Thanks to Clarify Medical for sponsoring this post and giveaway! Living Dappled did receive compensation for this post, but the opinions are our own. Learn more about native ads on our site.
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to stop by Clarify Medical’s headquarters in San Diego and check out their new home light therapy system, a form of vitiligo treatment that combines innovative technology, treatment and support.
Today, I finally have the chance to tell you about the system – and an incredible giveaway.
Despite never seeking treatment myself – other than a topical cream when I was little – I’ve heard a lot about the struggles that come with vitiligo treatment. In fact, when we recently asked our Living Dappled community about treatments on Instagram, I was blown away by the number of reasons patients stop treatment – including the cost, time commitment, side effects and effectiveness. And that’s why I was even more excited to hear about a system that seems to really work, and addresses many of the most common complaints.
Designed for patients by patients, The Clarify Home Light Therapy System features a lightweight handheld device which is paired with your smartphone to manage the dosing, frequency and duration of your treatments. CarePartner (patient) support is just a phone call, message or email away.
Now, if you have vitiligo like me, you’ve probably also developed a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to anything related to treatments. That’s why I asked Clarify Medical’s team a whole host of questions – and am sharing their answers below.
Who is Clarify Medical?
That was my first question. Are these people doctors? Or do they just oversee the treatment? It turns out the answer is closer to the latter. Clarify Medical is a team of clinicians, engineers, software experts, patient advisors and scientists that have built the technology behind the therapy system and provide the coaching and training on how to use it. While they are certainly experts, they are not doctors and do not provide medical advice. Instead, they provide the system and monitor progress based on a doctor’s prescription. In other words, you work with your doctor and they work with you.
What is light therapy?
If you have vitiligo, you’ve probably heard of light therapy but even I needed a refresher. Light therapy – also known as phototherapy – involves regular, brief exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The UV rays stimulate melanocytes, the cells in the skin responsible for producing pigment. The Clarify Medical system specifically provides narrowband UVB rays, the most common form of light therapy for skin diseases.
What comes with the system?
The kit comes with the handheld device, a charger, safety eyewear and sunscreen to protect those areas of the skin that do not need treatment. The only additional thing you need is an Android Version 6+ or iPhone iOS Version 9+ smartphone.
What does the app do?
The app might be my favorite part of the entire system because it takes the pressure off the patient. Most importantly, the app links to the handheld device and controls the therapy delivery based on your doctor’s prescription. It also adjusts therapy according to your progress, sends you reminders about treatment, allows you to take progress photos and walks you through your actual treatment delivery step-by-step. Isn’t that great?
How does the system actually work?
When you set up the system, you choose when you want to treat (at least three times a week on nonconsecutive days) and when you want to receive reminders. When it’s time to treat, you put on your eyewear and apply sunscreen to the unaffected skin that you don’t want to treat. One touch of a button on the handheld device turns on the system.
How long does it take to deliver therapy?
Treatment times vary based on your skin type and the extent of your skin condition. The average treatment can be completed over the course of your favorite television show.
Are doctors prescribing the system as vitiligo treatment?
Yes. Phototherapy is recommended by many dermatologists that specialize in the treatment of vitiligo. But the cost and inconvenience of visiting a phototherapy clinic three times a week is a problem. Home-based and clinic-based therapies have similar outcomes and safety profiles, but home phototherapy is much more cost-effective. Pearl E. Grimes MD, FAAD, the director of the Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute in Los Angeles, calls the Clarify system “an amazing breakthrough” for the treatment of vitiligo.
Is there a risk to using light therapy?
Yes, you can get too much of a good thing. “More” is not necessarily better. That’s what makes the Clarify system so different from anything else on the market. It’s designed and programmed to minimize the side effects, like tanning, hyperpigmentation, changes in skin texture and any possible scarring.
Does it work for everyone?
No. Those diagnosed within the last two years have a much higher success rate and darker skin tends to be more responsive. The Clarify system is recommended for people with mild to moderate vitiligo. Children aged five plus are also very good candidates. Dr. Grimes says, “used alone or in combination with topical or oral treatments, home phototherapy makes everything work better!”
What if I have questions or problems?
Clarify Medical has a team of CarePartners to assist with training and support.
But does it really work?
Phototherapy is considered to be the preferred treatment for vitiligo, because it stimulates melanocytes to repigment the skin. Yan Valle, CEO of Vitiligo Research Foundation, said, “The benefits of home phototherapy speak for themselves.” After he saw the Clarify device, he said it’s “easily the best option for home use in 2018.”
Now for the Giveaway…
Last, but not least, Living Dappled and Clarify Medical have teamed up to give away three Clarify light therapy systems – a $999 retail value – to those with vitiligo who are seeking home treatment. Find the full details and a link to the entry form below – and submit your entry before the end of June!
Clarify Medical Giveaway Rules:
The giveaway closes on Saturday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Three winners will be selected from the submissions on Clarify Medical’s entry page. Each winner will receive one free Clarify Medical handheld device (a $999 value) and will perform treatment three times a week for up to six months while reporting results and photos to both Living Dappled and Clarify Medical. Each winner will also receive support and training from one of the Clarify Care Partners for as long as they remain on the system. Participants can keep their device at the conclusion of the study.
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.