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Thread: Update on Super-Duper LED array

  1. #1
    Senior Member IowaDavid's Avatar
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    Default Update on Super-Duper LED array

    Hi, everyone. I'm posting to update my progress with my homemade LED array. Currently, I am using an array that has 876 red LEDs at 660nm wavelength and a 30 degree viewing angle. I do between 20-60 minutes of total exposure to this light source each day (it varies on how impatient I am or how interesting NPR is during my exposure time. :o ).

    Things that struck me as "momentous" of late--whereas I used to not be able to hold one of my cats up near my face or torso (ambient warmth), today, I was lying down on the couch, with a blanket on me, and had my cat on my chest for over an hour. The back of my neck/head (where all the brain-blood goes through and triggers the hypothalamus to initiate a flush) was on a normal pillow. I felt the warmth at the back of my head, but this didn't initiate a flush, and I was with kitty for 90 minutes or so in this position, sort of testing my limits. He jumped away, however, so I didn't get a good endurance test. Also--I had no fan on me during this time to cool me.

    I don't need my Chillow anymore, either. I can actually sleep on a normal pillow and wake up looking normal--even with the cumulative contact heat with the pillow as a trigger for one side of my face or the other. Also, I'm finding clonidine is less and less a mandatory medicine. If I had to choose, I would choose 60 minutes of red-light therapy each day over my clonidine.

    Anyway, I know some of these "forward" steps sound ridiculous to some of the people here. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself when I consider how my lifestyle has been altered by this disease. But, right now, having my cat on my chest for 90 minutes while covered by a blanket, without use of cold water or misting of my face, while the back of my head is warming itself against a couch pillow--that's hardcore progress for my case.

    I just wanted to share my experience. I attribute a large proportion of my progress to red-light therapy.

    We all know our faces and how they react to tiny things--there's a reason we check our faces for diffuse redness, flushing, several times a day.

    I've been using red light therapy for around 8 months now.

    I've been dealing with rosacea since I was 21. I'm 27 now.

    To be frank: red light therapy is the single best option I have found for actually suppressing--beating the beast back--to date.

    I'm coming close to 30 thermal laser treatments. I still get them, because they serve a purpose that my other treatment modalities can't fulfill: they take out damaged vasculature and diffuse redness.

    However, given my anecdotal experience with red light therapy--

    If one of my closest friends came to me saying he had rosacea, I would tell him exactly 1) What equipment to buy and 2) How to assemble it for self-treatment.

    I really don't know how to make this more explicit:

    If you're interested in red light therapy, PM me. I can show you how to build your own unit. I have no monetary interest here. Also, I'd venture to say that red light therapy will not cause irritability or flushing as a response, when used appropriately. However, if someone can show me differently I would LOVE to find where the level of red light exposure becomes detrimental.

    Anyway, while we're all waiting for topicals that will wrangle our common disease down, it is difficult for me to sit back and be silent about a treatment modality that has helped me so much, when I continue to see laser doctors that can't talk to me intelligently about front-line rosacea light treatment and no beneficial treatment modalities offered for recalcitrant cases like myself.

    OK. :o

    I don't want to sound stale, and I feel like an audio loop on infinite repeat, but this is, in my estimation, the best available treatment modality I've found and used.
    Again, PM me--it's not difficult to build your own unit. I taught myself the wiring and physics.
    I find it idiotic to sit here and talk about herbals or topicals or future-drugs when one could be helping one's self each day while waiting.

    But, again, this is all anecdotal experience--I am just sharing my personal experience and understanding.

    David
    35 year-old male
    Erythmatotelangiectatic rosacea & Ocular
    20 + laser treatments.
    Toleraine Soothing Light Facial Fluid for moisturizer. I don't use a special cleanser. Clonidine daily; klonopin sometimes.
    BEST and CURRENT TREATMENT I use: Low-Level Red Light Therapy LED array.
    Please feel free to PM me with your low-level red light therapy (LLRLT) questions. I'm happy to help if I can.

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    Do the LEDs give off any heat?

    I tried one of the fluorescent units and even the small amount of heat they give off flushed me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member IowaDavid's Avatar
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    Yes. Concentrated LED arrays can give off heat. However, LEDs are very efficient at delivering energy at a specific wavelength of light, rather than sending off thermal, unhelpful photons.

    UV is totally different from low-level redlight therapy (660nm vs. 420nm). That's roughly analagous to equating sunlight to IPL--"Light is light--it doesn't make any difference."

    I use that example to make it clear: We have several different modalities of light treatment available to us, and each of them must be understood separately. I'm just trying to share my experiences with my low-level red light LED array.


    David
    35 year-old male
    Erythmatotelangiectatic rosacea & Ocular
    20 + laser treatments.
    Toleraine Soothing Light Facial Fluid for moisturizer. I don't use a special cleanser. Clonidine daily; klonopin sometimes.
    BEST and CURRENT TREATMENT I use: Low-Level Red Light Therapy LED array.
    Please feel free to PM me with your low-level red light therapy (LLRLT) questions. I'm happy to help if I can.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Peter's Avatar
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    Hello David

    It amazes me how far you have come now with your LED now and you deserve much credit for having the guts and expertise to go out there and build your own unit. You also should be thanked for being prepared to spend your own time helping others to follow this form of treatment and also advise them as to construct their own units.

    You said:

    To be frank: red light therapy is the single best option I have found for actually suppressing--beating the beast back--to date.

    Exactly my view also. I have been using red light treatment for rosacea since 1998 and although initially it was combined with an oral and topical drug there is no doubt in my mind that it was the reason that I got the condition under control.

    You said:

    I find it idiotic to sit here and talk about herbals or topicals or future-drugs when one could be helping one's self each day while waiting.

    Could not agree more. Everyday I read all the hype on this Forum about new drugs supposedly in the pipeline for he future but nothing that we can use now. I know we must look ahead but sometimes I wonder if these wonder drugs will ever happen and perhaps they are more the figment of someone's imagination. We both know from our own experiences that red light can help rosacea and from others we have been in contact with there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there to suggest that it definitely a treatment that needs further investigation. I wrote previously about a clinical trial on using red light (LED) for rosacea due to take place at Hammersmith Hospital in London under the supervision of Tony Chu - Consultant Dermatologist. The last I heard was that they were ready to start but when I spoke to Tony just before Christmas he told me that there had been a delay due to having to reapply for the Ethics Test again so there are still no dates yet for commencement. As soon as I get any news on this I will let you know.

    Keep up the good work David and please update us on your progress.

    Regards

    Peter

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    Peter does have a very good after picture. However, before I decide how good his results are, I'd like to see a before picture as well.

    Because as much result as LED red lights have given you, they have make my condition (especially flushing) that much worse.

    No offence Petey.

  6. #6
    Senior Member IowaDavid's Avatar
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    I would be very interested to hear what Dr. Chu's thoughts are on this modality, Peter. Please, keep us informed.
    35 year-old male
    Erythmatotelangiectatic rosacea & Ocular
    20 + laser treatments.
    Toleraine Soothing Light Facial Fluid for moisturizer. I don't use a special cleanser. Clonidine daily; klonopin sometimes.
    BEST and CURRENT TREATMENT I use: Low-Level Red Light Therapy LED array.
    Please feel free to PM me with your low-level red light therapy (LLRLT) questions. I'm happy to help if I can.

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    I hope my post does not come across negatively. My intention is to tell my story, not judge another person's positive reaction to LED therapy. And in telling this story, I hope that all will see that this is not a reflection of what may occur to them if they use LED, but just my individual reaction.

    A while ago, I got caught up in the hype about LED therapy and from the stories of a few, I decided that it may be a good adjunctive therapy between IPL treatments. So I ordered an all red LED array from acnelamp.com at over $300.

    I began using it twice a day for 15 minutes a time. From the start, I noticed that the small amount of heat emitted, would induce a flush that took quite a while to go down. I thought that this would settle, but it didn't. Everytime I used the lamp it would induce quite a serious flush. Because of the daily flushing, my condition worsened, so eventually after 3 months of diligent use, I stopped the lamp. Immediately after, my skin returned to it's normal healthy state with minimal flushing. I realised that the twice daily flushings were actually causing more damage to my skin, much like a repeated flush to other triggers would.

    This is just my story and I'm glad that I tried it otherwise I'd always be left wondering. I think it is very unrealistic to expect 100% success with any sort of treatment, whether it be IPL/Laser, skincare, sunscreen, medications etc. What works magically for one could spell disaster for another.

    If LED works for you then more power to you, but for me, the medications, topicals and treatments mentioned by Geoffrey recently (which are already on the shelves), and those which will be available to us very soon, have benefitted me enormously and have had a major positive impact on my rosacea.

    Good luck to those who decide to try LED therapy though. Unfortunately for me, it set me back for a short time and burnt a hole in my pocket.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IowaDavid's Avatar
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    Yeah--I had that same sort of reaction as well when I was using the Acnelamp all-red unit. I was more sensitive then, but it still discouraged me from using it more frequently. I'm not sure why the flushing occurred--part of it may have been the angle I was at, trying to stay within the best light-distribution zone of the LED heads (I used to flush when I was sitting or bending in an odd position). I honestly don't know. And, for god's sake, if something's working for you--use it. This disease is so troublesome because we all react differently to different therapies or triggers.

    Basically, I'll say this: as I posted above, I'm using 876 red LEDs on my array right now. It's FAR brighter than my original Acnelamp model I got (72 total red LEDs--and I'm not sure what their output is). I would venture to guess that if red light were the cause of my initial flushing/hesitation, then I would have hit a very hard wall by now. Also, I wouldn't have pursued this modality with as much interest as I have.

    But, yes, as you said, mermaid--there is no panacea for this disease.
    I find it difficult to see why red light @ 660nm would be harmful for rosacea (at a low-level of ujoules/cm2), but as we don't have any good research right now to explain why this modality works for some with rosacea, we won't have any good answers--just anecdotal evidence.

    One positive benefit that I have seen that's non-rosacea related is the smoothing of those fine lines one gets on the face in their mid to late twenties--I'm guessing it has to do with boosting collagen in the facial skin, but I'm not sure. Just something I've noticed.

    David
    35 year-old male
    Erythmatotelangiectatic rosacea & Ocular
    20 + laser treatments.
    Toleraine Soothing Light Facial Fluid for moisturizer. I don't use a special cleanser. Clonidine daily; klonopin sometimes.
    BEST and CURRENT TREATMENT I use: Low-Level Red Light Therapy LED array.
    Please feel free to PM me with your low-level red light therapy (LLRLT) questions. I'm happy to help if I can.

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    I concur with Mermaid, I have had a very negative experience with this form of treatment. I purchased a Dermalux unit for 150+ which is very very expensive; and used it twice a day, 5 times a week, for about 3-4months.

    My reason for starting this treatment was to clear up my facial acne problems. Back then I had no problems with rosacea/cheek redness. Unfortunately I had to stop using the unit since I realised it had created some form of imprinted redness on my cheeks (aka butterfly effect) which I have never had before.

    Oh if only I could go back in time!!!

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    Senior Member Peter's Avatar
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    The name is Peter and I've only ever been called "Petey" by one person - Hello Amanda !

    I do not use LED light, so suggest you follow my posts more closely otherwise you will give out the wrong information.

    Your post gives no information at all so I have doubts over its authenticity and its intended purpose.

    Perhaps you would like to tell us about the LED red lights you have used, i.e the make, where you got them from, the cost, how long you used them and your actual regime ? I am sure we would all be interested in seeing the details.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon, Amanda.

    PETER

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