We were recently introduced to the DPL Therapy System. “DPL” stands for “Deep Penetrating Light”. The DPL is a FDA approved/cleared system with infrared and red LED lights used for pain treatment and skin rejuvenation. This review includes our impressions of the DPL from out of the box to real usage on a variety of skin and pain conditions. I also describe the technology behind the system.
LED Therapy Advances Through NASA Research
LED technology developed by NASA for plant growth experimentation indicated that this technology could be effective in promoting human tissue growth and wound healing. LEDs do not produce significant heat and were selected for their plant growth experiments in space. After the success of this application of LEDs, NASA looked to them for helping astronauts heal from injuries.
While in space, astronauts are subject to muscle and bone atrophy. Also, injures that happen in space will tend not to heal until the astronaut returns to Earth. NASA found that infrared light activates color sensitive chemicals within the cells. NASA found the most effective wavelengths of light to be 680, 730, and 880 nm, and that these wavelengths improve wound healing. Also, DNA synthesis in muscle cells quintupled with a single application of light at these wavelengths.
Following the successful testing by NASA, other organizations successfully tested LED technology for healing, pain relief, and skin therapy. The DPL system was classified as a Class II Medical Device and cleared for over the counter use.
The DPL is made to NASA specifications: 4 joules per square cm and wavelengths of 660 nm & 880 nm. As far as I know, it is the only home unit on the market made to these specs.
DPL Out Of The Box
Unpacking the unit, it is obviously a quality piece of equipment, similar in fit and finish to other medical grade devices. In the box, we find the two LED panels, straps, a stand, power supply, user guide and quick-start guide.
The DPL Therapy System has a total of 154 Infrared LEDs (880 nm wavelength) and 20 Red LEDs (660 nm wavelength). These are the same wavelengths that were found effective through the NASA experimentation.
The quick start guide very nice, and had us using the DPL within a few minutes of unpacking. We liked the user guide as well, providing more detailed information. It is an easy device to use. For facial skin rejuvenation, one simply uses the DPL on the included stand, pointing your nose at the center of the unit. For pain relief, the Velcro straps allow for the unit to be secured to where you hurt (elbow, back, knee, foot, etc).
We tried the DPL on various people around the office for a variety of conditions. Since it is a rather private matter, I changed the names in the descriptions below.
Using the DPL for Acne Skin Care
Amy is in her early twenties and has had moderate acne for the past ten years or so. She was interested in trying the DPL system out to prevent new outbreaks and to help heal scaring from previous acne. Following the directions, she used the DPL for one cycle (17 minutes) once per day, five days a week. “There was a little bit of warmth, which felt kind of nice. I actually thought it was pretty relaxing and after the 2nd or 3rd time I started listening to my iPod while using it as kind of a mid-day break.” For results, Amy found that “It may have been my imagination, but I thought that I started to see results after a few days. After a few weeks, I definitely had less new acne and at five weeks my sister mentioned that the old scarring was much less noticeable.”
Using the DPL for a Sore Knee
Dave has had knee issues for years. In the past he has used hot and cold therapy, but had the best success in minimizing pain by using a magnetic knee brace. Shortly after we received the DPL unit, Dave had a flare-up in his knee. He used the Velcro straps to position the panels on either side of his knee. Dave said that the DPL System provided “fairly quick relief, similar to putting a heating pad on, but more comfortable.” He reported a tingling feeling on the surface of the skin and relief of pain in the joint. He’s used it a few more times over the past several weeks with similar results.
Using the DPL for a Sore Back
This was my own personal experience. With the weather warming, I overdid it a little when planting new grass in the front yard. That evening I put the DPL System on my lower back using the Velcro straps. For me, I was not very impressed with the Velcro straps for my back. For the short time (17 minutes) that it is on, I found it easier to lay face-down and position the two panels on my back. I think that the Velcro system would work better for a knee, elbow, foot, etc.
I found there to be little “sensation”. The unit may have provided a bit of warmth, but not nearly “hot”. I found pain relief after the second application. The first 17 minutes may have helped, but as not much as I had hoped. I did find relief when I used the DPL later in the day and the next. The relief was similar to what I would feel after using a heating pad (relaxation of the muscles), but I thought that it was deeper relief than with what a heating pad would typically do.
I like the versatility and effectiveness of the DPL Light System. After testing around the office, I now have a unit in my home where it is mainly being used by me, my wife, and my daughter for facial skin rejuvenation. I feel that it is a better solution for pain relief than a heating pad, and a also provides impressive results in terms of skin healing.
The technology has been thoroughly tested and the DPL has been cleared by the FDA, so I feel that this is a safe way to get the results you are looking for.
Click here to see the DPL on Amazon.