At BodaHealth, we are constantly looking for novel solutions to a wide variety of health conditions. One of the newer therapies that we offer is low level laser therapy, LLLT or cold laser therapy. While cold laser therapy is effective for pain relief and healing injuries and non-healing wounds, it is also effective as a new treatment option for skin conditions and as a way to offset some of the effects of aging.
The kind of cold laser that we use at BodaHealth involves low intensity light produced by high powered output LEDs, along with infrared lasers that are specifically designed to stimulate your cells at a deep level and promote healing. The LLLT system we use is a Class 3B laser made by BioFlex, which uses photobiomodulation. This simply means that it works by causing positive changes deep within your cells. In contrast, Class 4B lasers work through their thermal effects on tissue, which means that it may damage or burn tissue, often necessitating some recovery time after treatment.
Because LLLT doesn’t heat up body tissue, it’s also considered to be a cold laser. The energy that comes from cold laser therapy triggers physiological and biochemical reactions in the treated tissue. Reactions include enhanced blood flow to the treated area, restoration of the complicated cellular balance involved in tissue healing, and better cellular metabolism—all changes that stimulate the repair and regeneration of tissue, as well as reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
Its gentle nature and ability to stimulate cellular repair makes cold laser therapy an ideal treatment option for a wide variety of cosmetic issues and skin conditions. These include:
Your skin changes as you get older—cell turnover slows down and collagen and elastin that form the structure of your skin declines. In addition, damage from the sun, called photoaging, causes inflammation and further damages collagen and elastin. Low level laser therapy has been found to be an effective way to improve wrinkles and skin laxity. Scientists have determined that cold laser therapy can clear collagen fragments that have been photodamaged, decrease the degradation of collagen and promote the production of new collagen in the treated tissue. This may lead to a decrease in fine lines, firmer skin and improved facial texture.
While acne isn’t life-threatening, it can have a devastating effect on self-esteem. In addition, for some people, acne can be difficult to control. The good news is that cold laser therapy may be an effective treatment for acne, as it has anti-inflammatory effects, may affect sebum secretion, and have positive effects on keratinocytes, a type of skin cell.
Hypertrophic scars and keloids tend to form from surgery, traumatic injuries, and in some cases, severe acne. These kinds of scars can be difficult to treat. LLLT has been found to promote wound healing, and early research indicates that is may also be used to prevent hypertrophic scars and keloids after surgery, during wound healing, and after scar revision procedures.
Vitiligo is a disorder associated with depigmentation of the skin and hair. Scientists aren’t clear of the underlying cause of this condition but believe that skin cells—keratinocytes, melanoblasts, melanocytes, and fibroblasts—are components of both the cause and ultimately the treatment of vitiligo. Because cold laser stimulates dermal cells at a deep level, scientists have turned their attention to it as a possible treatment option for vitiligo, and the results of preliminary studies suggest LLLT to be effective for this condition.
The discovery of using cold laser therapy for hair loss occurred by accident in the 1960’s when lab mice subjected to low level laser grew hair. Since then, research has continued to support the use of cold laser for hair growth in both androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and hair loss due to chemotherapy. Androgenetic alopecia, also called male pattern baldness, is a common cause of hair loss in men, who are genetically prone to the effects of androgens. Alopecia areata is an inflammatory autoimmune condition associated with partial or complete hair loss. The mechanism through which LLLT works to stimulate hair growth isn’t clear. However, scientists believe that it may stimulate resting hair follicles, prolong the anagen (growing) phase of your hair, increase the number of active growing follicles, and prevent catagen when the hair follicle shrinks and the hair falls out. Also, cold laser may help people with alopecia areata through its ability to reduce inflammation at the cellular level.
Eczema and psoriasis
Early research suggests that cold laser therapy may also help with eczema and psoriasis due to its ability to decrease inflammation in the deep layers of your skin as well as the physiological changes that promote healing.
Treatments with cold laser last between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. How many treatments you will need also depends on the nature of your condition. Acute problems typically need 5 to 10 treatments, and chronic and dermatological conditions may need 10 to 20 treatments. During treatment with cold laser therapy, sessions are recommended one to three times a week.
At BodaHealth in Vancouver, we’re excited to be able to offer low level laser therapy as a treatment option for our patients. Its ability to effectively treat pain and injuries as well as cosmetic issues makes it an invaluable therapeutic tool. If you’d like to know more about cold laser treatments, contact us today.