Red light lamp for colds – how useful is it?

If the annual cold has struck again and the nose is blocked, an old saying goes that you can fight it with warmth . So it stands to reason that you irradiate your nose and airways with a red light lamp in order to feel relief.

But does the red light lamp prove to be effective or should you do without it if you have a cold?

The red light lamp shines in the infrared range . This light is not visible to the human eye. The fact that the lamps are usually colored red therefore has no effect on their effectiveness and is more based on aesthetic expectations.

The red light penetrates deep into the skin. It overcomes the surface and provides deep warmth. However, this is only a few millimeters under the skin and not up to the middle of the body.

The heat ensures that the vessels expand. The blood circulation is stimulated and relaxation is brought about. Therefore, the red light lamp is often used for tension in the muscles or slight pain.

The idea behind the application for a cold is that the better blood circulation means that the pathogens are transported out of the body faster. Viruses and bacteria are defeated and the common cold shortened.

For this reason, the red light lamp was part of the standard repertoire to alleviate the symptoms of colds or sinus infections. Nowadays, however, the red light is no longer used as standard for colds or colds .


Because after detailed examinations, no positive effect of the red light lamp on the cold could be noticed. The effect that the immune system is strengthened by the better blood circulation has not been proven. Accordingly, the red light hardly helps with colds .

If you feel an improvement in your symptoms after the treatment with the red light, this is probably due to the placebo effect . You have the feeling that you are actively doing something about your cold and you feel better. The warmth is felt to be beneficial, so that well-being increases and the symptoms take a back seat.

The heat treatment is carried out properly, with a slight cold is not a disadvantage. Therefore, you can continue to use the red light to defeat the cold. There is no proven effect, but when you feel better , it is already a win.


In order for the warming effect to work optimally , you have to pay attention to a few things during the treatment. Otherwise, the immune system could be stressed and healing would be delayed.

Perform the treatment in the morning and in the evening for around 20 minutes . This time is sufficient to allow enough heat to act on the problem area.
Sit at least 30 centimeters away from the lamp. If you are too close, the skin could be burned. A maximum distance of around 50 centimeters ensures that sufficient heat reaches the fabric.
The red light is harmful to the eyes when exposed to direct radiation. Especially when used to treat a runny nose or sinusitis, it is safer if you wear protective goggles . Then the light does not penetrate the retina and the radiation has no harmful effect.
For use with a cold, you should sit slightly to the side of the red light lamp. If the nose is marked by the cold and blocked on both sides, you can switch sides after half the treatment time. This way the light reaches the problem areas and the blood circulation is stimulated.

If you follow these instructions for use, the red light will make you feel good. Sometimes the nose feels more liberated, so the application has a positive effect on a blocked nose. The duration of the cold can hardly be shortened, but you will feel the symptoms less and cope with everyday life better.

If the runny nose is accompanied by headache and pain in the limbs or a sinus infection, you can also use the red light for this. The pain is reduced and the warmth has a positive effect.


Nevertheless, caution is advised when using the red light lamp. Because an application is not always recommended and the heat could be an additional burden.

This is the case , for example, with acute otitis media. If your child suffers from an inflammation, the body temperature will already be slightly increased. The additional heat of the red light then proves to be less useful and a hindrance to the healing process.

The same applies to a badly blocked nose or inflammation of the sinuses. If the symptoms are severe, do not use the red light for the time being. Wait a few days until you feel better and then apply the warmth to support you. At the onset of acute inflammation, the additional heat from the red light lamp is not beneficial.

The red light penetrates deeper skin regions and can put a strain on the cardiovascular system . If you suffer from a heart disease or if your circulation is weakened, you should not use the red light.


Whether the red light is useful for a cold has not been confirmed. Doctors no longer use a red light lamp to treat a cold. A positive effect on the healing process could not be proven.

If red light helps you, you can of course continue to use it. The warmth may make you feel better and you have the feeling that you are doing something about the common cold.

Be careful with acute inflammation and do not underestimate the burden on the circulatory system. If in doubt, ask a doctor whether you can use the red light lamp.

When properly used, red light lamps are still a useful home remedy to relieve pain and increase well-being.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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