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  • Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

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    Old 02-10-2004, 05:18 PM   #61
    Ruthy
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    After 8 days of 15 min. phototherapy on each side of my son's face, we do see a definite improvement. His complexion is smoothing out, and he is not developing any new big cystic acne. He has a few small pimples, but not anything in comparison to what he had been suffering from previously. His derm did put him back on minocyline this past Monday, after Accutane failed for him. He's just one of those few patients that did not respond positively to Accutane. He's taking l - 400 mg. vitamin E, and l - 1000 mg. vitamin C - morning and evening also. The derm also suggested l gelcap ibuprofen morning and evening to help reduce inflammation which he'll start tonight.
    We're hoping for continued improvement! Now, if there was just something to make the red spots go away faster!! I do appreciate hearing how others are doing with their phototherapy. Thank you.

     
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    Old 02-10-2004, 06:26 PM   #62
    Clark
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Ruthy - What exactly are you using for your son? Above you refer to the "blue and red 150s." Can you provide the specifics and where you got them? Thanks!

     
    Old 02-11-2004, 06:16 AM   #63
    Ruthy
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Clark - I'll give you some ideas of where to search, since I cannot just state the website name of where I ordered the blue/red lights. They are dichromatic 150 watt bulbs and just look like regular floodlight bulbs, but they have a filter that alters the UV rays, so there is absolutely NO burning of the skin. So look for red & blue light phototherapy, or natural acne treatment. It's a package deal where you can get both bulbs, and believe me I checked every where and could not find a better price. This all started when I learned about the Clearlight treatments that some derms are offering, and we are not located close to a derm that offers the fairly new treatment method. It is the same concept of what the blue Clearlight does to kill the p. acne, plus the red light helps with healing. I truly believe this is what is helping my son the most, over the antibiotics. I purchased two clip-on fixtures to hold the bulbs at a farm store of all places! They are just simple fixtures that are usually used for keeping poultry warm. They also have a wire guard that fits over the bulb to prevent you from touching the bulb, or maybe breaking the bulb -- since they are kind of pricey. We clipped them on top a trifold mirror that sits on top of an antique vanity dresser that we have, and he sits under the light 15 minutes on each side of his face daily with earphones listening to Iron Maiden..... oh well, whatever works. He does use the goggles that come with the set too. Hope this helps!

     
    Old 02-11-2004, 08:43 AM   #64
    Neca
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ruthy
    Now, if there was just something to make the red spots go away faster!!
    This is the problem I am experiencing. The red spots/marks just won't go away full stop and my overall skin tone is not even however I have been experiencing a reasonable improvement recently. But this improvement was just thrown out of the window after I had applied tiny amounts of 2.5% B.P. one night. The next day I woke up and everywhere I had applied B.P. there were red patches.

    B.P. is soooo unreliable. Sometimes it will work and improve your skin but most of the time you just get redness. I don't get it.

    Anyway, Ruthy it does seem that this form of light treatment is much more effective with those who have cystic acne. I find this kind of strange because the whole principal of light treatment is aimed mainly toward mild-moderate acne suffers. I was told by the Dermalux guys that severe acne suffers might not benefit much from this treatment. Well it seems like the opposite is turning out to be true.

    I do have a question regarding your son's treatment though. You say he was on Accutane but stopped as it didn't work. How long has it been since he stopped the treatment because this is what the Dermalux (U.K. company who produces this light box) faq says:

    "Can I use it while taking Roaccutane?
    No, Roaccutane can sensitise the skin to light so it would be unwise to use light therapy until 28 days after the course has finished."

    Hopefully it has been 28 days since your son took Accutane. Remember it is an incredibly powerful antibiotic and it does increase skin's sensitivity to light. Your son is now on minocycline which can also increase the skin's sensitivity to light but not to the same extent that Accutane can. I was on minocycline a year ago and did notice this. It might be a good idea to check with your doctor/derm if using the red/blue lights in coordination with antibiotics is safe.

    Also, further to Clark's question, are you using the "HappySkin"/ "Verliux" brand version of the light box? Don't worry you can list brand names, just not websites/adverts etc.

    Last edited by Neca; 02-11-2004 at 08:46 AM.

     
    Old 02-11-2004, 03:49 PM   #65
    Ruthy
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Neca - Thank you for your input. My son was on Accutane for 11 weeks, and then his derm said the extent of his cystic outbreak was just too much. We agreed totally -- his back acne however did totally clear, but his face was hardly recognizable - just horrible. I have not seen any pictures in medical studies that looked quite like his did. He is very fair complected -- so it was quite devastating for him. His dosage had only been 40 mg. every other day, and then the last week, she backed him off to 10 mg. every other day, and he just continued to break out - even inside his ears and nose.
    So she stopped the accutane, put him on Cephalexin for 3-l/2 weeks, and then said he could start the minocycline. Things seem better now. I had talked to another derm in the Dallas area that has Clearlight and he had advised no Clearlight with accutane.... the treatments could not be mixed. Thank you for the tip on minocyline and light sensitivity. He was on minocycline once before and almost totally cleared and had worked outside in the sun that summer and looked great -- so hopefully we'll continue to see that kind of progress. Changing derms, starting new meds, accutane just really set him back -- in a matter of 6 months. But with everything he is doing now, hopefully by April (prom for him) -- he will look alot better. Thanks again... finding this board has been a great help -- and encouragement also.

     
    Old 02-11-2004, 06:44 PM   #66
    Clark
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Ruthy - Thank you. I have found what you are using. I'm going to give it a shot since I can't get the Dermalux unit here in the U.S.

    Last edited by moderator2; 02-16-2004 at 04:44 PM.

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 09:31 AM   #67
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    I've just purchased the pair of dichroic 150W bulbs Ruthy has. I should get them in a couple days, and when I do I'm going to try 30 minutes a day (15 minutes of red on one side and blue on the other, and then switch). I'll try to keep this thread updated with my results. Everyone else, please keep updating! thanks.

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 11:29 AM   #68
    Neca
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    DAY 26 (wow almost 4 weeks):

    I guess I'm at the half way stage now. I have noticed a reduction in the number of whiteheads on my skin and definitely a reduction in blemishes. This is not to say I still don't get them because I do, but they are limited in quantity and size. I still get blackheads on my nose but they are small and don't bother me too much.

    I think the best thing I have noticed is that the light treatment does in fact heal the skin QUICKER! Exactly as Jhart says. Yesterday I had a pretty large eruption on my forehead from a blemish and was so annoyed. I still did my dermalux light treatment in the evening though and the next morning I looked at my forehead. It was still there BUT it was about 10% of the size it was originally i.e. it was tiny.

    I think the next 4 weeks are going to be critical and very interesting. It will really illustrate whether the light box works for me or not. So far I can't really complain as my skin reactions are improving even though my skin tone is still a little uneven. But hey one thing at a time .

    Jhart it seems like you are experiencing the best results so far which is excellent as it shows you are definitely on an upward curve of improvement. The next few weeks will also be as important. Aren't you nearly approaching week 5 now? Are you applying any OTCs as I have totally stopped using my B.P. treatment because I kept experiencing redness which I never used to have.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ejonez
    I've just purchased the pair of dichroic 150W bulbs Ruthy has. I should get them in a couple days, and when I do I'm going to try 30 minutes a day (15 minutes of red on one side and blue on the other, and then switch). I'll try to keep this thread updated with my results. Everyone else, please keep updating! thanks.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clark
    Ruthy - Thank you. I have found what you are using. I'm going to give it a shot since I can't get the Dermalux unit here in the U.S.

    That's great to hear Clark and ejonez, I hope you light treatment goes really well and definitely post updates. What is your current skin status by the way?

    Last edited by Neca; 02-17-2004 at 11:31 AM.

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 03:50 PM   #69
    progessmaker
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Wow Neca, see I told you give it more time & it looks like you are doing much better. As for me everything is still going great, I haven't wanted to jinx myself but I can't believe that I spent all that money getting the ClearLight done when I could have done this, but I guess I needed to do that in order to know that this would work. My acne is well under control & my skin looks & feels smoother. With my skin care products most of my dark marks have faded & the cystic acne is gone right now. Actually during PMS I usually get cystic pimples & I got one last time around but I just focused on that area more with the light & that area went down the next day. I have even had cases where dark marks disappeared in a couple of days as opposed to weeks. People keep asking me what I am doing but I won't really tell them. It is probably good that you stop using the BP because that is too harsh for my skin & I can't see it working well with light therapy like the products that I use. I just want to remphasize that everyone using the light therapy should be using a SPF15 at least, especially when it starts to get sunnier. Good to see that those of us using this are doing rather well.

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 03:54 PM   #70
    Ruthy
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    I really appreciate everyone posting notes on their progress with the lights! My son is still having smaller blemishes, but not the deep cystic ones. His skin tone is also uneven, and he is using Lubriderm, and it seems to help some with the redness also. I purchased a new product today from the GNC store for stretch marks, of all things.
    I have heard that it helps with acne scarring also -- so we'll give it a try, and let you know how that goes.

     
    Old 02-18-2004, 04:20 PM   #71
    Neca
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by progessmaker
    I just want to remphasize that everyone using the light therapy should be using a SPF15 at least, especially when it starts to get sunnier. Good to see that those of us using this are doing rather well.
    Progressmaker seems like you are experiencing extremely good results from the light treatment. It's great to hear your dark marks have faded because they can be the biggest pain in the neck to deal with. Also I think we can almost definitely claim that this light treatment is excellent at destroying cysts. It seems like everyone is seeing a major reductions in this aspect of their acne.

    With regards to the quote above, I have been meaning to ask you about using SPF 15 as you have said this before. Why do you think we should be using SPF 15 while undergoing light treatment? The UV light that is produced from the light box is outside the spectrum of harmful/damaging rays. In addition the UV light produced is very limited. I checked with Dermalux many times as I was very concerned and wanted to make sure it was 'safe' to use. I said to them that I already have hyper-pigmentation as a result of too much sun exposure so I don't want anymore. They said there is no chance you can suffer hyperpigmentation from the light box EXCEPT if you are using certain medicines that increase your skin's sensitivity to light e.g. accutane, harsh steroids and possibly some other antibiotics. I am not taking a medicine so hopefully I am ok. Can you confirm that this is also the advice you heard or have I missed something? Thanks

     
    Old 02-19-2004, 05:59 PM   #72
    Clark
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    I have begun treatment with the dichro-color red and blue 150s (this is day 2). I'm also using the straight-cetaphil method proposed by Slick33 on another thread. I'm experiencing some improvement, but it's hard to say if it is anything other than a placebo-effect. The light treatment is encouraging -- it certainly feels like it is doing some good. With these lights, I really feel the heat on my face. Maybe that means I'm too close. To those of you using Dermalux or Verilux -- do you feel heat from the lights?

    I'll keep everyone updated on the progress.

     
    Old 02-19-2004, 08:12 PM   #73
    Ruthy
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Clark -- just thought I'd let you know we slowed down my son's use of the lights.
    It seemed as though his face was a little irritated and red - so he is not using it every day now. He is still having good progress, and no further cystic development. Coincidentally, he started the Cetaphil/no water routine today also. thanks for your update.

     
    Old 02-20-2004, 05:16 AM   #74
    Neca
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Ruthy and Clark make sure the face is positioned no closer than 6-7 inches from the light tubes. You shouldn't really feel much heat on your face. After using the unit my face is never red now. I used to also sit too close and experienced temporary redness but it wasn't bothersome.

    Ruthy you said your son's face is red and irritated, how long does this last for? Is he sitting too close? Are you sure it isn't any creams/medications he is using? And how many times a day and for how long does he use the unit for?

    Last edited by Neca; 02-20-2004 at 05:17 AM.

     
    Old 02-20-2004, 08:37 PM   #75
    Ruthy
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    Re: Home Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne

    Neca - He was sitting about 24" away from the bulbs and was using both the red and blue bulbs (at the same time) once a day for 15 min on one side of his face, and then turning and 15 min. on the other side of his face. He would appear slightly red all over after the treatment, but that would go away quickly. However, some parts of his "acne areas" were seeming a little redder, and drier. The only other thing he is using is Lubriderm for a moisturizer and washing twice a day with Pears bar soap. The last 2 days he has started Cetaphil/no water instead of the Pears. Overall, he is still improving and not having large cystic acne, so we do think the light treatment has helped. We just thought we might back off a little. I know with Clearlight treatments, the derms only intially have patients come in twice a week -- maybe there is some medical reason for that. We are also looking forward to an appointment out of town with a well known derm for another opinion on Monday. He may not have anything to offer different that what has been previously tried ---- but we wanted to try. We won't be making any drastic changes -- since we are leary of new things and additional breakouts.

     
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