Archives For February 2016

Light Therapy & Psoriasis

“Having access to information about your condition, and working with your health professional to make choices about your treatment, puts you in control and in the driving seat. Having the right information and support can prevent you from getting trapped in a cycle of repeat prescriptions, can help you to understand your options and can ensure that your psoriasis is well managed in the right way for you.”

-Patient Information Forum

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an extremely common skin condition. There are more than 3 million US cases of the condition reported each year. Psoriasis changes the life cycle of skin cells. According to MayoClinic, a well known website dedicated to medical studies, it “causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful.” ( 

Psoriasis is hard to keep under control and it tends to show up more than one would hope. It is classified as a chronic disease, which means it is long lasting and difficult. The disease can be a rollercoaster, going up and down in severity over a course of time. 
There are many different types of Psoriasis. The most common form of the skin condition is called Plaque Psoriasis and it occurs across the body. Nail Psoriasis affects the nails on the fingers and toes. Scalp Psoriasis as you would guess, appears on the scalp of the head. Guttate Psoriasis is most common in children and young adults and affects the trunk, arms, legs, and scalp. Inverse Psoriasis affects the armpits, groin, under breasts, and genitals. Pustular Psoriasis is uncommon and occurs on hands, feet, and fingertips. Erythrodermic Psoriasis is also uncommon and affects the entire body. 

The Cause….
The exact cause of Psoriasis is yet to be determined but many studies have shown it being linked to the immune system. MayoClinic came to the rescue and explained more specifically how the immune system and Psoriasis are linked to each other. The site explained, 

“One key cell is a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte or T cell. Normally, T cells travel throughout the body to detect and fight off foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. If you have psoriasis, however, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection.

Overactive T cells trigger other immune responses. The effects include dilation of blood vessels in the skin around the plaques and an increase in other white blood cells that can enter the outer layer of skin.

These changes result in an increased production of both healthy skin cells and more T cells and other white blood cells. This causes an ongoing cycle in which new skin cells move to the outermost layer of skin too quickly — in days rather than weeks. Dead skin and white blood cells can’t slough off quickly enough and build up in thick, scaly patches on the skin’s surface. This usually doesn’t stop unless treatment interrupts the cycle.

Just what causes T cells to malfunction in people with psoriasis isn’t entirely clear. Researchers have found genes that are linked to the development of psoriasis, but environmental factors also play a role.” (

The Symptoms…
As discussed, there are many different types of Psoriasis. However, the most common version of the skin condition is Plaque Psoriasis. The symptoms are…

  • Plaques of red, inflamed skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales. These plaques may be itchy and painful and sometimes crack and bleed. In severe cases, the plaques will grow and merge into one another, covering large areas.
  • Disorders of the fingernails and toenails, including discoloration and pitting of the nails. The nails may also begin to crumble or detach from the nail bed.
  • Scaly plaques on the scalp.
  • Small areas of bleeding where the involved skin is scratched.

(Symptoms list borrowed from

How Would You Get Psoriasis?
Psoriasis can begin for a great deal of reasons. It can flare up again for just as many reasons. If you struggle with Psoriasis or want to avoid getting it, it is important to know and avoid the triggers of the skin condition. The causes include…

  • Infections (strep throat and skin infections) 
  • Skin injuries (cuts, scrapes, bug bites, sunburn)
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Unnormal alcoholic consumption levels
  • Cold weather 
  • Specific medications 

What is Ultraviolet Lighting?

Ultraviolet Light Therapy is one of the many forms of light therapy currently being used to help treat skin conditions and diseases. Ultraviolet or UV light is extremely close in similarity to the Rays being output by the sun. It is typically used in the form of fluorescent bulbs that are specifically designed to create a special output of UV Light. 

Light Therapy & Psoriasis…

Although there are many medications that can be taken to help with Psoriasis, going the natural route is always going to be the body’s best option. Light Therapy/Phototherapy is all natural and has no side affects. 

When it comes to Ultraviolet Lighting, Psoriasis is typically treated with either Ultraviolet Light B Phototherapy or Psoralen and Ultraviolet Light B. Ultraviolet Light B is actually present in sunlight and is an extremely effective form of treatment. Ultraviolet Light B slows the growth of the skin cells being affected by penetrating the skin. When treating the disease, the skin must be exposed to an artificial form of Ultraviolet Light B. The treatment should be done on a regular schedule for a specific amount of time. Sometimes Psoriasis symptoms become worse before they begin to subside. It’s not something that people typically want to hear, but it will get better. 

Ultraviolet Light A is also present in real sunlight. This form of light is also used to treat Psoriaisis, however is does not become effective until it is combined with Psoralen. Psoralen is a light sensitive medication that is applied topically or orally. This form of the treatment also slows down the growth of the skin cells on the body. The Ultraviolet Light A with Psoralen treatment is performed in the same fashion as Ultraviolet Light B, meaning the patient exposes themself to the artificial light on a regular schedule for a set amount of time. 

Both of these options can be done in a doctor’s office or in the comfort of your own home. However, people dealing with this skin disease should always discuss treatment options with their doctor prior to undergoing treatment. 

Good Ol’ Sunlight!

If you live somewhere sunny and are looking for the most natural form of treatment possible, use the sun! Ultraviolet Light B, from the form of treatment previously discussed works the same way outdoors from natural sunlight as it does during treatment in an office. 

Always be sure to avoid sunburns and over exposure, but start with short treatments of limited sunlight and see how you react. Five to ten minutes of afternoon sunlight equally exposed to all affected parts of the skin is a great way to start. If your body reacts well, continually increase the exposure time by 30 seconds. 

Are you struggling with Psoriasis or know someone who is? Take in some of this wisdom on Light Therapy or pass it along! 

Nike Strobe Light Glasses


Nike has released a pair of glasses meant to improve the overall performance of athletes. The glasses, which have proven extremely difficult to find for purchase, have been effectively improving athlete’s balance, stamina, focus, precision, resistance and more.

The Nike Strobe Glasses work by temporarily handicapping the athlete’s vision while they are practicing. Similar to how baseball players weigh down their baseball bats, or runners drag something heavy behind them, the glasses are intended to give athlete’s that certain “edge”, to set them apart from the others. The glasses have indeed been reported to increase reflexes and timing. The strobe lights inside the glasses actually blind the athlete’s for a short amount of time sequences. Doing this makes it more difficult to perform drills revolving around balance and reaction. The drill should not be unattainable or inconceivable, just more difficult.

To test the glasses, the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes became test subjects. The test only included eleven players, but the results were significant and worth reporting. For the study, the NHL players were instructed to perform a basic skating and puck handling drill. The drill was to be followed by either a shot at a goal or a long pass. Both were graded for accuracy. Once the drills were completed, the performance of each player was documented. The next stage of the study was sixteen days of pre-season training. Some players wore the Nike Strobe Glasses every day and some were instructed not to. Ultimately, researchers found that the glasses actually did improve the performance of the players. The accuracy of the players who wore the glasses improved, and those who were instructed not to remained the same.

Sports revolve around the concept of competition. And in a world of competition, it is believed you need something to set you apart in order to be the best. Being able to perform at your absolute best, no matter what happens, is what the Nike Strobe Glasses believe they can aid in achieving.

When the glasses first hit the market, they were sold for $300. Unfortunately, Nike has discontinued them. It has not been reported what the reasoning was, but it is still possible to find the glasses on EBay and similar sites. There’s also a Japanese company that makes a pair, if you’re interested in trying a newer set.

We haven’t experimented with the glasses, but we’re always interested in how different forms of light can improve your life! So if you give them a go, be sure to report back!

Blue Light Therapy & Acne

“It is easy to display a wound, the proud scars of combat. It is hard to show a pimple”
-Leonard Cohen, The Favorite Game 

What Is Acne?
Probably a silly question to ask, right? We all know what acne is. It’s those bright red zits that always showed up at the most inopportune times when you were 16. It’s those pestering black heads all across your nose that you can never seem to squeeze out. It’s those patches of red spots showing up on your cheeks when you feel far too old for it. We can all define acne, I’m sure. But why does our skin react the way it does?
Acne is an extremely common skin condition. According to HealthLine, a very common website dedicated to explaining medical conditions and the intricate details of them. In the Symptom Checker section of the website, HealthLine explains just what acne is.

     “Acne occurs when the pores on your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria. Each pore on your skin is the opening to a follicle. The follicle is made up of a hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland. The oil gland releases sebum (oil), which travels up the hair, out of the pore, and onto your skin. The sebum keeps your skin lubricated and soft. If you develop acne, this may be because of one or more problems in this lubrication process. These possible causes include:

  • too much oil or sebum is being produced by the follicle
  • dead skin cells are accumulating in the pore
  • bacteria has built up in the pore

An overabundance of oil, a pore clogged by dead skin cells, and bacteria all contribute to the development of pimples. A zit appears when the bacteria grows in the clogged pore and the oil is unable to escape.”

If your skin is repeatedly being affected by your pores being plugged, you may be struggling with acne. And no, you’re not crazy because you’re forty years old and have acne. Acne can affect people of all ages. From young children just entering puberty, to residents in nursing homes. Life isn’t like the movies and sometimes you just get acne.

What Causes Acne?

Acne can be caused by a wide array of things. Hormonal changes, such as puberty or pregnancy can cause temporary acne. There are certain medications that can increase the risk as well. Birth control pills and corticosteroids are just a couple examples. Diet also plays a major role in developing acne. Unhealthy diets, diets high in refined sugars, and diets high carbohydrates such as bread and chips make the body more susceptible.

People assume that they’re just not washing their face enough, or they need a new face cream, but most of the time that’s not the case. Hey, maybe washing your face did the trick. But for most people, that’s just not the case. Most people need some medical treatment without the crazy costs. Light Therapy is known to treat acne, especially in the form of Blue Light.
What Is Blue Light Therapy?

Blue Light Therapy is form of Photodynamic Therapy or Light Therapy that uses UltraViolet lights to treat condition related to the skin. Blue Light Therapy is proven to have treated some skin cancers. It also aids in minimizing superficial skin leisures, acne, wrinkles, and more. Blue Light Therapy has been working miracles such as warding off skin cancer, so why not take your chances and try to cure your acne. There’s a pretty high chance you’re going to achieve your goal.
Blue Light Therapy & Acne…
Blue Light Therapy helps cure acne by killing the bacteria in your pores called Propionibacterium acnes. This bacteria can cause inflammation. Propionibacterium acnes are extremely sensitive to blue light, thus making it easy to eliminate the bacteria in the oil glands on your face and body. Most Blue Light Therapy devices use infrared light (heat), which helps by shrinking the size of the oil glands. This leaves the skin with less oil and bacteria. Once the bacteria is removed from the skin, inflammation on the skin will go down. Inflammation is associated with red pimples, which is the most obvious sign of acne. Repeating the treatment as needed and recommended with effectively decrease the amount of blemishes on the skin and eventually restore the skin to it’s normal and natural self.
Blue Light Therapy can be used at home or in a dermatologist office depending on the patient’s needs. At home devices have been proven to have great results, which is definitely a lot simpler and less expensive than in office treatments. However, in office treatments are typically more aggressive due to the size of the technology. This form of the treatment can help treat a large area in a short amount of time.

Lisa Samalonis, a registered Dermatologist who writes for, took to the website’s blog to address the benefits of Blue Light Therapy. Formatting her article in the form of a Question and Answer, Samalonis answered a question asking which of her patients she would recommend Blue Light Therapy to. Samalonis wrote,

     “I recommend the blue light treatment to my acne patients with red pimples (inflammatory acne). In my clinical trial with an at-home use blue light (Silk’n Blue, Home Skinovations Inc.), my patients had good results treating not only mild, but moderate and even severe, cystic or scarring acne. The device features blue light pulses that destroy bacteria within follicles and pores beneath the skin’s surface, treating mild to moderate acne and helping to achieve bright, clear skin in the comfort of the patients’ own home. Continued usage resulted in a significant improvement for all types of inflammatory acne. All patients with concerns over unwanted acne are candidates for treatment, regardless of their skin tone or severity of acne.” (
If you’re struggling with acne, no matter what you’re age is, no matter what your skin color is, Blue Light Therapy is the treatment for you. It’s natural, has no known side affects, and is being proven every day to cure a skin condition that more than 85% of people in the United States deals with. What’s stopping you?

Light Therapy For Hair Loss


Let’s Talk Hair Loss…
Hair loss occurs when hair from the scalp and body begins to fall out or stop growing. When most people think of hair loss, they think of old age. But the fact of the matter is that many people deal with hair loss every day. Hair loss can be brought about by old age, heredity, medical conditions, certain medications, hormonal changes, and more. Men, women, and children can all struggle with hair loss. Hair loss can appear in multiple different ways. The look of the loss depends on what is causing it. For some people, the loss is gradual. For others, it’s far too sudden. For both of those situations, the loss can occur on the scalp, the body, or both. Sometimes hair loss is just temporary, due to a new medication or stress. And for others, it’s permanent.
What Causes It…
If you’re reading this article and find yourself freaking out because you remember having to clean all the hair out of your shower drain this morning…don’t be alarmed. People typically shed fifty to one hundred hairs each day. This normally doesn’t cause a noticeable amount of hair loss, because new hairs are growing in at the exact same time. So having to clean your shower drain once a week or comb out the hair stuck in your brush every couple days doesn’t mean you’re going bald. Hair loss occurs when the normal routine of hair shedding along with it growing back simultaneously is disturbed. Or in some cases, when your hair follies are destroyed. So if you’re noticing that each time you clean out that hair brush your hair feels a bit thinner, you should keep reading.
Hair loss can occur for a wide array of reasons. Hair loss due to family history, (heredity) is the most common cause hair loss. Heredity hair loss is most commonly associated with baldness, which refers to an extreme amount of hair loss from the scalp. But the age at which your hair loss begins is also linked to heredity. The rate at which the hair is lost and the extent of the baldness is also hereditary. Baldness is most common in men and some children begin to struggle with it as soon as they reach puberty.
Hormonal changes and other medical conditions are also leading causes of hair loss. Hormonal changes such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, etc can create an imbalance and cause temporary hair loss. Alopecia Areata, which is a non scarring hair loss, occurs when the immune system attacks hair follicles. When attacked, the hair begins to fall out, leaving round bald patches on the scalp and skin. Ringworm and other scalp infections are also known to result in hair loss. As for skin disorders, Lichen Planus, Lupus, and Sarcoidosis can leave people with hair loss. Trichotillomania, which is a hair pulling disorder, is more common than you would think. This conditions causes people to have an urge to pull out their hair from all areas of their body.
Medications are also known to cause hair loss. Drugs for cancer, depression, heart problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, too much Vitamin A, and birth control all have a similar side affect…loss of hair. Radiation therapy, trigger (emotional) events, and certain hair styles and hair products can have this side affect too.
The Symptoms…
MayoClinic, an extremely reputable website for all things medical, made a list of the most common signs and symptoms for hair loss. MayoClinic explained…
Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:
  • Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women as they age. In men, hair often begins to recede from the forehead in a line that resembles the letter M. Women typically retain the hairline on the forehead but have a broadening of the part in their hair.
  • Circular or patchy bald spots. Some people experience smooth, coin-sized bald spots. This type of hair loss usually affects just the scalp, but it sometimes also occurs in beards or eyebrows. In some cases, your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out.
  • Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.
  • Full-body hair loss. Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back.
  • Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp. This is a sign of ringworm. It may be accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling and, at times, oozing.
(Signs and symptoms list borrowed from
Dealing With Hair Loss…
Some people go with the flow and let their hair slowly fall out, not being bothered too much. While others wear hats, part their hair differently, buy wigs and toupees, cover up with a scarf, and so on. Some also choose the medical route, finding a treatment that is known to restore growth to their hair. The most used treatment for hair regrowth is Light Therapy.
What Is Light Therapy?
Light Therapy is a design of treatment that uses different forms of light to treat a vast majority of conditions and disorders. Doctors of all sciences have been using light therapy on their patients for years now. Thanks to the convenience of new light therapy products, it is now easy and accessible to use Light Therapy products at home. Light therapy has been helping with hair regrowth for years now and there is no sign of struggle.
Hair Loss and Light Therapy…
When it comes to hair regrowth, red light therapy is the way to go. A Low Level Light Therapy or Low Light Laser Therapy (LLLT), is typically just what the doctor ordered. This refers to the use of red and near infrared light therapy. The treatment does not need to be in the form of a laser to work, but some people prefer it. Wavelengths in the range of 630 to 670 nanometers are most commonly used for this form of Light Therapy.
How Does It Work?
Light Therapy Options, a website dedicated to all forms of Light Therapy, wrote a piece about red light therapy and how it can be used for hair regrowth. In the site’s “frequently asked questions” portion of the article, there is a fairly technical explanation of how the treatment works. The site describes,
     “Visible red light is capable of being absorbed by the molecules of the hair follicle and can stimulate the growth or re-growth of the hair following a natural biological reaction. The light must be absorbed for this reaction to occur.
     From a more technical standpoint, the reason that red light is absorbed is because of a substance called cytochrome c, which is an intracellular enzyme. That enzyme can absorb the light within that range and is also responsible for stimulating the hair follicle by sending it certain signals. Those signals promote gene activity and lower apoptosis (cell death regulated by the genes), as well as other reactions.
     This has been known since 1967 when it was accidentally discovered by a Hungarian scientist who noticed that exposed, shaved mice experience faster hair re-growth.”
What To Use…
There are a few different ways to use red light to help trigger your regrowth. So whether you’re on a new medication, your father is bald and you’re feeling it coming on, or you’re dealing with one of the many other possibilities, it’s probably time to figure out what’s going to work best for you. One form of Light Therapy is to use a wand. This is typically hand held and can be held the required distance away from your scalp or body for a certain amount of time. There are also panels that can be set up at a place of your convenience. For example, you watch tv every day around 7PM. Set the red light panel up on it’s stand, just above your head. It will work it’s magic for the required amount of time while you just go about your daily routine. Light Therapy beds and laser treatments at your doctor/dermatologists office are also viable options.
There are no known side affects for light therapy in relation to hair loss and hair regrowth, making it one of the best options if you or someone you know is dealing with this difficult circumstance. What’s the worst that can happen? You get to donate back that wig?!

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Try Light Therapy!


None of us is perfect, and honestly, more people than you would think struggle with serious disorders that affect their every day lives. Light therapy has been proven effective in a wide array of scenarios. A light box imitates outdoor light, which boosts energy levels and improves health, as well as multiple other perks.The process of using a light box and other forms of the therapy have been successfully treating all sorts of disorders. These conditions range from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), to curing acne that just won’t go away…plus a little bit of everything in between. Now lets talk…why should you try light therapy?

1. Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression…

If you struggle with any form of depression, light therapy may be a game changer for you. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression that usually strikes annually during fall and winter. For some people, symptoms for SAD occur during summer and spring, but it is rare. Symptoms for the disorder include irritability, trouble getting along with others, weight gain and major appetite changes, low energy levels, extreme sensitivity to rejection, oversleeping, and an achey, heavy feeling throughout the limbs.

For people with depression, aside from Seasonal Affective Disorder, light therapy can help by simply using a light box to bring their energy levels back to normal. Depression is usually apparent in conjunction with lack of sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disorders. Circadian Rhythm Disorders are changes in a person’s normal rhythm of their 24 hours cycles. When the patterns of the brain wave activity drastically change due to work, pregnancy, medications, time zone changes, routine swaps, and medical issues such as Alzheimer’s, it is hard for the brain to keep up. Making it is easy for depression to creep in. Light therapy can help bring your brain and energy levels back to a point that is difficult to reach without any assistance.

2. Mental Disorders Can See The Light…

More than three million people in the United States are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, also referred to as Manic Depression each year. The disorder brings about episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Most people struggling with the disorder undergo periods of elevated moods, either high or low, and increased irritability. A reduced need for sleep, depression symptoms, and loss of interest in passions are all common occurrences.

Same as Bipolar Disorder, there are more than three millions US cases of Insomnia per year. Insomnia is usually self-diagnosable and the symptoms include difficulty falling asleep and remaining asleep. People that struggle with Insomnia are often overly tired, lack concentration, show signs of depression, are extremely irritable, and suffer from headaches.

Unfortunately, neither disorder can be cured, but light therapy has been proven to show signs of improvement. Light therapy helps keep the biological clock on time in people with Bipolar Disorder and Insomnia. This clock can be easily agitated and can throw off sleep and wake cycles which are known to stir up symptoms such as mania and depression. Using light therapy aids in regulating biological patterns, in turn reducing mood swings and major brain wave changes.

People who struggle with SAD, depression, and Bipolar Disorder, often face other mental disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia. The therapy indirectly improves mood, thus reducing the need to binge or purge. Or in the case of Anorexia, people feel the need to consume more food than normal for them.

3. Psoriasis, Acne and Other Skin Disorders…

Light therapy is extremely effective for skin conditions such as Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Scleroderma, and many other disorders. The process works by decreasing cell growth and inflammation that create skin issues. Psoriasis and acne, both very common skin conditions, have both shown results when treated with light therapy processes. Do you struggle with any of these? Most of us do or have at some point.

Psoriasis occurs when skin cells build up and form itchy and scaly patches on your body. Using a light box in a scenario such as this would slow down your cell growth and bring this painful condition to a halt.

There are also forms of light therapy that can improve the cosmetic appearance of your skin, for issues such as acne. Acne, which appears in the form of pimples, blackheads, and bumps, arises when hair follicles plug with dead skin cells and oil. There are many different forms of light therapy to aid in getting rid of acne, and most have proven effective for the common issues of every day pimples or “zits.” Light processes work in this scenario by killing the bacteria in your skin from the inside out in less than fifteen minutes of treatment.

4. Say Goodbye To Pills…

Why take pills for your disorders when there may not be a need? Trying different forms of light therapy and seeing results may mean that you can cancel those prescriptions your doctor keeps filling. Antidepressants bring along a whole slew of side effects that are far from fun. These include nausea, weight gain, fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, sexual problems, blurred vision, dry mouth, stomach issues such as constipation, and much more.

Also, either decreasing the amount of pills you take or just cutting them all together can be extremely beneficial if you are either pregnant or breastfeeding. Save that baby! Switching to a more natural form of medication, such as light therapy, will not only help you, but it will keep your baby healthy and safe.

5. Undergoing Study For Much Much More…

Light therapy is currently under the microscope for conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Premenstrual Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Attention Deficit/Hyperacticity Disorder (ADHD), jet lag, and more. If you find yourself struggling with any of these, light therapy may be the path you want to follow. Light therapy has not been proven to cure any of these conditions quite yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

As long as you’re going about light therapy the correct way, it can’t hurt you. Why not give it a try? It could drastically improve your life.

Seasonal Depression & Light Therapy


What Is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal Depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a mood disorder and mild form of depression. Unlike major depression, seasonal depression is temporary. It occurs at the same time each year, usually in the fall and winter months. Some people experience seasonal depression in the opposite months. Leaving them struggle with depression in the spring and summer and not finding happiness again until fall and winter. This form of the depression is much less common. Seasonal extremely frequent, ranking in with more than 3 million US cases each year. It is typically treatable and not a long term condition. The disorder typically resolves within months.What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms for winter and fall Seasonal Affective Disorder may include…

• Irritability
• Tiredness or low energy
• Problems getting along with other people
• Hypersensitivity to rejection
• Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
• Oversleeping
• Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbs
• Weight gain

Symptoms for spring and summer Seasonal Affective Disorder may include…

• Depression
• Trouble sleeping (Insomnia)
• Weight loss
• Poor appetite
• Agitation or anxiety

(Symptoms lists from

Why Does Seasonal Depression Occur?

We do not know exactly why Seasonal Depression occurs and what causes it. However, many studies have been done in attempt to figure it out. Our biological clock (our Circadian Rhythm), is one factor. Because of the increased amount of darkness, and decreased amount of sunlight in the fall and winter months, our body’s internal clock is off. This can lead to feelings of depression. Another factor is our Serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical in our brains that affects our moods. When the amount of sunlight that we are exposed to reduces, our Serotonin levels drop, prompting depression. The third reason is our Melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone found in our brains that anticipates the daily onset of darkness. When our light levels are off, for examples, when it gets dark at 4PM due to daylight savings, our brain gets confused and releases Melatonin. This tricks our brain and body and messes up our brain waves as well as our energy levels.

The Huffington Post took to their Healthy Living blog to discuss “10 Things Everyone Should Know About Seasonal Depression.” Lindsay Holmes, Healthy Living Editor, went in detail explaining how Seasonal Depression should be analyzed and discussed with a doctor. Holmes claimed that sometimes Seasonal Depression is a sign of underlying depression. She also defended the condition by stating that it’s not something to joke about and it’s an actual serious illness. For her eighth and ninth reasons on the blog, she explained where the depression seems to be the most prevalent as well as who seems to deal with it the most. Holmes explained,

“It’s more prevalent in northern states. People who live in colder, cloudier climates may be more susceptible to the disorder. Northern states have higher rates of SAD than southern states, according to the University of California, Irvine.

SAD is more common in women. Studies show women have higher rates of depression than men, including SAD, the New York Times reported. However, that doesn’t mean men are immune. Depression doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or any biological factor.”

What Is Light Therapy?

Light Therapy is the concept of using different forms of light to treat a wide array of conditions. Doctors of all sciences have been using light therapy on their patients for years now. Thanks to the convenience of new light therapy products, it is not easy and accessible to use Light Therapy products at home. Light therapy has been helping to cure Seasonal Depression on insane levels and there is no sign of it stopping.

Light Therapy & Seasonal Depression…

Most people suffering from Seasonal Depression don’t do anything to fix the issue. Instead of looking for an answer, they assume it’s normal. They sleep in a little longer, drink more coffee, and wait for spring to poke it’s head out. Some people don’t even know they are struggling with something that is actually medically recognizable. To them, it’s just the winter blues. But by ignoring the fact that they’re suffering, they’re missing out on some months that could be wonderful. With today’s modern technology, there’s no need to avoid the topic anymore. There is actually a cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The Options…

People suffering from Seasonal Depression have a couple options for treatment when it comes to Light Therapy. One option is a light box. A light box provides a measured amount of light through fluorescent bulbs or panels. The light intensity is typically between 2,500 to 10,000 lux. The amount of light is different depending on what you deem necessary for your treatment. Typically the amount of light would be equal to that of the amount of sunlight you are exposed to on a nice spring day. The light box helps regulate the internal clock in your mind, keeping your brain on track and your energy level high. The light box is typically small to medium sized, easy to carry, and fairly portable, depending on the seriousness of the depression. People undergoing the treatment set aside around 30 minutes a day, sometimes twice a day, and sit around 12 to 24 inches away from the light box. You would then carry on with whatever you choose. Reading, knitting, writing, eating, talking on the phone, etc. Be careful not to look directly into the light.

For people who have trouble waking up in the morning, have not seen results with light therapy boxes, or want to combine two methods, dawn/dusk simulators are recommended. The devices have proven effective for people with mild symptoms up to severe symptoms. The dawn/dusk simulator helps mimic the ideal lighting and darkness occurring outdoors. For example, if you have trouble waking up in the morning, the simulator can be set to slowly turn on at 8AM, or whatever time you choose. A bright light will appear in your bedroom, typically on a bedside table. The simulator leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Another case would be helping keep your biological clock on time by mimicking light throughout your day and then shutting down at the accurate outdoors time. For people who live in places that stay dark for a significant amount of the time each year, like Alaska in the winter, this simulator is perfect. It will mimic sunlight in your house all day, reminding you that it is day time. Once the time of sunset rolls around, the device will slowly shut off.


Seasonal Depression is not rare, it is not a joke, and it could be happening to you. What are you going to do about it?

Light Therapy For Depression


What Is Depression?

Everyone has their moments where they feel sad and low, sometimes even depressed. These feelings can stem from rejection, loss, drastic lifestyle changes, low self esteem, every day struggles, and more. But when these feelings don’t subside, when your mood stays as low as the dirt below you, it is very likely that your sadness has transformed into something deeper. These are signs of being clinically depressed. When depressed, most people feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. There are little to no things that can lift people’s chins in scenarios such as this. These feelings can last from a few days, to months, to years. A great deal of people battle depression for their entire lives. When sadness turns into depression, it becomes a condition that is medically treatable.

How Do I Know If I Am Depressed?

Web MD, a very reliable website dedicated to helping people understand their bodies, has a section on their website explaining depression and all of the details surrounding the condition. In their piece on depression, there is a chapter titled, “How Do I Know If I Have Depression?” They continue to list signs that point towards depression followed by some important key signs…

• A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning
• Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
• Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
• Insomnia (an inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
• Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day
• Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
• A sense of restlessness or being slowed down
• Significant weight loss or weight gain

“A key sign of depression is either depressed mood or loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. For a diagnosis of depression, these signs should be present most of the day either daily or nearly daily for at least two weeks. In addition, the depressive symptoms need to cause clinically significant distress or impairment. They cannot be due to the direct effects of a substance, for example, a drug or medication. Nor can they be the result of a medical condition such as hypothyroidism.” (

Is Depression Common?

It is important to note that depression is extremely common. In fact, it’s even more than extremely common. It is estimated that by 2020, clinical depression will be the second most cause of disability in the world. Heart Disease is the first. Although most forms of depression are clinically treatable, a great deal of people who suffer from depression fail to acknowledge that there is a valid explanation to their low and depressed moods. Some people know, but fail to accept that depression is the case. Because of this, many people search tirelessly for other causes and explanations.

Light Therapy & Depression…

Light Therapy is the process of using different forms of light to help reduce and/or treat a wide array of conditions and disorders. Doctors have been using light therapy on patients suffering from depression for awhile. And now, thanks to the convenience of new light therapy products, you can also use the treatment at home. Light therapy has been tackling depression slowly but surely.

Light Therapy is usually discussed in terms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a mild form of depression that typically occurs in the winter months. But major depression is also a condition that is being looked at under the light. A recent study has shown that fluorescent lighting is being used to treat major (non-seasonal) depression. In fact, the treatment might actually be better than anti-depressants.

Where’s The Proof?

JAMA Psychiatry arranged a randomized clinical trial to study Light Therapy and depression. The team at JAMA assigned 122 people struggling with major depression to one of many treatment groups. One group was given fluorescent light therapy from a simple light box. The treatment was 30 minutes of light and a placebo pill right after they awoke from a nights sleep. The second group took Prozac, and were exposed to the sound of a negative ion generator. It was deactivated and produced a hum. No ions. The third group received both treatments together. The control group was given both of the placebo treatments.

writer, Alice G. Walton, who is a contributor to the website’s Pharmacy and Healthcare section, studied the clinic that was conducted by JAMA. She took to the Forbes blog to describe how the trial went, in terms that are a bit easier for us non-scientists to understand. She wrote on the blog,

“At the end of the study period, 59% of the people who had both active treatments – light therapy and medication together – achieved remission from their depression. And light therapy alone wasn’t too far behind: about 44% of the participants who’d received active light therapy (along with the placebo pill) experienced remission. In contrast, only 19% of those taking the antidepressant and receiving the placebo light therapy achieved remission. And 30% of people receiving both placebos did.

When it came to how many people experienced a reduction in their symptoms by 50%, a similar breakdown was observed. About 76% of the people who received both light therapy and antidepressant had this level of symptom reduction. For those who received only light therapy, about half of this group saw reduction in their symptoms, and for those who took the antidepressant alone, 29% did. For those getting the placebo pill and placebo light therapy, 33% saw the same level of reduction in their symptoms.

This isn’t the first study to suggest that medication isn’t any better than placebo — but it is the first to suggest that light therapy may be better than either one for treating major depression.” (

A Game Changer…

Seeing results such as the ones from the JAMA Psychiatry clinical trial are a total game changer for people dealing with major (non-seasonal) depression. Light Therapy treatments are fairly inexpensive and very easily accessible. Light Therapy also has little to no side effects, which is definitely not the case for anti-depressants. Anti-depressants come with a whole slew of side effects that no one wants to deal with, especially when they’re already dealing with depression. These treatments should not be experimented with for depression reasons before speaking to a doctor. But if approved by a doctor, it might be time to say goodbye to depression thanks to Light Therapy.

Light Therapy & Acne

What Is Light Therapy?

Light Therapy is the process of using different forms of light to help reduce and/or treat a wide array of conditions and disorders. Dermatologists have been using light therapy on their patients for awhile now. And now, thanks to the convenience of new light therapy products, you can also use the treatment at home. Light therapy has been taking down acne one pimply face at a time and pretty much kicking it’s butt.

Light Therapy & Acne…

We all deal with them, those not so pretty blemishes on our cheeks, our noses, our foreheads, our backs, and other unfortunate places. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follies plug with oil and dead skin cells. The bothersome condition results in pimples, blackheads, and bumps. It’s honestly a pretty difficult condition to conquer. Some people can lay off the greasy potato chips, change their pillow cases every single morning, and still end up with zits on their foreheads. Some people can apply all of the expensive creams in the world, try every homeopathic treatment, read every Pinterest article about how to get rid of their zits, and they will still struggle. Some people deal with terrible side affects with acne medications, or they just can’t afford to keep getting it refilled! This is where light therapy can kick acne right out of your life.

Exposing your skin to different forms of Light Therapy can help kill the bacteria in and on your skin that causes redness and swelling from acne. Using a form of Light Therapy will not be a quick kill for your zits. It will not just zap them away like a laser does. Instead, the treatment kills the bacteria that causes acne and reduces the amount of oil-producing glands on your skin. Giving your skin a chance to recover by itself, without harming or damaging it for the long run. Depending on what is needed and wanted, the treatment will either be using red light, blue light, or a combination of the two.

What We’ve Learned From The Sun…

If you’ve ever gone on vacation somewhere sunny and warm, or you spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer, you’ll notice the effect the sun has on your skin. Not only are you nice and naturally tan, but it can treat acne and reduce the blemishes on your skin. The red and blue wavelengths of sunlight are what really do the trick. They’re not always visible, and let’s face it. Not all of us are lucky enough to live in paradise! We can’t all get natural acne treatments sitting on the beach every day! Sometimes we need a little help. For long term benefits, and for most of us who have to deal with seasonal changes, Light Therapy really does the trick.  Light Therapy helps mimic the sun, but actually does a better job due to the fact that you can target the exact light that you want. Meaning you can light, blue light, or both!

Red Light vs. Blue Light…

Red light and blue light each have different effects on the skin, both providing lots of benefits. Even more so when they’re combined!

Facing Acne, a website dedicated to helping people get the clear skin they desire, wrote a wonderful article explaining light therapy and it’s effects on acne. They wrote a brief summary on the differences between red light and blue light. The website explains,

“Red light reaches deep into the skin and activates hemoglobin. Red light treatment cuts off just enough of the blood supply of oil-producing sebaceous glands that pores don’t get quite as oily. Blue light penetrates pores and kills acne bacteria—but not all the pore’s acne bacteria. There are always some acne bacteria in the sebaceous gland that can’t be reached by blue light.” (

“There are specific wavelengths of visible light that kill acne bacteria. Visible blue light from the sun (in the frequency range of approximately 415 nm) that shines into pores can activate light-sensitive chemicals called porphyrins that are found in the outer cell membranes of the bacteria that cause acne. When these chemicals begin to vibrate in sync with solar energy, they rupture the outer lining of the bacterium. The contents of the bacterial cell begin to leak out, and the bacterium dies within 48 hours.

Visible red light from the sun has a complementary benefit in treating acne. Solar rays in the frequency range of approximately 650 nanometers reach deeper into the skin, down to the level of the sebocytes that produce the oil that sometimes clogs pores.

The red rays of the sun are absorbed by red compounds in the skin. They primarily heat up hemoglobin. Ordinary light shining on the surface of the skin, however, only reaches to the depth of the oil glands, and does not cauterize the blood vessels in the skin. The effects of red light on oil-producing glands are temporary, and they begin producing large amounts of all again a week or two after treatment.” (

Don’t Forget…

It is also important to note that drying out your skin is very easy to do. And dry skin does not mean healthy skin. So when it comes to light therapy, more treatment does not mean better results. Drying or burning your skin by keeping your face too close to your lamp or wand does not improve your skin. Also, using light therapy as your only form of skin treatment will not fix your problems. Light Therapy should always be combined with other methods for the best results. For example, being sure to keep your skin clean, watching what you eat, properly moisturizing, changing your sheets and pillowcases when necessary, etc.

Are You Sold?

Light Therapy started becoming popular as a way to treat and cure acne when highly intense medicines such as Accutane and Retin-A were given a whole slew of restrictions from the government. Due to the lack of negative effects that Light Therapy has on the body, dermatologists hopped right on board, no longer being afraid of putting their patient’s health on the line. Now instead of prescribing medications or acne, you can now receive in office treatments from your dermatologist. But don’t forget, you can treat yourself at home as well. Blue light and red light therapy devices to use at home or while you’re at a spa have become extremely popular and easy to find.

There are lower cost options such as handheld led lamps for your face or other problem areas. These help heat the oil under your pores so that blackheads can pop out. But there are also higher end devices that have proven to be much more effect. You will not see instant results from any product that you purchase or use at a spa, but being consistent and knowing what you’re doing will go a long way.

Trophy Skin Blue MD

This highly recommended device combines blue light and red light therapy to help achieve the best possible results. The Trophy Skin Blue MD uses LED lighting to safely kill bacteria that causes acne. The device “penetrates deep into pores, eliminating P. Acnes at the source to heal blemishes and prevent future breakouts. BlueMD also emits red light to reduce inflammation and promote skin healing. In as little as 20 minutes a day a few times per week, BlueMD heals your acne from the inside out for clearer, smoother, blemish-free skin.” (

Your skin is waiting for you to make it healthy again! It’s time to use Light Therapy to cure that acne.

Bye Bye Tanning Beds!

What Are Tanning Beds?

Tanning beds are used by both men and women to tan the skin on your body without actual sunlight. The process consists of laying horizontal in an enclosed bed with a bank of sunlamp tubes above and below the body. The bed uses ultraviolet radiation to produce a cosmetic tan. The effect of using fluorescent lamps with phosphor blends is similar to the sun’s rays. Tanning beds can be used at home or in a salon. At home tanning beds are typically small, containing 12 to 28 100 watt lamps. The beds used in salon are usually bigger and contain 24 to 60 lamps, ranging from 100 to 200 watts. The maximum exposure time in most tanning beds is 20 minutes.

Here’s a fun fact for you from the Huffington Post…

“Up until the 1920s, tan skin was a sign of poverty, and a creamy complexion was the epitome of beauty. If you’ve seen Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby or Vogue’s flapper-inspired photo shoot with Carrie Mulligan, you’ll get the picture. Powdery, pale skin that rarely saw the sun was a sign of glamour and luxury.
That is, until Coco Chanel came along. As the story goes, the fashion icon got a little too much sun on one of her yacht trips in the Cannes in 1923, returning to the spotlight with a bronze glow. Her sun-kissed look launched a fad and, eventually, an entire industry revolving around achieving the perfect tan.
Soon, celebrities and socialites were flocking to tropical destinations during the winter, using sunlamps to darken their once-porcelain skin. Sunburns were common. So was lying out in the sun for house to “work on your tan.” (

The Serious Risks…

By the early 1980s, tanning beds, along with spray tans, were starting to become popular. Younger people were primarily drawn to the allure of tanning bed. Making sure they were tan for school dances, being sure to be tan before going to the beach for the summer, and so on. The fad had a pretty long running and although there are still tanning salons and high schoolers still get a tan before prom, the downsides of the tanning world have certainly come to light in the past few years.

Yes, tanning beds will make your skin glow, you won’t have tan lines, and you’ll always look like you just hopped off your yacht, but are these things worth the risks? Overexposure to UV radiation is very much known to cause skin cancer, increasing the age process of your skin, including wrinkles, mutate DNA, and lower the immune system. Tanning beds can also drastically increase the chances of being diagnosed with Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Tanning and Teens…

Teenagers are frequently victims of impeccable market skills and ploys. Salons attract teens with coupons, media outlets, discounts, magazine and newspapers ads, and free sessions. It’s obviously difficult for teenager’s to resist the urge, making them the biggest users of tanning beds. Tanorexia has become a major issue in the current world. Tanorexia describes the inability to stop the use of false tanning sessions and is seen in teenagers who frequent salons and admit being unable to stop the obsession.

The US Public Health Services states that “UV radiation, including the use of sun lamps and sun beds are known to be a human carcinogen.” It also explains that skin cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people under thirty years old once they have been exposed to the light. Children and teens have a biological vulnerability to UV radiation, thus making them more susceptible to skin cancer. Because of these horrific statistics, since 2005 many states have banned the use of tanning beds for anyone under the age of eighteen or required parental consent ahead of time.

The Tanning Industry Evolves…

While tanning beds are basically awful, promote low self esteem, increase the risk of cancer, and ruin our skin, who says we can’t be inspired by them?

Light therapy has been being used in the form of a bed, similar to the look of a tanning bed, for awhile now. The major difference here? The lights are red! No, you’re not entering a spaceship. And no, you’re not going to see the devil in there. Instead, you’re reversing the aging process of your skin, along with quite a few other benefits. Because tanning beds have been under scrutiny for awhile now, the industry is evolving. A lot of places have been changing the lights in their tanning beds and creating red light therapy devices. Companies that used to sell the beds are now selling devices that do the exact opposite of what their old products used to do. Isn’t that funny?

What Is The Red Light?

The red light process is more commonly used for cosmetic assistance. Such as reducing fine lines and wrinkles, putting a stop to acne, healing after sun damage, and other skin problems.  But beside being an anti-aging miracle worker, red light therapy has shown some pretty serious results when it comes to chronic and acute pain. NASA discovered the benefits of red light therapy in the early 2000s during a clinic for wound healing and pain management. Not coincidentally, this is when conventional medicine caught on and light therapy said goodbye to it’s taboo image. NASA is pretty good at stuff like that.

Since the discovery, red light therapy has been proven to provide relief from muscle and joint pains, high blood pressure, arthritis, as well as nerve and tissue damage. It can also decrease injury healing time, which is why pro athletes undergo the therapy after injuries.

What To Try…

Harmony 20

Sunco Tanning offers a red light therapy bed named the Harmony 20. The bed uses 20 RVL (Red Visible Light) collagen lamps and 2000 watts. The bed can be used daily and only 15 minutes for a full body session. The bed is also one of the green energy products made by the company. Which is not only good for your wallet, but also good for the environment. It plugs into a 120 volt house hold outlet and is made in the USA, which is never a bad thing.

It’s about time we do something good for ourselves, instead of killing our skin to make our reflection look better. Don’t you think?

Blue Light Therapy Is Fighting Cancer…

How Does It Work?

Blue light therapy is the practice of use blue UV lighting to treat conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, acne, insomnia, and so on. However, blue light has recently been being used to help fight skin cancer.
Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, is a form of treatment that uses drugs, or photosynthesizing agents, accompanied by light to kill cancer cells. The drugs become activated by specific kinds of light which triggers them to begin working. The American Cancer Society took to their website to discuss Photodynamic Therapy and it’s life changing effects on cancer. The article explained,
“Depending on the part of the body being treated, the photosensitizing agent is either put into the bloodstream through a vein or put on the skin. Over a certain amount of time the drug is absorbed by the cancer cells. Then light is applied to the area to be treated. The light causes the drug to react with oxygen, which forms a chemical that kills the cells. Photodynamic Therapy might also help by destroying the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells and by alerting the immune system to attack the cancer. The period of time between when the drug is given and when the light is applied is called the drug-to-light interval. It can be anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on the drug used.” (

The Good Stuff…

• No long term side effects.
• Less invasive than surgery.
• Usually a short process.
• Usually done as an outpatient.
• Has wonderful accuracy for targeting specific areas of the body.
• Can be repeated multiple times at the same site on the body.
• Little to no scarring.
• Costs less than other treatments.

The Not So Good Stuff…

• Can only treat areas where light can reach. Meaning the problem site has to be on or just under the skin, or in the lining organs. It cannot be used to treat larger scale cancers or cancers that have grown deep into the skin or organs.
• Can’t treat cancer that has spread all over.
• Cannot be used in people with certain blood diseases. For example, any of the Porphyrias or people with allergies to the Porphyrins.
• The treatment can leave people sensitive to light for a good amount of time.
In Sum…
Photodynamic Therapy is being proven to help treat certain types of cancer which means that it is help changing the world for the better. The process is not being widely used quite yet, but it is offered at some treatment centers. It is consistently being studied in clinics and is becoming much more appreciated as a responsible and effective option for cancer treatment. If the all magic blue light can kill cancer then it can improve the quality of life in this world.