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What Is Light Therapy?

Light therapy is a treatment that is used to deal with a wide variety of conditions using natural or artificial light. It is also called phototherapy or heliotherapy. For artificial light therapy, tools such as lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), fluorescent lamps, and dichroic lamps are used.

One common use of light therapy is to treat skin conditions. Acne is a condition that bothers a lot of people, and light therapy has long been touted as an effective treatment. Light is supposed to have some antibacterial effect and since acne is caused by bacteria, exposure to light can kill the bacteria and treat acne. Other skin conditions that are treated with light therapy include psoriasis, eczema, and some wounds. Light therapy in the form of laser is also used for cosmetic purposes - removal or lightening of scars is a common treatment.

Light therapy is also used to treat mood disorders, especially those that are associated with the lack of sunlight. There is a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which affects people during the winter when there is not enough sunlight. People go to light parlors and get exposed to artificial light in order to get the its benefits: to shake off depression.

Light therapy can also be done at home with the proper equipment, which is luckily easy enough to find these days. However, there is the issue of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. As such, it is a good idea to consult a doctor before you consider self-treatment with light therapy.

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