up to 2 times per day, spaced out in the morning and evening, but once per day is great. On the other hand, if you seek professional red light therapy, a specialist will assess your condition and recommend a suitable frequency.

Recommended Red Light Therapy Frequency for Different Conditions

Red light therapy can be used for a wide range of conditions. Below is a look at the recommended frequency for using red light therapy for most common conditions.


Red light therapy helps to treat and manage acne by regulating sebum production and reducing inflammation. You require 2-3 weekly sessions in the initial treatment phase. Once you enter the maintenance phase, 1-2 weekly sessions will do. Each session should be about 10 minutes from about 18-24” away, depending on the intensity of the device, the severity of acne, and your skin’s photosensitivity.

Sun Damage on the Skin

Red light therapy helps to heal sun damage on the skin by promoting collagen production, reducing inflammation, and promoting skin repair. The appropriate frequency depends on the extent of sun damage, your skin type, and the intensity of the device used. Generally, 2-3 sessions per week are sufficient. Each session should be about 10 minutes from about 18-24” away.

Scars and Wrinkles

Red light therapy will stimulate collagen production, improving the skin’s elasticity and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and scars. You may require 3-4 weekly sessions in the initial phases if you have extensive scars and wrinkling. As your skin heals, the frequency can reduce to 1-3 sessions per week. Each session should be 10 minutes from about 18-24” away.

Stretch Marks

Red light therapy for stretch marks promotes collagen production and enhances skin regeneration. If you have deep or numerous scars, you may require 3-4 high-intensity sessions in the initial phases and 1-3 sessions per week in the maintenance phase. Each session is 10 minutes from about 18-24” away.


For pain management, the frequency depends on the nature of the pain you are experiencing. For example, if you are experiencing back pain, you can wear a red light therapy belt on your lower back for about 15-20 minutes. Or, you can shine a moderate intensity red light device on the affected part for 5-10 minutes from a distance of about 6-12” away. If red light therapy is incorporated as part of pain management at a wellness clinic or hospital, the professional will determine the right intensity and frequency.

Muscle Recovery

When you engage in high-intensity exercises, the muscles get microscopic tears causing you to feel sore. Depending on the extent of the tears, the muscles can feel quite painful or take too long to heal. Red light therapy can accelerate the recovery process. Use your home red light therapy device for 5-10 minutes from a distance of about 6-12” away after an intense activity session and as need be when the muscle soreness sets in.

Factors to Consider When Determining the Right Frequency for Using Red Light Therapy

Below are some things to remember when determining the right frequency when using red light therapy.


As discussed above, different conditions require different intensities and frequencies. The more severe the condition, the more frequent the sessions should be to achieve enough cumulative effects.

Skin Light Sensitivity

Red light is generally safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, in rare cases, some people may experience skin irritation, redness, or discomfort after a session. It could be that your skin is naturally photosensitive, or in some cases, photosensitivity can be caused by medication or sun damage on the skin.

If your skin is naturally photosensitive, start with low to moderate-intensity sessions and see how your skin responds. If you are still photosensitive, red light therapy may not be right for you.

On the other hand, if you are on medication that is making your skin photosensitive, wait until you finish taking it before going in for a session. Some photosensitizing medications include antibiotics, retinoids, and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). For sun-damaged skin, wait until your skin is fully healed.

Treatment Phase

In the initial treatment phases, you may require more frequent sessions to see results. In this case, you may need daily at-home treatments or 3-5 weekly professional sessions. Once you notice improvements on your skin or with the condition, you can transition to the maintenance phase and reduce the frequency of sessions to help maintain the results.

The Intensity of the Red Light Therapy Device

Intensity or Irradiance refers to the power output of the red light therapy device. It is measured in Joules/cm2 and determines the amount of energy a device delivers. Higher-intensity devices deliver more energy in a short amount of time, whereas lower intensity devices require much longer sessions.  Therefore, if using a high-intensity device, your treatment sessions may be shorter and less frequent as the cumulative effects of each session are more pronounced.

Most standard red light therapy devices have frequencies of 660 nm Red and 850 nm near infrared light that they use to deliver beneficial energy to the skin or body. 

How Long Will It Take to See Results?

The amount of time it takes to see results after red light therapy sessions depends on the frequency and duration of sessions, the type of condition and its severity, and your overall state of health.

You should generally see some improvements within 1-4 weeks with consistent and regular treatment. Major changes should occur within 1-3 months, and more significant improvements in 3-6 months.

Is It Possible to Do Red Light Therapy Daily?

Since home red light devices have low to moderate intensity, you can safely use them daily to achieve desired results. However, professional red light therapy devices have a higher intensity and are suitable for use 1-5 times as directed by your specialist.

Is It Possible to Overdo Red Light Therapy?

Although red light therapy is generally safe, it is possible to overdo it. Therefore, adhere to the recommended frequency and duration. Also, observe safety precautions to prevent adverse effects.


The right frequency for red light therapy depends on factors such as the condition you are treating, its severity, whether you are using a home device or seeking professional services, or your skin’s photosensitivity.

At-home devices are generally safe to use daily, while professional devices provide higher intensity, so you may not require as many sessions.

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