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Blue/red Light Diary


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#1 nice_helenuk

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:33 PM

Dear All,

I've been reading about the use of blue red light to treat acne. I've been an acne sufferer for almost 20 years now :-( Done accutane twice. Tried everything else. Skin is reasonable (mild acne) these days (I take spironolactone and use duac (benz perox+topic antibiotic, I think).

But I've noticed that as I've been getting older that healing is taking longer and I still have a persistent , albeit, relatively mild problem whilst on the treatment (and worse without). And because healing is taking longer,my skin tone is getting worse. This might be partly an ageing thing (I'm 31)

So today I bought (second hand off ebay (£50)) a blue/red acne lamp. The make is Beautyskin ('Dr Kern'). It's got fluorescent blue and red lights. Not LEDs like some of the others have. It says use it for 15 mins a day and today I tried it out for the first time. It's a bit of a noisy old thing. It sort of clicks as the timer runs down and is pretty bright, as you might expect, so you have to wear the goggles and shut your eyes. I put it pretty close to my face (says 15cm max) and I did it for 25 mins this time.

There's noting really to report at this stage except that the whole thing was painless, and skin feels pretty normal at the moment, maybe a bit like it feels when you've been out in the sun for half an hour.

So will hopefully update this as I go along and let you know if it seems to have any effect

By the way I live in the UK and aside from it not being very sunny here I also don't get out much in the sun generally, but have noticed some improvement in my acne when I do get in the sun, so hoping this might help.

Any comments very welcome.

Helen

#2 nice_helenuk

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:06 PM

Day 2

Quick update: After my first use of the lamp yesterday I've noticed quite dry/sore lips today. I'll try to use lipbalm from now on.

No real change in my skin, but that's not unsuprising given it's only day 2.

Helen x

#3 nice_helenuk

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:53 AM

Day 5

Skin: doing well. Actually better than when I started a few days ago, though it's impossible to say at this stage whether this is just by chance. Skin feels kind of strange though. To the touch it feels nice, perhaps even smoother than normal, but internally it feels sort of stiff. Feels a bit like when
you put a face mask on and the mask dries and then when you smile it feels like you're stretching it. Not especially unpleasant, just strange.

Practical things: a couple of things have been annoying me about the lamp. Firstly the timer is frustratingly noisy and secondly that even with the goggles on and eyes shut, it's very bright to the point where I feel slightly dazed afterwards. So the second of these problems I've managed to solve simply by sticking duct tape over the glasses. I also attempted to solve the noise problem, but haven't really managed it. I unscrewed the lamp in the hope of finding a simple dial or something that could be manipulated, but instead found that the timer is enclosed in a rather robust little box of it's own. I put a load of duct tape and a sock around the timer box in the hope of dampening the noise. I think it's made just enough difference that whilst listening to music with headphones on, it's not quite so noisy. By the way, I can well imagine that having a sock inside a lamp is not very safety concious, so that's perhaps worth considering if yo're bothered by this problem too.

#4 nice_helenuk

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:49 AM

It would be great to hear from you. If anyone reading this has tried blue/red light before please respond by answering the following questions:

1) What make/type of device did you use. e.g fluorescent/LED. Did it cover the whole face or just a small area at the time. What brand was it?
2) How long and how often did you use it?
3) How well did it work? Please describe the type of acne you have before and after.
4) Did you give up and if so why?
5) Did any effect last after giving up the treatment?
6) Did you have any adverse reactions/side effects?
7) Aside from your acne did it have any influence on your skin, e.g did it help with scars or other skin conditions such as rosacea?

Look forward to hearing your stories

#5 nice_helenuk

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:09 AM

Day 8,

Skin looking good. I'm really starting to think this might actually work. But I have a setback. I've been feeling pretty ill with bad headaches since around the time I started this. I might be paranoid, but I'm starting to think the lamp could have something to do with it, weird as that might sound. So,I think I will leave off the lamp for a few days, see if I improve and then start again in a week or so. Has anyone else had headches with the lamp?

#6 PaulH85

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:41 AM

Hi Helen Posted Image

Your thread caught my eye as I've read a little about these lamps before. I don't know a great deal though, think I've only ever looked at them out of desperation when I was searching for some new "cure" to try. I always resisted which was probably a good thing because I bet I would have spent stupid amounts of money on something new. My skin tone isn't the best and it's taken quite a bit of abuse over the years from some harsh cleansers and crazy amounts of BP. That was in my teens and I didn't know better, but my skin never seems to have recovered. I mentioned that to someone and they mentioned products like this, so it's all come to mind again...

I'm not sure I've seen many other logs about these things which is kind of surprising, although perhaps I just haven't looked hard enough. With any luck, maybe someone who has used them will drop by to answer your questions. Wise move to give it a rest for a few days, see what happens if it does turn out the lamp was causing your headaches. Good that you noticed improvements though, maybe you'll be able to pick up where you left off.

I noticed you mentioned before about the lack of sun. One of the drawbacks of living in England I guess. My skin always does better when I've been out in the sun on a regular basis, safely, of course. But it's a bit of a vicious cycle really because I might not be so inclined to go out in the first place if my skin isn't doing too well. To be fair to the weather though, it's pretty sunny in Sheffield today, reckon I might go and make the most of it before it rains! Posted Image

#7 nice_helenuk

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:44 PM

Dear Paul,

Thank-you very much for you're input. Yes there are lots of questions about these lamps. They claim that they are completely safe because they're not UV, but do they really know that they are safe? I haven't looked carefully into it, but I wonder if there is any real testing as whether they can actually be damaging, rather than beneficial, as claimed. As you said though, desperation can lead us to experiment with anything, can't it!

It does look like a fair few people have tried it though. There is quite a bit written about these lamps in the laser treatment section of this website......

http://www.acne.org/...cne-treatments/

and also on the reviews page which has actually had largely positive responses as far as I can tell.

Sadly, I'm now even more convinced the headaches might be related to the lamp, though. I actually suffer from proper migraines sometimes and originally didn't think the headache this week was a migraine as it came on in a different manner to normal ( I normally get aura and sickness). But yesterday it felt very much more like a migraine. Anyway, the point is that I read today somewhere that bright light is something that can trigger migraines so I'm now feeling even more suspicious of the actions of the lamp, although this is also very frustrating as I really want to keep using it to see how my skin does

Helen xx


I'm not sure I've seen many any other logs about these things which is kind of surprising, although perhaps I just haven't looked hard enough.



#8 nice_helenuk

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:25 AM

Several months later update

So I thought I'd update you on my blue/red light experience. Right after the time I posted several months ago I stopped using the light therapy (after only a few days) because I thought it was causing my migraines. I did however, at that time noticed dramatic changes to my skin (dry, no spots, felt sort of tight and looked good, I think)

This week I thought I'd give it another go. I made myself some lead eye protectors in the hope that I would prevent any light triggering my migraines, through the visual route. I used the light very briefly for 2 days (~5 mins each day) and bugger me, yesterday I got a migraine again, for only the second time since I last used the light in March. Coincidence? I have no idea, but I have thought in the past that my migraines are triggered by light as I have also had them playing tennis when I look up to the sky to serve and into the sun. I should add btw that my migraines are not in any way subjective experiences. I get very distinct symptoms with aura, sickness, fever and headache.

I should also add that despite only two five minute sessions of the light that my skin is now very dry, tight and there are no active spots ( though there are some scabby blotches remaining from earlier)

Would love to know anyone's thoughts on blue/red light and migraines.

Love Helen xx Posted Image

Edited by nice_helenuk, 18 September 2012 - 05:28 AM.


#9 Green Gables

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:25 AM

It would be great to hear from you. If anyone reading this has tried blue/red light before please respond by answering the following questions:

1) What make/type of device did you use. e.g fluorescent/LED. Did it cover the whole face or just a small area at the time. What brand was it?
2) How long and how often did you use it?
3) How well did it work? Please describe the type of acne you have before and after.
4) Did you give up and if so why?
5) Did any effect last after giving up the treatment?
6) Did you have any adverse reactions/side effects?
7) Aside from your acne did it have any influence on your skin, e.g did it help with scars or other skin conditions such as rosacea?

Look forward to hearing your stories


1) Lightwave CS, which is a blue/red/infrared LED. You have to wear goggles.
2) To cover the face you spend about 18 seconds on each area. The whole face is done in about 4 passes, so so 72 seconds total. The intensity of the Lightwave's LEDs make it stronger (and faster) than any light on the market.
3) I have severe cystic hormonal acne along with some mild acne that comes from clogged pores. The light helps the mild acne but obviously does not help the acne caused by hormones.
4) I am on an anti-androgen that completely cleared my nodules, so I no longer use the light.

It did not help my rosacea.

I would say if you're going to get a light, Lightwave CS is the best one. However, a blue/red/infrared light kills bacteria and helps wound healing and calms inflammation. So there is some anti-inflammatory effect, and it kills bacteria, but it doesn't stop your body from forming the acne in the first place, unless you just have a serious bacteria problem.

I did find that the light worked as well as any topical antibiotic (benzoyl peroxide, clindamyacin, etc.) and was much more convenient/

Edited by Green Gables, 20 September 2012 - 11:26 AM.


#10 nice_helenuk

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:28 AM

Thanks Green cables. Very useful info and I will check out the lightwave CS. I see that you take spironolactone. I actually take that too and it has worked well overall, but I still always have a few spots here and there, so looking for something else to add to this treatment.

Helen xx

#11 nice_helenuk

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:05 AM

Day 2 of testing a new light - the Tanda Clear

Following the issues I've had with migraines and the possible association of these with the beauty skin lamp that I used, I've now bought myself a Tanda clear. It's just blue light and it is applied directly to the skin rather than the beauty skin lamp which you sit in front of. I wanted something applied to the skin directly to avoid shining the light to my eyes which I think causes the migraines.

With this Tanda clear lamp (as with the beauty skin), I've also noticed a tightness to my skin, but too early to say at this stage (day 2 of using it) whether it's helping with the spots. My skin has been consistently bad for several weeks/months now so any improvement will be welcome. I will post updates and let you know how it goes. I bought the light online from Boots at a cost of £150. They also sell the small 'Tanda zap' at a cost of £60 but that one requires batteries. The slightly larger one that I've got can be plugged to the mains.

Would love to hear other people's experience with the Tanda. I've seen a couple of positive responses on Amazon and Youtube. Haven't seen many negative responses .

I should add that I will continue to take spironolactone but I won't be using the beauty skin lamp any more, for the time being.

Love Helen xx

Edited by nice_helenuk, 03 October 2012 - 05:11 AM.


#12 nice_helenuk

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:44 AM

Day 5 of the Tanda clear

Right thought I better do an update. It's only day 5 but I really am starting to think this thing works for me. I've had no new breakout spots and complexion seems really smooth and uniform in colour - a bit like a china doll. Even in the past when I haven't had breakouts, close up my skin has always had 'gunk' under the surface that (sorry for the unpleasant description) could be squeezed out if I try...BUT today I tried to do that and just hardly anything was coming out. My nose is normally especially bad for lots of small blackheads, but it just seemed to be almost clear today.

I'm really excited and hopeful about this thing, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

I've been applying the Tanda directly to my skin and wearing goggles, and haven't been suffering migraines so that's also a major plus so far.

I've been using it in the evening. 3 minutes or a bit less on the problem regions. Less on the better regions of my skin. This is probably less than recommended but is what I can be bothered with late in the evening. Some mornings I've also used it for a for mins. It's infinitely more handy to have around than the beauty skin lamp, which is absolutely enormous (and heavy) by comparison. The Tanda is very small - the sort of thing you could easily pop in your handbag if going away for a couple of days. The downside of the Tanda is that it obviously takes longer to treat the whole face as it is applied directly to small areas rather than sitting in front of it.

Helen xx

Edited by nice_helenuk, 08 October 2012 - 03:46 AM.


#13 nice_helenuk

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:41 AM

Day 19 of Tanda Clear


So last time I posted I hadn't had any new spots since using the light. Unfortunately I have had two or three new spots since using the light now, which is about what I might expect without the light or perhaps a bit less. So it's definitely not a magic treatment, but I still think it's working a bit and I'm going to stick at it. Interestingly the tight feeling I was getting after using it the first few times doesn't seem to be there now or at least I haven't noticed it.

I have to admit that I haven't been using it for as long as recommended. Probably only a minute or two on each area (once per day) rather than the 3 minutes (twice per day) that they suggest. It just takes too long.

One thing I don't like about this machine is that it vibrates. It makes a noise, which is generally frustrating, but moreover I live in a shared house and I always apply the light at night as I lay in bed. I can't help but wonder what my housemates think my vibrating machine is! Apparently the older models don't do this. It's hard to believe that the vibration helps in any way so it seems an unnecessary feature.

Love Helen xx

Edited by nice_helenuk, 22 October 2012 - 04:52 AM.