Using Red Light Therapy to Support Wound Healing
Healing is one of the most amazing processes the human body is capable of, both on a physical and emotional level. In this article, we focus on the physical characteristics of wound healing, and how red light therapy can support our cells during this process.
Acute vs. Chronic
The process of healing is vital when the body experiences trauma due to an injury. When the injury is specific to the surface of the skin, it’s referred to as a wound. Skin wounds can range from a minor scrape, to a deep cut, or severe burn.
When the body starts to heal a wound, it begins a biological process that focuses solely on restoration and replacement of the damaged tissue. This process consists of four healing phases that we’ll cover in more detail in the following paragraph. Depending on how the healing process unfolds, wounds are classified as either acute or chronic.
Under normal circumstances, the body follows an orderly sequence through each phase, leading to the healing of the wound in a standard timeframe. These types of wounds are referred to as acute wounds. It’s ideal for your wound to be acute, because it indicates that the healing process is progressing. On the other hand, if your wound is chronic, it implies that the body is incapable of following the orderly sequences in the healing process, resulting in a longer, more painful recovery period. Additionally, there may be other contributing factors that slow down the healing process.  It is recommended to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional if you suspect you have a chronic wound.
Phases of Wound Healing
Now, let's talk about the four phases of wound healing which apply to both acute and chronic wounds. Ideally, the goal is to progress through these phases smoothly without any delays. It's important to note that every individual is unique, and the duration of each phase is determined by your body's individual needs.
The first phase is called the Haemostatic Phase. In this phase, the body begins to restrict blood flow to the damaged tissue by creating clots. This process helps minimize blood loss from the wound, while creating a protective barrier to keep bacteria and microorganisms from entering. The first phase happens almost immediately, and is usually complete within the first few hours of the injury. 
The second phase is called the Inflammatory Phase. During this stage, the body responds to the wound by sending more white blood cells to the affected area, resulting in inflammation. This is indicated by heat, redness, swelling, and pain at the wound site. The increased amount of white blood cells help to prevent infection by eliminating bacteria and other foreign substances that may have entered the wound. Typically, this stage begins within the first 24 hours and ends when the inflammatory cells are no longer needed, and die off as part of the apoptosis process. 
The third phase is called the Proliferative Phase. This phase is characterized by three distinct stages that facilitate the closure and healing of the wound - formation of a scab, resurfacing of the wound, and growth of new blood vessels. It typically occurs around four days after the injury.
The fourth phase is called the Remodelling Phase. After the injury, it takes approximately 21 days for the wound to mature, and this stage can last for two years or more. During this time, the newly formed skin undergoes strengthening, and may appear different from the surrounding skin. Gradually, the skin will begin to blend in, although some wounds may leave a scar. The level of scarring will depend on the severity of the wound, but as the skin gains strength, the amount of scar tissue will lessen and may eventually vanish. 
Red Light Therapy and Wound Healing
Implementing red light therapy during any of these four wound healing phases can help support and speed up the wound healing process, as evidenced by multiple studies.
Red light therapy is low risk and non-invasive, making it a favorable application in supporting wound healing. During a red light treatment, light is radiated onto the skin near or around the wound site. As these healing wavelengths are absorbed into the tissue, our mitochondria use the light to efficiently create energy, called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is energy the body uses to function. Along with helping our cells perform better, red light therapy can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with a wound. While both red and near infrared light are effective wavelengths to help support wound healing, the use of red light alone has been shown to be slightly more effective when healing skin wounds. 
Although Joovv devices are indicated to help reduce pain and inflammation, it’s important to note that before using red light on a wound, you should consult your healthcare provider. As we are not health practitioners, we are not able to offer definitive clinical guidance on treating wounds.
The process of wound healing is a complex biological process that includes four distinctive phases. Wounds can be classified into two categories, namely acute and chronic. Acute wounds are preferable as they tend to recover faster. Chronic wounds heal at a slower rate, and may require specialized medical attention to ensure optimal healing outcomes. Utilizing a high-quality red light therapy device like Joovv to support the wound healing process may have a positive impact on cellular performance and alleviate discomfort and inflammation. And as always, we recommend consulting with your trusted healthcare provider with any questions and concerns.
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 Leyane TS, Jere SW, Houreld NN. Cellular Signalling and Photobiomodulation in Chronic Wound Repair. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 18;22(20):11223. doi: 10.3390/ijms222011223. PMID: 34681882; PMCID: PMC8537491.
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