Each person’s body, life circumstances, and health history are unique. Looking at the pros and cons of HRT becomes something that is personal. It is going to include looking at the evidence out there about the benefits and risks of this treatment option and what it means for you.
Hormonal Symptoms Relief
HRT has been prescribed to many people to help in addressing a wide range of symptoms for both women and men struggling with age-related hormone changes and hormone imbalances. Symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, fatigue, depression, low sex drive, and sleep problems have improved after using HRT. There are those who usually use it for a short time, but there is also the option of using it long-term to keep these symptoms at bay.
HRT can help in preventing osteoporosis in both women and men. Research has shown HRT can also be used in preventing issues like osteoporosis in women, especially when they start within 10 years of menopause and offer protection when taking the treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy has also been shown to improve bone mineral density, especially for men suffering from low testosterone.
Heart Disease Prevention
HRT can help in decreasing heart disease in both men and women including related mortality. Estrogen replacement therapy for women has been shown to reduce coronary heart disease death and incidence. Testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to help in lowering the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for men suffering from androgen deficiency.
Dementia Risk Reduction
Estrogen replacement therapy has been associated with reduced risk of dementia when a person takes it in mid-life, but not later in life.
Improved Quality of Life
There is the potential for body identical HRT to bring in a lot of health benefits and symptom relief. It is also a good option for improving the quality of life. When your hormone-related issues and symptoms are taken care of, you will most likely start to feel more energetic, balanced, and empowered to go on with your day-to-day life. You can experience a wide range of wellness and health benefits, but it depends on the hormonal imbalance and the treatment that is prescribed. Some of the benefits include improved bone density, muscle retention, enhanced mood, improved memory, improved sex life, better sleep, and more motivation and energy to face your day.
HRT Side Effects
There are some people who experience side effects when they take it, which is a common thing when using any medical treatment. Depending on the type of HRT, the side effects can include mood changes, headaches, irritability, sleep disruption, bloating, nausea, irritation because of topical administration, and hair loss. Most of the side effects you are going to get when you use HRT are mild and dose-dependent. This makes it important to talk with your practitioner so they can fine-tune the dosage so that it improves tolerability.
Breast Cancer Risk
American Association for Cancer Research did a recent study and they found that combination therapy with progestin and estrogen increases breast cancer risk and mortality. This hasn’t been seen in women who use bioidentical progesterone. If someone is concerned about breast cancer risks, then it is better for them to choose bioidentical HRT instead of conventional treatment. The study also found that estrogen-only HRT may help in reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality.
There are studies showing women taking oral estrogen and combination therapy have an increased risk of venomous thromboembolism and stroke. These risks tend to be dose-dependent and are more common in oral administration; there is an increased risk of strokes in higher doses but not lower doses. VTE risks can be seen in oral estrogen therapy, but that is not the case with transdermal HRT. There has been mixed evidence with men, but a 2018 metareview did not find any association between VTE and testosterone therapy.
Arslan Fazal is a student of the Aust Abbottabad University of Science and Technology. He started his graduation in 2016 and graduated in 2020. I’m a professional article and blog writer, has written dozens of content on different topics and worked with professionals all over the globe. Feel free to contact me for any assistance. [email protected]
Is red light therapy effective for rosacea? | A Review of the Evidence
Red light therapy is well-studied for things like wound healing, inflammation, collagen production, and various related skin conditions including rosacea. Acne rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition affecting mainly the central face. Its typical manifestations are generalized erythema, telangiectasia, edema, papules, pustules, or a combination of all. In 2004, the National Rosacea Society (NRS) Expert Committee published a report on the classification and staging of rosacea that gives a definition of rosacea. Four subtypes of rosacea can be recognized on the basis of different morphological characteristics. It’s usually benign, but it can be quite frustrating for those who suffer from it. This blog will explore the available research on red light therapy for rosacea and make a decision about whether or not red light therapy is effective for the treatment of this skin condition.
What is rosacea? Symptoms and causes
Rosacea often starts with a tendency to flush and blush frequently. In time, persistent areas of redness appear on the cheeks and nose. The chin, forehead, and neck can also be affected. Tiny blood vessels may be visible. There may be inflamed, red bumps and pimples (papules and pustules) on the cheeks, chin, or forehead. The skin is often very sensitive and may feel dry, rough, or swollen.
Causes of rosacea:
The exact pathology of rosacea is still unknown, but there are various reasons to trigger the breakout, such as an overactive immune system, heredity, environmental factors, or a combination of these. Second flare-ups might be triggered by hot drinks and spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, temperature extremes, the sun, emotions, exercise, drugs that dilate blood vessels, and cosmetic products.
The four subtypes of rosacea are recognized on the basis of different morphological features: erythematotelangiectatic, papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular. The erythematotelangiectatic subtype is the most common one, followed by papulopustular, phymatous, and ocular types, which are reported as less common. Clinical data showed that patients often harbor more than one rosacea subtype.
Clinical studies on the efficacy of red light therapy for rosacea
Red light therapy is a type of phototherapy that uses red LED lights to treat rosacea. Clinical studies have shown that this treatment is effective in reducing the symptoms of rosacea, and previous research has also reported the efficacy of red and blue lights for rosacea. Blue light (400–470 nm), due to its lower penetration, is useful in such skin conditions related to the epidermis layer of the skin, and thus it is able to interfere with human sebocytes proliferation, while red light (630 nm) is reported to have a significant effect on sebum production. Moreover, one study on rosacea-like mouse skin reported the efficacy of LED at 630 and 940 nm on the down-regulation of key inflammatory mediators in rosacea.
LED red light therapy interacts with the immune system
There is reported evidence of the efficacy of LED therapy in its interaction with the skin microbiome, and this could also have a significant impact on the etiopathogenesis of rosacea through immune response modulation. The microbial unbalance of the skin microbiota has been linked to rosacea clinical manifestations, even though the direct correlation is still under investigation. Authors reported the role of intestinal dysbiosis in promoting inflammation and impairment of normal lymphocyte function, potentially perpetuating chronic, low-grade inflammation. A higher incidence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth was observed when patients with rosacea were compared to controls.
LED red light therapy interacts with sebum secretion
In comparison with blue light, the red light wavelengths penetrate more deeply into tissue, and it has been shown that red light can affect the sebum secretion of sebaceous glands and keratinocyte behaviors, as concluded in this study. The true function of these glands has yet to be investigated, but there are some proposed theories, including those regarding antioxidant effects, antibacterial effects, and the transport of pheromones. It is not unusual for the skin of a patient with rosacea to have increased or enlarged oil glands, which are called sebaceous hyperplasia. This glandular enlargement and oily skin seem to develop and progress unless the rosacea is treated.
LED red light therapy for inflammation
Red light also has anti-inflammatory properties through its influence on cytokine production by macrophages, as demonstrated in this experiment. Therapeutic approaches to rosacea focused on symptom suppression by means of anti-inflammatory agents such as doxycycline. Red light therapy can address inflammatory diseases as an alternative to conventional treatments. As one treatment that hits the core of rosacea symptoms, red light therapy dramatically helps reduce the appearance of facial redness, flushing, and telangiectasia.
Clinical cases for rosacea
There are some important references that verified the effectiveness of red light therapy for rosacea. In this study, there are two cases of clinical trials that used red light therapy to treat rosacea.
Case 1: A 22-year-old Caucasian woman with a 5-year history of pink eruptions on her nose. She was diagnosed as having papulopustular rosacea subtype, moderate grade. A combined and sequential plan of blue (480 nm ± 15 nm, 300 J/minute) and red
(650 ± 15 nm, 100 J/minute) LED therapy regimen was planned for 15 minutes per trial, twice a week for a total of ten sessions through a quasi-monochromatic 120 LED system. The improvement result is shown in the following picture.
Case 2: A 68-year-old Caucasian man presented with a 7-year history of papulopustular rosacea, moderate grade, was submitted to LED therapy twice a week for a total of ten sessions, through a LED system of blue (480 nm ± 15 nm, 300 J/minute) and red (650 ± 15 nm, 300 J/minute) with sequential irradiation for 15 minutes.
Lastly, in this study patients subjective to the photodynamic therapy of red light therapy alone observed that clinical inflammatory lesions disappeared completely in all patients after 24 weeks. The lesions were irradiated with 100 mW/cm2, 80-90 J/cm2, LED red light (635 ± 15 nm) over 15 min in each session with four sessions at 10-day intervals.
Why choose Bestqool red light therapy devices?
Red light therapy is a treatment that uses red and near-infrared light to treat various skin conditions. Research has shown that using red light therapy can reduce the appearance of rosacea symptoms in some people. There are different types of devices available, so it’s important to choose the one that is right for you.
Choose a true medical-grade light therapy device
Bestqool red light therapy devices are FDA-registered to ensure medical-grade treatment. A medical-grade red light therapy device should be qualified from the following points: 1) The highest safety standards in the medical field, 2) The medical effectiveness of irradiance and wavelengths output, and 3) Efficacy and efficiency for treatments. Bestqool products are able to provide the most effective narrow band of red (at 660 nm) and near-infrared (at 830 nm) wavelengths, with a high level of irradiance by our advanced LED technology. A high level of irradiance as high as 100 mW/cm^2 as the direct output determines the efficacy and efficiency of light therapy treatment. Using 10 minutes of Bestqool products is equal to using 20 minutes of others.
Blue light therapy for rosacea
Numerous studies use a combinational light to treat rosacea, which shows a better result than using red light therapy alone. Blue light therapy also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can enhance the effect of red light therapy. Bestqool also provides light therapy masks with a combination of red, near-infrared, and blue lights for patients with facial rosacea symptoms. Consult with your physician before making the optimal choice for you.
Hamza Fazal is a reporter for The Hear UP. After graduating from the University of Abbottabad, Hamza got an internship at the NPR and worked as a reporter and producer. Hamza has also worked as a reporter for the Medium. Hamza covers health and science for The Hear UP.