"Know thyself? If I knew myself, I'd run away." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Question #92094 posted on 03/13/2019 4:48 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Can light boxes/sun lamps (the kind used to treat seasonal affective disorder) cause tanning, skin cancer, or aging? I know the sun is one of the biggest causes of aging (wrinkles, sun spots, etc.), so I'm curious if that's also the case for light boxes.



Dear Pirate,

They don't! Because they're made for people to sit in front of every day for about a half-hour at a time, they filter out the UV rays in order to emit as little UV radiation as possible. Turns out, it's not the actual rays that make light boxes work. It's all about tricking your brain using the right colors and intensity of light, so you don't need the ultraviolet rays for the treatment. 

I found a couple of cool articles written by the Mayo Clinic about light therapy and how to choose a light box, if you have any more questions.

-Quixotic Kid

P.S. I am not a doctor. Don't start light box therapy without talking to your doctor first. Just covering my bases here, you know.