Laser light therapy is the use of low-level lasers to treat a variety of physical and even emotional disorders and problems. These therapies can be offered by medical doctors as well as psychotherapists and other mental health professionals. The most common uses for phototherapy, outside of the operating room, are to treat severe acne and other skin conditions and to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, especially when related to seasonal depression. There are several types of laser light therapy, and each one is intended to treat a specific type of skin or emotional disorder. The lasers are not harmful in any way to the patient, and most medical professionals believe this type of therapy to be effective.
For people with severe acne and oily skin, laser light therapy has been used to reduce the appearance of blemishes as well as provide long-term healing of the condition. To treat acne, it is usually necessary to schedule several sessions. During treatment, the patient may experience some discomfort and redness, though these symptoms usually fade quickly for most people. The laser light is able to reach a deep level of the skin and reduces acne by restricting the amount of sebum, an oil produced naturally by the body, that is produced. Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are also using laser light therapy to tighten facial skin and reduce or eliminate the appearance of age spots and other blemishes.
Other skin conditions that have been successfully treated with laser light therapy include eczema and psoriasis. These skin conditions create red, inflamed, and often painful areas of the skin, typically where the skin is folded, such as at the elbows and knees, though it can appear other places as well. In the case of psoriasis, it is normal for the skin to develop white, scaly patches. Exposure to laser light seems to slow the progress of the disorders and offer some relief to those affected by these diseases.
Another common way the medical community is using laser light therapy is to help control the symptoms of depression and anxiety in their patients. The different types of laser therapy are used to target specific emotional disorders, and many patients notice a reduction in their symptoms, especially when used with traditional therapy and, sometimes, prescription drugs. Cold laser therapy has shown great promise in assisting those with addictions such as smoking and overeating to shed those unhealthy habits by stimulating the production of the serotonin hormone. Bright light therapy is useful for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter months. By selecting certain colors, it is believed that color laser therapy can be used to affect patients' moods by directing the colored laser light to specific parts of the body.