Does Red Light Therapy Work Through Clothes

Does Red Light Therapy Work Through Clothes?

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Red light therapy has gained popularity as a non-invasive and effective treatment for various conditions, including wound healing. There is even the use of red light therapy for dogs! The use of these therapy devices emitting red light wavelengths between 600-1000nm has shown promising results in promoting tissue repair and reducing inflammation. But can red light therapy benefits be obtained through clothing? In this article, we will explore the science behind red light therapy, its effectiveness through clothes, and provide tips for maximizing its benefits.

Understanding the Science Behind Red Light Therapy

Before diving into the effectiveness of red light therapy through clothes, it's essential to understand how this therapy works. Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy, involves the use of specific wavelengths of light to stimulate cellular activity and promote healing.

When red light penetrates the skin, it is absorbed by the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. This absorption leads to an increase in ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production, the energy currency of cells. ATP is crucial for cellular processes, including tissue repair and regeneration.

Additionally, red light phototherapy stimulates the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that improves blood flow and enhances oxygen and nutrient delivery to the tissues. It also reduces inflammation by modulating inflammatory cytokines and promoting the release of anti-inflammatory molecules.

The Effectiveness of Red Light Therapy Through Clothes

Now, let's address the question of whether red light therapy treatments can be effective when used through clothes. While red light therapy is most effective when applied directly to the skin, some studies suggest that it can still have beneficial effects when used through clothing, albeit to a lesser extent.

General Effectiveness of Red Light Therapy When Used Through Clothing

A study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B found that red wavelengths of near-infrared light can penetrate clothing and reach the skin. The study showed that red infrared light with a wavelength of 670nm can penetrate clothing made of various fabrics, including cotton and polyester. The penetration depth may vary depending on the fabric type and thickness, but generally, red light can reach the skin even through clothing.

Types of Clothing That Can Impact the Efficiency of Red Light Therapy

While red light can penetrate clothing, the choice of clothing can impact the efficiency of the therapy. Fabrics that are more transparent to red light, such as light-colored and thin fabrics, are more suitable for red light therapy sessions. These fabrics allow a higher percentage of light to pass through, ensuring better absorption by the skin.

On the other hand, thick and dark-colored fabrics can hinder the penetration of red light. They may absorb or reflect a significant portion of the light, reducing its effectiveness. Therefore, it is advisable to choose clothing that is lightweight, thin, and lightly colored for optimal red light therapy results.

Optimal Use of Red Light Therapy for Maximum Benefits

To maximize the benefits of red light therapy, direct skin exposure is recommended. The skin has a higher concentration of mitochondria, making it the primary target for red light absorption. By exposing the skin directly to the light source, you ensure that a larger percentage of the emitted light reaches the target tissues.

Here are some tips for using Lifepro red light therapy devices effectively:

  • Position the device close to the skin: Place the red light therapy device as close to the skin as possible without touching it. This ensures maximum light absorption by the skin and reduces light scattering.
  • Expose the treatment area: If using red light therapy for wound healing, make sure the area in need of treatment is exposed. If necessary, adjust or remove any clothing that covers the wound or affected area to allow direct light exposure.
  • Follow the recommended treatment time: Different devices may have specific guidelines for treatment duration. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure you receive the optimal dosage of red light for your desired outcome.
  • Consistency is key: Red light therapy is most effective when used regularly. Establish a consistent treatment routine to experience the full benefits of this therapy.

Best Clothing Choices for Red Light Therapy Sessions

While direct skin exposure is recommended for red light therapy, you can still wear clothing during the sessions. Here are some considerations for choosing the best clothing for your red light therapy sessions:

Suitable Fabrics and Colors for Clothing During Red Light Therapy

Lightweight and breathable fabrics: Opt for fabrics that are lightweight and breathable, such as cotton or linen. These fabrics allow better light penetration and minimize heat buildup during the therapy session.

Light-colored fabrics: Light-colored fabrics, such as white or pastel shades, are more transparent to red light and allow a higher percentage of light to reach the skin.

Clothing Types to Avoid for Effective Therapy Sessions

Thick and dark-colored fabrics: Thick fabrics, such as wool or heavy knits, can impede the penetration of red light. Dark-colored fabrics absorb a significant portion of the light, reducing its effectiveness. Avoid wearing thick or dark-colored clothing during red light therapy sessions.

Tight-fitting clothing: Tight-fitting clothing may create pressure on the skin and impede blood flow. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that allows the light to reach the skin without restriction.

Enhancing Your Wellness Routine with Lifepro Red Light Therapy

Incorporating red light therapy into your wellness routine can provide a range of benefits beyond wound healing. Lifepro offers a variety of red light therapy devices designed for home use, allowing you to experience the benefits of this therapy conveniently.

Red light therapy can help improve skin health, reduce inflammation, promote muscle recovery, and support overall well-being. By following the optimal use guidelines and choosing suitable clothing for your therapy sessions, you can enhance the effectiveness of red light therapy and enjoy its numerous benefits.

In conclusion, while red light therapy is most effective when applied directly to the skin, it can still have beneficial effects when used through clothing. Choosing lightweight and lightly colored fabrics can optimize light penetration, while avoiding thick and dark-colored fabrics ensures better light absorption by the skin. By incorporating red light therapy into your wellness routine and following the recommended guidelines, you can harness the power of red light for improved wound healing and overall well-being.


  1. Jones MW, Brett K, Han N, Wyatt HA. Hyperbaric Physics. PubMed. Published 2021.
  2. Does Red & Infrared Light Therapy Work Through Clothes? | Infraredi Help Center. Accessed December 1, 2023.
  3. RESEARCHER LMS. Can I Wear Clothes During My Red Light Therapy Session? LEREDD RED LIGHT THERAPY MELBOURNE. Published April 27, 2023. Accessed December 1, 2023.
  4. Does NIR Red Light Therapy Work Through Clothes. Kineon. Accessed December 1, 2023.


Joel Gottehrer

Joel Gottehrer is the Co-Founder of Lifepro Fitness and has dedicated his life to helping people transform theirs. With over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and owner of two personal training studios, Joel has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to helping transform lives. After suffering from physical injuries, Joel and his business partner, Abraham Brach, came together with a common goal to alleviate the pain caused by their injuries.

They continued to find themselves disappointed with the results stemming from various products promising to relieve their pain, and with that – Lifepro Fitness was born. Joel's mission is to have a positive impact on millions of lives with the Lifepro brand. Whether it's finding new and innovative ways to help people recover from injuries or developing products to improve overall wellness, Joel is always looking for ways to push the boundaries. Thanks to his commitment to help people live their lives free of pain, Lifepro has been able to do this for thousands of people since its founding in 2017.

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