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Can red light therapy help varicose veins?

If you’re one of the millions of people suffering from varicose veins, you know how unsightly and uncomfortable they can be. Those twisted, bulging veins can cause pain, swelling, restlessness, and fatigue in your legs. Even worse, varicose veins tend to progressively worsen over time. But there is hope! Red light therapy is an innovative treatment that can significantly improve varicose veins. Research shows that with consistent treatments, red light therapy can reduce varicose veins and relieve discomfort. But can simply shining red light on your skin really improve those unsightly varicose veins? Let’s take a closer look at what causes varicose veins, how red light therapy works, and if it could be the solution you’ve been searching for.

red light therapy varicose veins

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What Are Varicose Veins?

Before exploring red light therapy for varicose veins, let’s first cover some basics. What exactly are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that typically appear dark purple or blue in color. They often look like cords twisted under the skin. Varicose veins most frequently occur in the legs, especially the thighs or calves.

Varicose veins form when the valves inside your veins stop working properly. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward as it moves up your legs. When these valves become damaged, blood collects in the veins and causes them to enlarge and swell.

While varicose veins aren’t dangerous, they often worsen over time, leading to:

  • Aching, throbbing, cramping, itching and swelling in the legs
  • Worsened pain after prolonged sitting or standing
  • Restless legs, especially at night
  • Discolored or hardened skin around veins
  • Non-healing leg ulcers

If left untreated, varicose veins tend to progressively worsen over time. The damaged valves allow more blood to pool in the veins, leading to more swelling, stretching, and twisting that can negatively impact quality of life.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

A variety of factors can increase your risk of developing varicose veins:

  • Age – your veins lose elasticity and the valves can weaken as you age
  • Sex – women have a higher risk than men
  • Family history – varicose veins can run in families
  • Pregnancy – increased blood volume and pressure during pregnancy can damage valves
  • Weight – excess weight puts added pressure on leg veins
  • Lack of movement – sitting or standing for long periods allows blood to pool in the legs
  • Previous blood clot – A deep vein thrombosis or other clot damaging the vein can trigger faulty valves and blood backup.

Now that you have a better understanding of what causes those twisted, snaking varicose veins to form, let’s take a closer look at the science behind using red light therapy for varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

How Red Light Therapy Improves Varicose Veins?

Red light therapy is a revolutionary treatment that harnesses the power of low-level lasers or LEDs. By exposing tissue to specific wavelengths of red and near-infrared light, red light therapy stimulates a cascade of beneficial cellular effects. Let’s take a look at the main mechanisms by which red light therapy alleviates varicose veins:

1. Increases Blood Flow and Circulation

One of the core effects of red light therapy is increasing blood flow and circulation. The light stimulates the release of nitric oxide, a compound that helps blood vessels expand and relax. This allows more oxygen-rich blood to reach tissues and unload built-up blood from varicose veins.

2. Reduces Inflammation

The excess blood pooling in varicose veins causes chronic inflammation. Red light therapy helps calm this inflammation by reducing oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines. This alleviates pain and discomfort in the legs.

3. Stimulates Lymphatic Drainage

The lymphatic system plays a key role in maintaining healthy circulation. Red light therapy promotes lymphatic drainage, which removes waste products and excess fluid from tissues. This further reduces swelling in varicose veins.

4. Healthier vein walls

Red light boosts collagen production to strengthen vein walls, preventing the dilation and twisting of varicose veins. The light also increases elastin levels for better elasticity and resilience against pressure.

5. Repairs Damaged Vein Valves

Perhaps most importantly, red light therapy can help repair damaged vein valves at the root of varicose veins. The light promotes the regeneration of endothelial tissue and vascular smooth muscle. This allows the valves to properly close again.

In essence, red light therapy improves all the underlying circulatory issues that contribute to varicose veins. Regular treatments can provide dramatic improvements in symptoms as well as visible improvements in the appearance of the veins.

Does Red Light Therapy Reduce Varicose Veins?

The benefits of red light therapy look promising. But does it actually make varicose veins disappear or get smaller?  This was demonstrated in a study of animals with heart failure. Study Finds Red Light Therapy Helps Support Healing and Restoration of Normal Blood Vessel Function to Treat Varicose Veins[1].

In another study, researchers found that red light therapy can stimulate the proliferation of tiny blood vessels and support the growth of endothelial cells that form blood vessel walls to promote blood flow[2].

While more clinical studies are still needed, red light therapy shows great promise as an alternative for managing varicose veins. This non-invasive and natural treatment can help soothe discomfort while making lasting improvements to your vein health and appearance.

Does Red Light Therapy Reduce Varicose Veins?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

Is Red Light Therapy Safe for Varicose Veins?

When hearing about a new treatment like red light therapy, safety is often the first concern. You can rest assured that red light therapy is completely safe, non-toxic, and drug-free. Red light therapy simply involves exposing your skin to red and infrared LED light. It does not use any ultraviolet wavelengths that could cause damage. The FDA has cleared red light therapy devices as totally safe. Red light therapy does not cause any short term or long term side effects. The only risk is mild sensitivity or eye strain if staring directly into the red lights. Protective eyewear can easily prevent this.

Of course, it’s still important to choose an FDA-cleared, high-quality device when undergoing red light therapy. Poor quality lights may emit harmful wavelengths. A reputable device will come with internal safety sensors. High-end devices even allow you to customize and target the wavelengths based on your condition.

Overall, red light therapy is one of the safest medical treatments available. The non-invasive light can penetrate deep into tissue without any adverse effects.

Red Light Therapy vs. Other Varicose Vein Treatments

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, you’re probably anxious to find a treatment that will eliminate both the symptoms and appearance of those twisted, bulging veins. Let’s compare how other varicose vein remedies stack up against red light therapy.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings/socks are the most common first line of defense to improve blood flow and reduce varicose vein swelling. But many people find them uncomfortable with long-term use. Red light therapy is gentler and attacks the root cause to prevent rebound swelling when compression is removed.


Medications like NSAIDs or blood thinners can temporarily relieve varicose vein pain and swelling. But they don’t treat the underlying vein damage. Red light therapy is more natural and promotes long-lasting vein repair.

Sclerotherapy Injections

Sclerotherapy involves injecting chemicals into varicose veins to scar and close them off. It treats individual veins but not underlying causes. If the root issue isn’t addressed, new varicose veins may form. Red light strengthens veins to reduce recurrence risk.

Closure Using Heat
Doctors can apply electrical or laser heat inside veins to fuse them shut. This also doesn’t treat underlying problems. Red light therapy improves overall vascular health to prevent new varicose veins.

Vein Removal Surgery

Removing damaged veins through surgeries like ambulatory phlebectomy provides lasting varicose vein relief by physically cutting them out. But it requires anesthesia and incisions. Non-invasive red light therapy doesn’t require hospital visits.

As you can see, red light therapy addresses the root causes of varicose veins differently than medications, injections, heat methods, and surgeries that mainly close off or remove damaged veins. Relieving pressure in faulty veins can certainly help in the short-term. But red light therapy improves overall circulation and vein/valve strength to provide lasting improvements.

Recommended Red Light Therapy Protocol

Now that you know the benefits of red light therapy for varicose veins, how exactly should you use it? Here is a recommended protocol:

  • Consistency is key: Just like going to physical therapy or the gym, you need repeated treatments to see results. Shoot for at least 5 sessions per week, 10-20 Minutes Per Session.
  • Wavelength: Using red and near-infrared wavelengths between 600-950nm provides the best tissue penetration and circulation benefits. Many devices offer preset programs specifically for vascular issues using these wavelengths.
  • Target Areas: the red light on the areas where you experience varicose veins, aching, heaviness, and swelling. Slowly move the light head up and down the legs. Also be sure to hit the ankles and feet where pooling blood can collect.
  • Position: Sit comfortably or lie down while undergoing treatments. Keep your legs elevated higher than your heart if possible. This allows gravity to assist with draining the veins.
  • Other Tips: Stay hydrated and avoid caffeine before treatments to maximize effects. Consider combining light therapy with compression stockings to prevent blood pooling between sessions.

Recommended Red Light Therapy Protocol

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

Reasons to Choose RedDot LED Light Therapy Device

While red light devices are now widely available, it’s crucial to choose a top quality brand you can trust. Cheap imitation devices won’t deliver enough therapeutic light to provide results.

RedDot LED is a cutting edge company specializing in red light therapy technology. Their LED devices deliver therapeutic red and near-infrared light for home use. Here are the top reasons to choose a RedDot LED light therapy device to treat varicose veins:

  • Effective wavelengths – Emit light at 630nm and 850nm which are the most effective wavelengths for varicose veins.
  • Full body coverage – Treat all affected areas of the legs at once.
  • Timer settings – Control duration for best results.
  • FDA cleared – Meets stringent quality and safety testing.
  • 3 Year Warranty – The durable, high quality device is backed by a 3 year manufacturer’s warranty for repairs or replacement.

RedDot LED offers red light therapy devices suited for full body treatment or targeted therapy. Experience the revolutionary benefits of RedDot’s advanced LED light technology to reduce varicose veins and boost overall vascular health. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!



[1]Wenwen Zhang, Xinlu Gao, Xiuxiu Wang, et al. Light Emitting Diodes Photobiomodulation Improves Cardiac Function by Promoting ATP Synthesis in Mice With Heart Failure. Front. Cardiovasc. Med., 02 December 2021.

[2]Igor Frangez, Ksenija Cankar, Helena Ban Frangez, Dragica Maja Smrke, et al. The effect of LED on blood microcirculation during chronic wound healing in diabetic and non-diabetic patients-a prospective, double-blind randomized study. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 May;32(4):887-894. 

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