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blacksheiladog

Internet alternatives to Expensive Clearlight treatments

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But the jury is still out on how much wattage is necessary. You might want to wait until Mikeye can confirm whether the 9 watt versions are doing anything, as we have mentioned before that you can get a lot more wattage (a 24 inch aquarium fixture with 2x 65 watts) packs a lot of punch. Or, you can be one of our "Thomas Edisons" and try your idea and report back so others can benefit from your experiments.

My daughter seems to be responding to the 2 x 27 watt bulbs we are trying, but I won't recommend it until we have had a few months of data. That's the frustrating part of this-- acne is not predictable, and something might "seem" to work, but in reality that was just one of those lower than average acne months, or stress levels were lower, or the moon was full..... However, after two or three months, one should be able to determine if a treatment method is working. -Dan

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Very true...acne is one of those things only time can tell...sometimes I wake up it's like wow must be the light and the next day it's like damn. So I said I will consistently use this light for 6 weeks:

- 10 minutes for the forehead

- 10 minutes left side of face and

- 10 minutes right side of face

- All roughly 2" from my face

I've completed my 2nd week and going into my 3rd week. As of right now, I wouldn't recommend this to others yet since I have not seen much improvement in the 2 weeks. I'll keep everyone posted.

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I am continuing to inquire from folks who bought the ebay product. In keeping with full disclosure, I provide what I find out.

Here is one response:

"So far so good -- you doneed to use it everhyday -- but seems to be a good investment"

Another responded as follows:

"Actualy no it did not work at all. I used it for about 62 days and no improvement. I am actually in the processes of returning it. I do want to add, that I did try another aproach that you might of heard of over the internet. Its a book called acne free in 3 days. I know its sounds to good to be true, but man it did wonders for me. I have been suffering from acne for over 6 years and nothing has worked as well as this has. I would say I am about 85-95% clear now. I had BAD acne the deep pulse kind. I completed the system about 3-4 weeks ago. Since I have finished I have been only getting very very small surface little pimples but man my face is looking good. If you decide to do this program I do want to tell you that I did follow the steps exactly as stated, and am doing the post steps as well which includes taking suppliments. The system basically is just a cleansing of your body by undergoing a fruit fast for 3 days. I hope I have been of any help and I recomend the program, you have nothing to lose."

FYI... I have several more inquries I am waiting of from other buyers. Bear in mind, my daughter is using 2x the lamps, and I assume these buyers were using only one lamp. we also do not know how close they are placing the lamp.

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I am continuing to inquire from folks who bought the ebay product. In keeping with full disclosure, I provide what I find out.

Here is one response:

"So far so good -- you doneed to use it everhyday -- but seems to be a good investment"

Another responded as follows:

"Actualy no it did not work at all. I used it for about 62 days and no improvement. I am actually in the processes of returning it. I do want to add, that I did try another aproach that you might of heard of over the internet. Its a book called acne free in 3 days. I know its sounds to good to be true, but man it did wonders for me. I have been suffering from acne for over 6 years and nothing has worked as well as this has. I would say I am about 85-95% clear now. I had BAD acne the deep pulse kind. I completed the system about 3-4 weeks ago. Since I have finished I have been only getting very very small surface little pimples but man my face is looking good. If you decide to do this program I do want to tell you that I did follow the steps exactly as stated, and am doing the post steps as well which includes taking suppliments. The system basically is just a cleansing of your body by undergoing a fruit fast for 3 days. I hope I have been of any help and I recomend the program, you have nothing to lose."

FYI... I have several more inquries I am waiting of from other buyers. Bear in mind, my daughter is using 2x the lamps, and I assume these buyers were using only one lamp. we also do not know how close they are placing the lamp.

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Responding to the question from Veridis Quo about the addititive effect of lamps:

Blacksheiladog replied, "So yes, more lamps means more watts, just like 15 one watt lights equals one 15 watt light, more or less. What we really want is lots of watts, as close to the face as possible, with as little wasted light as possible. So fixtures with mirror backing, or white housings will help deliver all possible light to the target."

Blacksheiladog is correct, with one minor technical clarification.

If you add the actual optical output power of lamps and get them all directed at your skin the effect is addititive. The wattage, though, that you guys are using is the input wattage, ie. power consumption. The output wattage is a fraction of that, with the rest turned into heat. In some cases the difference between input wattage and output power varies with the size of the lamp - in that case the output power would not be additive. For example a 150w incandescent bulb is more efficient than a 50w bulb, so a single 150w bulb yields a lot more light than three 50w incandescent bulbs.

Fortunately, with most fluorescent and LED lamps the effficiency is roughly constant so long as you are using bulbs of similar technology/construction. So despite my wordy reply, Veridis Quo and Blacksheiladog are correct; three of the mini-aquarium lights at 3x18w=56watts should provide roughly the same (or slightly more) light power than one of the BeautySkin's if they use 3x15w bulbs (but don't BeautySkin's use up to 6 bulbs?).

The key, though, as blacksheiladog notes, is in successfully getting all the light directed onto the skin (at approximately a direct-on angle if possible). Two lights are easy - beyond that may get cumbersome. Using reflectors helps a lot. I fiddled with the mini-aquarium light the other day and found that adding aluminum foil reflector extensions to the sides created a brighter smaller light pattern when I aimed it at a wall from close up. Even bright white styrofoam is a good reflector and is easy to work with. Get clever and creative!

Quick note to anyone planning on buying the mini-aquarium light. You probably know that need to order a 2nd actinic-blue tube for $5 as it comes with one blue and one white. For yet another $5 extra you can order a 2nd white tube. Then when you retire it from acne use, you can reconfigure it for 2 white tubes and have a great little utility light - it's very bright for its size and runs fairly cool.

P.S. I spoke to Katherine at Sci-Art-Global again and urged her to speed up getting the spotlight version of the Enlux blue LEDs. Although expensive (I guess they will be ~$150, $30 more than the LED flood), they should provide an intense easily aimable beam that puts a full 1.8w of output power (~equivilent to a 20w flourescent bulb) right onto a small area. While "20w flourescent equivilent" may seem little, the fact that you really get all the light where you want it, probably makes it equivilent to as much as twice that.

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If you add the actual optical output power of lamps and get them all directed at your skin the effect is addititive. The wattage, though, that you guys are using is the input wattage, ie. power consumption. The output wattage is a fraction of that, with the rest turned into heat.
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If you add the actual optical output power of lamps and get them all directed at your skin the effect is addititive. The wattage, though, that you guys are using is the input wattage, ie. power consumption. The output wattage is a fraction of that, with the rest turned into heat.

So would a 15W (input) compact flourecent lamp have more output than a 15W (input) tube lamp?

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The key, though, as blacksheiladog notes, is in successfully getting all the light directed onto the skin (at approximately a direct-on angle if possible). Two lights are easy - beyond that may get cumbersome. Using reflectors helps a lot. I fiddled with the mini-aquarium light the other day and found that adding aluminum foil reflector extensions to the sides created a brighter smaller light pattern when I aimed it at a wall from close up. Even bright white styrofoam is a good reflector and is easy to work with. Get clever and creative!
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Also, regarding Mikeye's comment about the light therapy not working unless you benefit from sunlight--since it has been proven that blue light is toxic to the P-acnes bacteria, would'nt everyone who suffers from acne be helped if exposed to sufficient intensity of this light frequency?
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My two cent's worth on the various questions raised in the last couple of posts:

1) Is a 15w compact equivilent to a 15w tube fluorescent? Blacksheiladog is correct, both have about the same total light output, but the compact one MAY do a better job of getting all that light onto your face. While, the bulb efficiency does vary some due to the geometry (linear tubes have a slight edge here), internal construction, and particualar mix of phosphors used, the biggest difference will be in how well the fixture and bulb shape work to get the light aimed where you want it.

(Note - Blacksheiladog is also correct about a 15w bulb being effectively only 7.5 w if you tape up half of it - or if half of it is shining the light on your wall instead of your face)

2) I'm not sure that covering existing white reflectors with foil will help as much as extending them will. White reflects just about all the light, but scatters it evenly and widely, while the foil reflects the rays back at the same angle they arrived (making for more glare but a more focused/aimed light). If you position the lamp really close to your face, the light scattered by the white reflector probably still hits your face. If there is room for some to miss, though, then adding additional reflectors to catch and redirect the light that otherwise would miss your face helps a lot. That means adding length and width to the reflector so it extends beyond the bulb and aims the wayward beams back at your face. Even the added reflector can be white if there is no way for the scattered light reflected off of it to miss your face (i.e. it's so close to your face that there's no way out).

Note: Covering an existing white relector with foil makes its geometry/angles much more critical. You might improve the result or accidentally end up reflecting much of the light away from where you want it. You also don't want to reflect too much right back at the bulb as it tends to reduce the total output a bit. It helps to have lots of patience and an understanding of the basic principles to fiddle with reflectors successfully.

3) Regarding whether blue light works only on people whose acne is sensitive to sunlight and/or whether it should work on everyone, there are various factors to consider:

i) The theraputic blue lights contain much more of the critical wavelengths near 410nm than does natural sunlight. Thus it's hard to compare results of natural sunlight exposure with the exposure under professional or home-built blue light units.

ii) We don't know if the P.acnes bacteria is the root cause for everyone's acne. Some people may have differing causes. (note for example, whiteheads and blackheads are often not the result the action of P.acnes and do not respond well to blue light)

iii) We also don't know if the degree of production of "coporphyrin III" is the same in the P.acnes in all people. Coporphyrin III is the porphyrin that reacts with the blue light to produce the bacteria-killing oxygen.

Best of luck

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Thank you again, techguy, for an excellent post! -Dan

My two cent's worth on the various questions raised in the last couple of posts:

1) Is a 15w compact equivilent to a 15w tube fluorescent? Blacksheiladog is correct, both have about the same total light output, but the compact one MAY do a better job of getting all that light onto your face. While, the bulb efficiency does vary some due to the geometry (linear tubes have a slight edge here), internal construction, and particualar mix of phosphors used, the biggest difference will be in how well the fixture and bulb shape work to get the light aimed where you want it.

(Note - Blacksheiladog is also correct about a 15w bulb being effectively only 7.5 w if you tape up half of it - or if half of it is shining the light on your wall instead of your face)

2) I'm not sure that covering existing white reflectors with foil will help as much as extending them will. White reflects just about all the light, but scatters it evenly and widely, while the foil reflects the rays back at the same angle they arrived (making for more glare but a more focused/aimed light). If you position the lamp really close to your face, the light scattered by the white reflector probably still hits your face. If there is room for some to miss, though, then adding additional reflectors to catch and redirect the light that otherwise would miss your face helps a lot. That means adding length and width to the reflector so it extends beyond the bulb and aims the wayward beams back at your face. Even the added reflector can be white if there is no way for the scattered light reflected off of it to miss your face (i.e. it's so close to your face that there's no way out).

Note: Covering an existing white relector with foil makes its geometry/angles much more critical. You might improve the result or accidentally end up reflecting much of the light away from where you want it. You also don't want to reflect too much right back at the bulb as it tends to reduce the total output a bit. It helps to have lots of patience and an understanding of the basic principles to fiddle with reflectors successfully.

3) Regarding whether blue light works only on people whose acne is sensitive to sunlight and/or whether it should work on everyone, there are various factors to consider:

i) The theraputic blue lights contain much more of the critical wavelengths near 410nm than does natural sunlight. Thus it's hard to compare results of natural sunlight exposure with the exposure under professional or home-built blue light units.

ii) We don't know if the P.acnes bacteria is the root cause for everyone's acne. Some people may have differing causes. (note for example, whiteheads and blackheads are often not the result the action of P.acnes and do not respond well to blue light)

iii) We also don't know if the degree of production of "coporphyrin III" is the same in the P.acnes in all people. Coporphyrin III is the porphyrin that reacts with the blue light to produce the bacteria-killing oxygen.

Best of luck

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Into the middle of my 3rd week with the actinic aqualight...and so far things are still about the same.

Will consider a higher wattage light soon.

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I have been reading up more on the beneficial effects of the 660 nm red light to stimulate cell growth. The BeautySkin device which has 6 bulbs (3x15W 420nm and 3x15W 660nm) looks promising as well. I have read several threads on that device (both on this forum and others) and the only downside I see is that it would not be as convenient to use (it basically sits on a desk). It is also a bit expensive, but not too bad, selling for $270.00 right now.

My daughter is currently using 2 desklamps with the ebay device bulbs, which you can angle over your face in bed or on the floor. She does seem to be responding to the blue light (2 x 27 watts). I might try buying this BeautySkin device to have my daughter test the red light component for healing purposes. Any thoughts on this?

Techguy: Someone suggested that using red and blue lights together "cancel" eachother out. That did not make sense to me, because although the light will "look" different in overall color to our eye, isn't that solely due to our eye mixing the colors, and aren't the light frequencies still present as they were produced from the bulbs?

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and here is an interesting website which is basically for photography, and discusses (a little ways down the page) the actinic lights with spectrums,specifically the Voltarc Aqua A, which looks to be right what we would want in the spectrum. The "super actinic" is not as good, as it peaks about 450nm. Apparently Voltarc makes specialty bulbs. I wonder if they would make a specific bulb for desk lamp size? And, I wonder if Acne.org could distribute such bulbs to those who want them?

http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Light/light.html

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Responding to two issues...

1. Will the red light and the blue light cancel each other out? I have heard that as well, but have also heard elsewhere that they do not. If there is any interaction/cancellation it would NOT be due to a mixing of the wavelengths producing a wrong color; you are correct that any such mixing is soley a psycho-visual perceptive effect (i.e. the way the brain interprets the signals from the three types of cone cells in the retina as colors).

It is possible, though, that there could be an interaction between the biochemical action of the blue light (the conversion of the porphyrins to peroxide resulting in killing of bacteria), with the supposed anti-inflammatory effects of the red light. I have not yet studied the red light issue well enough to comment beyond a quick speculation that it's unlikely to make a difference whether you dose simultaneously or sequentially.

I also have not yet looked into how important the exact wavelength is for red light. The one study I read used 660nm; I don't know the wavelength of the Beautyskin bulbs. They claim that the bulbs have the exact right wavelengths, yet their spectrum chart seems to say they have a range that is from 580-659nm (which implies very low output near 660 as the bulk of the output is usually near the center of quoted range). See:

http://www.beautyskinusa.com/product.htm

** Note, I believe the enLUX LED is 620nm (based on the specs on the Std Red R30 bulb on the enLUX site. I am assuming that Sci-Art is buying enLUX's std red bulb, but that's not definitive). Also, I don't have good data on how bright either the Beautyskin or the eLux Red bulbs are. I asked the enLUX engineer about their blue and red LEDs, but he only answered about the blue (1.8-2.0 watts total radiated optical power).

2. Custom lamp manufacturing: I don't know the economics, but I supect at some point the FDA is going to start taking an interest in folks selling bulbs for acne treatment, as they likely fall under the rules for medical therapy devices, which are pretty strict. Thus, it may be problematic. If someone is interested, though, YesLED said they are willing to manufacture LED flat panels. It's possible one can circumvent the FDA issue by making claims only for the overall health benefits of light and skip any claims about treating a disease or medical condition.

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Responding to two issues...

1. Will the red light and the blue light cancel each other out? I have heard that as well, but have also heard elsewhere that they do not. If there is any interaction/cancellation it would NOT be due to a mixing of the wavelengths producing a wrong color; you are correct that any such mixing is soley a psycho-visual perceptive effect (i.e. the way the brain interprets the signals from the three types of cone cells in the retina as colors).

It is possible, though, that there could be an interaction between the biochemical action of the blue light (the conversion of the porphyrins to peroxide resulting in killing of bacteria), with the supposed anti-inflammatory effects of the red light. I have not yet studied the red light issue well enough to comment beyond a quick speculation that it's unlikely to make a difference whether you dose simultaneously or sequentially.

I also have not yet looked into how important the exact wavelength is for red light. The one study I read used 660nm; I don't know the wavelength of the Beautyskin bulbs. They claim that the bulbs have the exact right wavelengths, yet their spectrum chart seems to say they have a range that is from 580-659nm (which implies very low output near 660 as the bulk of the output is usually near the center of quoted range). See:

http://www.beautyskinusa.com/product.htm

** Note, I believe the enLUX LED is 620nm (based on the specs on the Std Red R30 bulb on the enLUX site. I am assuming that Sci-Art is buying enLUX's std red bulb, but that's not definitive). Also, I don't have good data on how bright either the Beautyskin or the eLux Red bulbs are. I asked the enLUX engineer about their blue and red LEDs, but he only answered about the blue (1.8-2.0 watts total radiated optical power).

2. Custom lamp manufacturing: I don't know the economics, but I supect at some point the FDA is going to start taking an interest in folks selling bulbs for acne treatment, as they likely fall under the rules for medical therapy devices, which are pretty strict. Thus, it may be problematic. If someone is interested, though, YesLED said they are willing to manufacture LED flat panels. It's possible one can circumvent the FDA issue by making claims only for the overall health benefits of light and skip any claims about treating a disease or medical condition.

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I notice that using the lamp for longer periods is better...I tried 10 (week 1), 15 (week 2) and now 20 mins on each side and I'm getting improvements.

Also, I would not suggest the Beautylamp because my friend has it and says it doesn't work and also because of the high price tag...I'm going to borrow it in the next couple of weeks to see how that works.

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I notice that using the lamp for longer periods is better...I tried 10 (week 1), 15 (week 2) and now 20 mins on each side and I'm getting improvements.

Also, I would not suggest the Beautylamp because my friend has it and says it doesn't work and also because of the high price tag...I'm going to borrow it in the next couple of weeks to see how that works.

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I notice that using the lamp for longer periods is better...I tried 10 (week 1), 15 (week 2) and now 20 mins on each side and I'm getting improvements.

Also, I would not suggest the Beautylamp because my friend has it and says it doesn't work and also because of the high price tag...I'm going to borrow it in the next couple of weeks to see how that works.

What you need to realise is that the effects from the light treatement are cumulative. E.g. you won't see any results (most people don't anyway) for the first few weeks, but then results start to kick in and you gradually see better and better results!! So it may simply be due to the fact you are just now starting to see positive results from the light therapy, not that you have increased the duration of exposure (although it may provide you with even greater improvement in a few weeks time)

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I'm going to see my daughter this week, and ask how she is doing after about 6 weeks with two of the ebay lights. Let you know..
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I'm going to see my daughter this week, and ask how she is doing after about 6 weeks with two of the ebay lights. Let you know..

Hi Dan,

How is your daughter responding to the ebay lights?

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The "tanning bed" approach is interesting. The ones I have seen use UV fluroescent tubes. It might be possible to replace the existing UV tubes with 420nm tubes and be done. The problem would be finding tubes that are the right length etc to fit the existing fixtures.

One could contact a maker of beds or a salon owning some of the beds and check out what tubes they use. Unfortunately, I am busy with work and can't afford the time to do the research.

Best of luck

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The "tanning bed" approach is interesting. The ones I have seen use UV fluroescent tubes. It might be possible to replace the existing UV tubes with 420nm tubes and be done. The problem would be finding tubes that are the right length etc to fit the existing fixtures.

One could contact a maker of beds or a salon owning some of the beds and check out what tubes they use. Unfortunately, I am busy with work and can't afford the time to do the research.

Best of luck

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