When grading papers, most are marked “good”, given 8/10 and passed on. Some earn lauditory superlatives and extra exclamation points, and some are posted in the teachers’ lounge to be mocked in their horribleness. Today, we’re in the last category.
We all know local TV news stations are hardly bastions of scientific coverage, but San Diego’s 10News is offering some important analysis on red light therapy. Unfortunately, the piece (and what a piece) has nothing to do with red-light induced rage behind the wheel, but is a gold mine of “I don’t understand science” quotes:
“Going into surgery or laser really scares me,” said Rose Alesi, a woman who wants to look younger.
Note the patient’s name, as it becomes important later.
“We are using red light to target fibroblast to energize them and produce collagen and elastic,” explained Ray Mead, CEO of Raymond Anthony International.
We can only hope that this is a horribly transcribed quote, because at last check, fibroblasts are cells, not a substance and no part of your body produces elastic (try elastin).
Lumiere is a light treatment to improve the appearance of skin. Dermatologists have used similar light therapies to treat medical conditions such as psoriasis.
UV light therapy used to treat psoriasis is significantly different from shining a red light on your skin to reduce wrinkles. To their credit, both therapies do contain the word “light.”
The device emits red light wave lengths to wake up cells to replenish skin. When those cells get energized, they produce collagen and elastic. Then, topical products are used to feed the nutrients to those energized cells.
Again with the production of elastic. Apparently this therapy causes your skin to take on properties of rubber and cloth sewn together.
According to 10News, over the course of 60 to 90 days, you can really look forward to surprising good results.
Apparently 10News has their own testing facility for multi-month randomized product trials. Alas, attempts to find this study’s white paper proved fruitless.
But some dermatologists aren’t convinced this type of light therapy can really have that kind of impact.
“Unfortunately, there isn’t any science where a certain wavelength of light that’s non-ablative makes any significant improvements in the complexion,” said Dr. Richard Chaffoo, a plastic surgeon from Scripps.
Bah! Who needs science and evidence-based medicine when you have 10News’ word that the treatment produces results? This also falls into the category of the “requisite arbitrary counterpoint,” key to all bad science reporting as we have reported earlier.
But 77-year-old Aliso is convinced. She said she has noticed improvement after just five 20-minute sessions.
“I’ve noticed a change already,” Aliso told 10News.
Apparently, the therapy also has the power to change your name, as Ms. Alesi has now become Ms. Aliso. Also note we have no idea how long Ms. whatever-her-name-is has been receiving the treatment, only that she’s “already” noticed a change.
Dermatologists said red light therapy like the one used by Lumiere is used widely in Europe but needs further study in this country.
Given 10News’ previous history of scientific reporting, this therapy they allude to could be anything. “But needs further study in this country” for what? in order to …what? Obtain the elusive 10News Seal of Scientifc Approval?
Link to San Diego’s 10News
Link to Raymond Anthony International, who in addition to Lumiere technology, specializes in “Tanology.”