Red Light Therapy for Stretch Marks

Red Light Therapy for Stretch Marks

Stretch marks affect millions of people across the world. Whether due to weight fluctuation, adolescence, or pregnancy, they can impact your self-esteem and body confidence.

While there is not yet a result-proof solution for getting rid of stretch marks completely, emerging research shows that red light therapy can help to improve their appearance.

This article will discuss how stretch marks form and the potential benefits of red therapy in mitigating them. It will further discuss the different ways to incorporate red therapy for stretch marks.

Understanding Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are subtle streaks that appear on the skin. They have a distinct appearance, often resembling lines or narrow bands. Their color varies depending on your skin color. They can be pink, purplish, or reddish brown. They often appear on the parts of the body that are prone to stretching, such as hips, thighs, abdomen, buttocks, arms, etc.

The formation of stretch marks takes place in stages. In the initial stages, the stretching of the skin triggers an inflammatory response. The blood vessels dilate, and immune cells are recruited to the affected area. The inflammation may present as reddening of the skin.

As stretching continues, it damages the connective tissues. The skin contains underlying connective tissue, including collagen and elastin fibers. When stretched excessively, these connective tissues become damaged, and the skin loses its elasticity and firmness.

Over time, the outer layer of the skin — the epidermis — thins out, contributing to the appearance of stretch marks. To repair the damaged tissues, the body initiates a healing process that leads to scar tissue formation. The scar tissue has the characteristic appearance and texture of stretch marks.

How Does Red Light Therapy Help With Stretch Marks?

Different studies suggest that red light therapy can help with the treatment of a variety of skin issues, including stretch marks. The treatment involves exposure to low levels of wavelength of red light, typically within a range of 620 to 700 nanometers. The wavelength penetrates the underlying skin tissues and cells, causing effects that improve the stretch marks.

Below is a look at the various ways that red light therapy can help with stretch marks.

Promotes Collagen and Elastin Production

Collagen and elastin are essential proteins for skin firmness and elasticity. Red light therapy stimulates the fibroblast cells responsible for producing these proteins. As a result, there is increased production of the structural proteins supporting the skin in its ability to repair and regenerate. Overall, this can lead to a reduction in the appearance of stretch marks.

Promotes Skin Cell Repair and Regeneration

Red light therapy stimulates cellular activity in the skin. The increased cellular activity increases cell turnover, which aids in the repair of damaged tissues. Replacing old cells with newer ones can contribute to the gradual fading of stretch marks over time.

Improves Blood Circulation and Tissue Oxygenation

Red light therapy causes the blood vessels to dilate, promoting blood circulation to the skin cells and tissues. As such, there is improved oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin. The improved circulation enhances the removal of waste products and toxins, which contributes to skin healing and reduces the visibility of stretch marks.

Reduces Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

Studies show that red light has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. Therefore, it is beneficial in mitigating symptoms such as itchiness, redness, and irritation associated with stretch marks. Reduced inflammation and oxidative stress also contribute to improved overall appearance of the skin.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Stretch Marks:

  • Non-invasive and painless. Unlike more aggressive treatment options that involve the use of lasers, needles, and other surgical procedures, red light therapy is non-invasive and pain-free.
  • No downtime. You can resume your daily activities immediately after a session.
  • Convenient and easily accessible. There are different options for incorporating red light therapy for stretch marks. You can have it done by a dermatologist or get a red light therapy device for use at home.
  • Complements other stretch mark treatment options and skincare procedures. It can be used with topical creams and lotions to accelerate the reduction of stretch marks.
  • Long-term benefits. Aside from reducing the appearance of stretch marks, the acting mechanism of red light therapy has numerous benefits for healthy skin.

How to Incorporate Red Light Therapy Into Your Skincare Routine for Stretch Marks

Choose Between At-Home and Professional Treatment

The first when incorporating red light therapy into your skincare routine for stretch marks is to decide whether you want to do it at home or have it done professionally at a medical spa or dermatology clinic.

If you opt to do it at home, there are various red light therapy home devices available. They have a compact and portable design for easy use in the comfort of your home. Investing in one ensures you can do red light therapy regularly and consistently to achieve your desired results.

On the other hand, red light therapy in professional settings is conducted with higher power and wavelength devices. As such, they may produce more noticeable results within a short time with a few sessions per week.

Determine the Frequency and Duration of Treatment

For home devices, you require daily sessions to see results. Each session typically ranges between 5-20 minutes per affected area. That said, refer to your home device manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation on the frequency and duration of treatments.

Conversely, professional sessions are shorter and done at a higher intensity. Typically, you may require 3-5 sessions. Consult with the professional administering it about the frequency and duration of treatment.

Observe Safety Measures

Clean and dry your skin before using the device to ensure optimal light penetration. Wear eye protection to prevent potential damage. Maintain a safe distance and angle between the device and your skin. It is recommended to start with shorter and less intense sessions as you monitor how your skin responds before increasing intensity and frequency.


Red light therapy is generally considered safe for stretch marks treatment. Being a non-invasive, non-thermal treatment, most people tolerate it well as long as the recommended safety precautions are observed. If you have sensitive skin, use low-level wavelengths.

Nevertheless, if you experience side effects, discontinue treatment immediately. Also, consult your doctor about incorporating red light therapy in your skincare if you are pregnant or have an underlying health condition.

Back to blog