Good Light vs. Bad Light

by Jennifer Schloth, PA at Marmur Medical

Now that summer has officially arrived, we hope you are all outside enjoying the beautiful weather exercising and relaxing.  We are bike riding, swimming in the water, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, etc. We love the sun and it’s vitamin D boosting benefit, but ultimately too much UV light can be bad for us. What is the difference between good and bad light? 

It is important to be knowledgeable about the different UV (ultraviolet) rays present in sunlight. In general, there are two types of UV rays that are relevant. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and damage to the outermost layer of the skin, which in turn causes sunburn. UVB rays play the greatest role in causing skin cancers like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. UVA rays have a longer wavelength and penetrate deeper which contributes to premature skin aging and is often linked to causing melanoma. “The truth is both UVA and UVB injure the skin DNA causing mutations and leading to all forms of skin cancers,” says Dr. Marmur. 

The best sunscreen to use in blocking both UVB and UVA rays is a physical sunscreen, one that contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. We love Elta MD and Isdin sunscreens here at Marmur Medical. A physical sunscreen repels UV rays by reflecting them off the skin, while chemical sunscreens actually absorb the rays like a sponge and convert this light to heat that is released from the skin.

Because of their skin cancer risks, ultraviolet rays from sunlight can be a type of bad light, but let’s talk about LED lights which are good.  LED lights are called light therapy and Dr. Marmur spent 5 years inventing an award winning, FDA cleared home light therapy device that has the widest range of different colors to help skin issues from acne to sun damage. Can these lights actually help to heal a sunburn and promote collagen?

LED refers to light emitting diode, and has been around since the 1960s but only recently have we started using LED light in skin treatments. There are various colors of visible light that correspond to different wavelengths. These wavelengths penetrate the skin at different depths causing a unique biological effect. 

Our very own MMSphere uses 6 different colors and wavelengths of light, good light. The red light and green light are the best for post sunburn. The red light has been clinically proven to decrease inflammation and stimulate collagen production. It’s also great to combat fine lines and wrinkles. The green light has been clinically shown to promote wound healing. Using green light with our MMSkincare Revive Serum works best. Together red light and green light help to heal the skin post sunburn. Plus, they help rebuild your collagen for more youthful, healthy looking skin. 

Other good lights in the MMSphere include the blue, purple, and amber light. Blue light kills bacteria that causes acne, improves alertness, and improves memory. If you have mask induced acne on your skin, MMSkincare is the only system created specifically for this new dermatologic problem. I recommend to my patients to use the Balance serum twice daily to treat the acne area under the mask. Illuminate the area with the MMSphere Blue light daily for 20 minutes. Your skin will be much better! (See my prior blog on Maskne.)  Purple light combines the effects of the red and blue lights so it is both anti-inflammatory and reduces acne. Amber light improves mood by increasing energy and is the most popular LED light therapy world wide for seasonal affective disorder. 

So my summer advice–enjoy, relax, and protect your skin from excessive bad UV light using sun protection plus repair your UV damage and other skin concerns using good light with the amazing MMSphere! 

I am available for appointments in our offices and also on teledermatology. Please feel free to schedule an appointment at telederm@marmurmedical.com