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Can LED devices damage skin??

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nubajelly
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Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:46 am      Reply with quote
I've read a lot about how LED's can help rejuvenate the skin, and I was all set to get one. But my husband wasn't sure and wanted to make sure it doesn't cause cancer (he didn't hear anything about LED's causing cancer, he's just scared anything not demonstratively safe causes cancer). I told him it didn't, but he wanted proof, like FDA trials or something.

So to satisfy him, I started to try to do some research, and I actually found some articles that says infrared light can harm the skin! I'm really surprised (and disappointed) in this because of the many great reviews about how so many people look better after LED treatment, and there are even pictures to prove that. I am so confused... I was all set to get the AALS and was looking forward to it fading some light brown spots I have, but now I don't know. Can anybody make sense of all this? I'm so confused!!

I'm posting some links to the articles I found.

http://www.skintherapyletter.com/2009/14.5/2.html
http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Makeup-Skin-Care/Sun-Protection-News-Traditional-Sunscreens-May-Not-Be-Enough
http://thedermblog.com/2009/02/06/heat-from-the-sun-causes-aging/
nubajelly
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Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:02 am      Reply with quote
The German study cited by the ELLE article, I think, is this one:

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2003 Oct ;19 (5):228-34 14535893 Cit:33
Cutaneous effects of infrared radiation: from clinical observations to molecular response mechanisms.
Stefan M Schieke, Peter Schroeder, Jean Krutmann
Institut fuer Umweltmedizinische Forschung (IUF) an der Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet gGmbH, Auf'm Hennekamp 50, D-40225 Duesseldorf, Germany.
Human skin is exposed to infrared (IR) radiation (760 nm-1 mm) from natural as well as artificial sources that are increasingly used for cosmetic or medical purposes. Epidemiological data and clinical observations, however, indicate that IR radiation cannot be considered as totally innocuous to human skin. In particular, IR radiation, similar to ultraviolet radiation, seems to be involved in photoaging and potentially also in photocarcinogenesis. The molecular consequences resulting from IR exposure are virtually unknown. Recent studies, however, have begun to shed light on the basic molecular processes such as cellular signal transduction and gene expression triggered by exposure to IR radiation. In response to IR irradiation, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways were activated mediating the upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 expression. This previously unrecognized molecular 'IR response' shows that IR radiation is capable of specifically interfering with cellular functions and provides a molecular basis for biological effects of IR on human skin.
http://lib.bioinfo.pl/meid:88568 (It's about halfway down the page)
NotMeNotYou
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Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:02 pm      Reply with quote
It's the unknown factor that also causes me to steer clear of all devices. Basically a corporation will market and sell whatever they think works or is marketable regardless of the longterm effects of what they are selling...aka tobacco companies. I am not willing to risk my skin over some perceived benefit when in fact in 20yrs time I could suffer the real results of such a device. Photoaging takes time to show up and although light is good for us under some circumstances it also isn't under others.

It's the same reason why I refuse to use high concentrations of AHAs, retinols and chemical peels & lasers. I am just not convinced the benefits outweigh the risks and there's been a lot more research into the longterm use of those items. This is my personal philosophy and I've discovered that achieving improvements in skin comes down to looking after the skin from the inside out. No one device, ingredient, serum, or diet will ever be a panacea for skin aging.

Use what you feel confident about, if you have doubts about this device buying one will only make you feel remorse over the several hundred $$ you spent on it.

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nubajelly
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Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for answering, NotMeNotYou. Can I ask what you do use for your skin care regimen?
NotMeNotYou
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Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:37 pm      Reply with quote
Well I'm in the midst of developing my own skin care regime. I have very fine skin with no real issues aside from pigmentation and a large dose of sensitivity. Even 10% topical AHA is too irritating for me to use... Shock

So I am more or less forced to use only products that are very gentle on the skin. I use Tanaka massage twice a week, natural cold pressed oils, avocado oil, rosehip oil, apricot kernel oil, lanolin, rice bioferment, sea kelp bioferment & hyaluronic acid. I take a green food supplement everyday and eat 80% raw.

I presently make my own cleansers and creams from these ingredients and do a mask once per week. I'm developing a super-gentle AHA exfoliator for myself as well, but its likely to be less than 5% AHA.

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40, fine porcelain skin, tendency to pigmentation no other issues. Rosehip oil is the cornerstone of my skin care.
nubajelly
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:12 am      Reply with quote
no one else? I was hoping maybe some of the more science savvy members could add to this. I was also hoping someone would tell me I'm wrong...
Toby
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:01 am      Reply with quote
nubajelly,
This has come up before on the LED threads....they are so long....I have directed your concern to someone more knowledgeable than myself and there should be a post shortly Wink
Toby Wink

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UltimaRatio
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:01 am      Reply with quote
I think that these studies say very little unless it is known more precisely how the study was conducted, what was the total energy radiated to the skin, was it in vitro or in vivo, what were the waveleghts used etc.

Upregulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 expression is of course worrying, but the thing is that one cannot say if this is only a short term concequence of IR or a long term. If it is a long term concequence, why long term IR studies show increased elastin and collagen in the skin? It is totally possible that after the IR radiation first something "bad" happens before the beneficial effects take place (the study doesnt necessary tell this). That's why I think that the long term concequeces are crucial for determining whether IR radiation is overall bad or good for the skin. Momentary changes in gene expression etc say very little alone.

According to this study "Long-term evaluation of collagen and elastin following infrared (1100 to 1800 nm) irradiation" 1100 - 1800 nm infrared radiation increased both elastin and collagen. However, if I recall it right, the same wavelenghts caused also muscle thinning. The authors commented that this was due to deeper penetration of the 1100 - 1800 nm wavelengths. Shorter wavelengths (< 1100) shouldnt do that, because they dont penetrate deep enough.
summer2004
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:55 am      Reply with quote
Hi UltimaRadio,

I saw your post at the ImmInst forum.

"...In this study they used wavelengths 900 - 1000 µm and got good results..."


http://www.imminst.org/forum/topic/42969-collagen-production/page__view__findpost__p__433607
Kassy_A
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:31 am      Reply with quote
Toby wrote:
nubajelly,
This has come up before on the LED threads....they are so long....I have directed your concern to someone more knowledgeable than myself and there should be a post shortly Wink
Toby Wink


LOL! Looks like we both went to the same source..

Because I am a 3 year, consistent user of my LED's, I can never have too much confirmation of the safety factor. With that in mind, I once again went to the manufacturer of my products, to see if anything new or dangerous came to *light*.. Laughing


I received this email from Steve Marchese of LightStim. Also included is the post he wrote the last time this subject came up a while back regarding the the green tea PM study.


Hi Kat, Man I hate this crap that goes around the Internet and scares people for no reason. All of the below should help allay any fears. Let's talk tomorrow morning, I have some interesting developments to share, you might be interested in, considering you are a long term LightStim user. I'm going to go have a glass of wine! Ha!

http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Makeup-Skin-Care/Sun-Protection-News-Traditional-Sunscreens-May-Not-Be-Enough This is about UVA and UVB light, neither of which has anything to do with LED or Infrared. Infrared and UVA/UVB light are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Also, there are no clinical studies in this article having to do with Infrared, only an opinion somebody has stated. Ridiculous!!!!


http://www.skintherapyletter.com/2009/14.5/2.html
http://thedermblog.com/2009/02/06/heat-from-the-sun-causes-aging/ Both of these articles are related to the same study out of Germany. The writer of one of the stories found the data on line and wrote about it. The other article actually states it IS the article out of Germany. I had someone post on the forum about this clinical study before. Below is what was posted. It should answer all your questions.

Before reading this old post below, you should also know that we have since verified that the German study was funded by the company that first came out with a green tea cream and that the company suggests that the cream will prevent any potential problems with infrared and aging. Wow, how surprising!

Additionally, for the person who posted and is worried about cancer: we have our red and infrared only LED light being used at Loyola University in conjunction with a compound to cure skin cancer. Also, Dr. Harry T. Whelan, the foremost medical authority on anything medically related with LED and also the doctor who did all of the work for NASA on LEDs in the mid 90's, did a study curing brain tumors using LED and some type of a serum or compound. He also has done studies using red/infrared to heal the sores created in the mouth of people receiving chemotherapy. Also, at his request, LightStim built him a large 2-panel Professional Light with 1130 Infrared (ONLY) LEDs to be used to heal the chest after open heart surgery and another one to reduce inflammation of the brain caused by sever head trauma.

From: Steve Marchese, President of LightStim International, Inc.

Hello ladies, gentlemen and manufacturers of the EDS forum. I am joining in on this thread to just give you a couple of the many things wrong with this study. I have included the full study and the MACHINE that was used in the study for your comparison to your LED devices, regardless of what manufacturer you bought from or are thinking about buying from. My statements will have nothing to do with LightStim, as LightStim is not the issue.


These articles and the study were designed as an outright attack on LED Lights using the 833nm or 850nm wavelength Infrared LEDs, which are used in consumer devices. You will see more studies of this type on other wavelengths as time goes on. This study was about going to an extreme, never even envisioned by any of the LED Light Manufacturers, to show some possibility of a negative reaction. The next paragraph will show you just how far they were willing to go.


All LEDs lights that are sold to the public have 1 or 2 SPECIFIC wavelengths, not the FULL RANGE OF 700 to 1440nm all at once. All LED's lights that are sold to the public put out less than 10 watts and less than 12 joules. All LED lights sold to the public have a per location treatment time of 1 to 10 minutes, except Omnilux at 20 minutes. The study used a water cooled MACHINE, it is not a device- it is a MACHINE, and it puts out 360 to 720 Joules and 520 watts!!!! And according to the study they applied it for 57 to 114 minutes and they applied ALL of the wavelengths from 760 to 1440nm at once to one location!!!! No manufacturer I know of uses above 980nm in a device sold to the public. With that many Joules and Watts I'm surprised they didn't harm the participates in the study!


This is so irresponsible that a one paragraph totally misleading article was put on the internet. When you look at the above statistics and you look at the machine they used in the test, this would be likened to this: A number of manufacturers put out similarly effective sleeping pills that have a dosage of 1 pill per night and is taken by 5 million people over a 20 year period with not a single instance of someone being harmed. Then a study summary comes out on the internet and states nothing more than in a test done in Germany they have concluded that some people may die from taking such a sleeping pill. Everybody gets upset. When you finally get to see the whole study, which you have to pay for by the way, you find that the study consisted of giving a person 500 sleeping pills in one night! That is how irresponsible PubMed is for putting up this paragraph. It was done to sell the full article and I'm sure they were successful. Why else would they not put up this gross discrepancy and make people think that there consumer LED light might have anything to do with this crazy powerful machine that the FDA would never allow into ANYONE'S hands?


The study itself is completely flawed in that they are treating the whole range of 740 to 1440nm. No machine in our industry does such a thing. Every manufacturer either uses 833nm or 850nm, including LightStim, in their anti-aging devices. Who would even think doing a test like this unless they wanted negative results that they could then use to sell a skin care product? The skin care industry is freaked out that you will all stop buying their products because of the cost and effectiveness of LED. Why would anyone do a study and subject people to 360 joules and 520 watts?


LED's have been being used for 30 years with no side effects. Newborns have been put under them to treat Jaundice for over 30 years with no side effects. Dermatologists have used them for over 15 years to treat acne with no side effects. The FDA no longer requires safety testing on normal LED devices because they have a 30 year safely record and there are no clinical studies that have been turned into the FDA and overseen by an Investigational Review Board that show ANY side effects!


All of you on this forum should be proud that you have chosen these safe and effect devices, no matter what company you bought from. They are all good devices. Some might be better than others and some manufacturers might embellish their claims more than others, but they all work to one degree or another and as long as they aren't made in China you won't hear me saying anything bad about any of them.


You will find other studies in the future and just remember that LED's have been being used for medical purposes for over 30 years. It did not start with NASA. Most medically oriented devices use Red and Infrared together. To date, there are no side effects.


The question you have to ask yourselves is who would benefit from funding a study that was designed specifically to discredit LED Light Therapy? Nobody in this day and age can afford to fund a study to discredit a technology which has worked for over 30 years with no side effects unless it benefits themselves in some way.


Best wishes to you all,


Steve Marchese, President, LightStim International, Inc.


LightStim® International, Inc.
The LEADER in LED Light Therapy


SteveM@lightstim.com
Toll Free (800) 298-4010
Local/International (714) 884-3337
http://www.LightStim.com



ETA: My disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been affiliated with LightStim or on their payroll.. I am simply a happy customer, who has had wonderful results with the products.

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♥I'm flattered by all the lovely PM's, but I don't get here much these days. Please don't be afraid to post your quearies to other DIY members who will be glad to help you (or sell you their wares..lol) Still happy with LED, dermarolling and a DIY antioxidant regime. Peace & Hugs to all.♥
nubajelly
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:31 am      Reply with quote
Thank you so much for all that information, everyone! It's going to take some time to digest, but I'm happy to hear this, because it's so hard to realize what variables those studies used (since you have to pay to read the whole study, and they just give you a snippet of it for free).
Toby
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Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:38 pm      Reply with quote
nubajelly,
It is good to do research about whatever we choose to put in our body or put on our skin. I think you idea of working on the skin from the inside out is very wise....most people are looking for a quick fix or a band aid approach. At 55 I am trying to cover all my bases with nutrition, topicals, facial exercises, and devices. I have have witness very positive results with most things I have tried but the LED lights have been the most enjoyable. I started using lights two years ago and really like the results. It does make me wonder what I might have been able to achieve if I had started sooner.....Oh well glad I got on board when I did! Very Happy
As a side note....I have used my red LED light on poison ivy and it completely cleared with within a couple of days...normally it takes at least 10 days. Also I use one of my lights on my dog he has a condition similar to arthritis...it really helps....I think he likes it as much as me Laughing !

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cm5597
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Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:39 am      Reply with quote
The general rule of thumb is that the shorter the wavelength (the higher in energy) the light is, the deeper it penetrates the skin...so gamma rays, x-rays, and UV rays penetrate more deeply into the skin. IR (infrared) light is actually less energetic than visible light, so it's less of a concern than rays from the sun (which are more visible light than other types, but nonetheless include all types of light). But even among UV rays, there are some rays that are considered beneficial (like the ones that simulate vitamin D synthesis) and among visible light and IR light, certain wavelengths have proven beneficial in stimulating positive effects in the skin, like wound healing. For example, IR light is used in expensive detoxifying saunas (ever heard of infrared saunas), so it can have great benefits. From what I've read, the majority of research on IR light is so far positive or neutral. HTH Smile

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