When you start searching for additional info about High-Frequency Wand you often stumble upon something like this:
"Use orange electrodes for treating aging skin, scalp, and hair; violet gas is great ... for acne..."
True or false?
Let's start with a spoiler - it does not matter what color your choose.
Nonetheless, it is an exciting story to investigate "Why?".
Read further to find out where this belief came from and how to choose your High-Frequency Wand with confidence.
First of all, the active element of the high-frequency device is not the color it glows but the static electricity it produces.
Imagine the electricity that flows in your electrical outlet: is it different if produced by solar panels or at the nuclear plant?
There was a popular theory, based on the book published in the early 1900s, that orange (Neon) electrodes emit the heatwaves when violet (Argon) - the chemical waves. The book advised choosing different color electrodes depending on health conditions.
It was published in 1911 under the title "A working manual of high-frequency currents." Medical beliefs were a bit different back then. Those were the times when doctors prescribed heroin tinctures to treat coughs.
As scientific knowledge advanced, the "heatwaves and chemical waves" theory was dismissed. The discussion never arose in professional circles again, due to obvious reasons.
There is no proof or clinical data, or professional discussion, that one color works better than the other...Except for blog posts. If you take upon the task to find any supporting whitepaper or study, you find nothing.
No wonder, because there is no difference which gas used to fill the electrodes - Neon or Argon, or their mix. They work the same.
The quality of the spark does not depend on the kind of gas. It depends on the right frequency of the machine: the best skin stimulation results come within the frequency around 100kHz.
Naturally, you'll ask why High-Frequency Wand comes in two colors? To understand that we need to make a quick glance at the history. When High-Frequency was invented, there was no Neon gas available. Argon was discovered first in 1894 and it was easily available as a byproduct of oxygen freezing.
Both gases are abundant in the universe but Neon is harder to get.
It was first discovered in June 1898 and remained relatively rare for the next 20 years.
Neon and Argon are the two closest cousins in the noble gas' family. In the periodic table, they have subsequent atomic numbers: 10 and 18. Both gases have similar conductive properties and it is not few and far between that high-frequency wand electrode is not pure Argon or Neon - but their mix.
There is a myth that the purple glowing Argon electrode produces ultraviolet rays. That is why one can smell ozone that kills bacteria, thus it is better to treat acne. This is not true - there are no ultraviolet rays produced.
The electrical charge goes through the air and causes a chemical reaction resulting in a small amount of ozone and nitrogen. The confusion comes from the fact that UV light creates ozone from oxygen as well. Also, a UV lamp is traditionally bluish or violet color.
Bacteria do not like ozone, period. Humans can spot even the tiniest amounts of ozone because of the smell. If you power up a High-Frequency Wand and try both Neon and Argon tubes you discover that both produce the same sharp odor.
Cosmetology books do not differentiate between electrodes:
"The glass electrodes are partial vacuums, that is, hollow tubes with a low density of an inert gas, which in most machines produces a blue, orange, or pink light..."
Beauty Therapy Fact File, 2004 Edition, page 153
"When applied to the surface of the skin or scalp, a mild high-frequency electrical current passed through the neon or argon gas-filled electrode, causing it to light up with a calming orange-red or violet purple glow..."
Easter European Beauty Secrets and Skin Care Techniques, 2011 Edition, page 206
Our investigation will not be complete without citing another popular belief: Neon electrode produces heat when Argon is cold.
The crimpson color of Neon electrode indeed makes us think about warm colors of the sunset or a candle-flame.
No matter how long the High Frequency Wand will be running, the electrode will stay cold. It will warm up a bit only if it touchs the skin, as it absorbs some of that heat.
Where does this notion about the heat come from?
It is possible someone misread from a cosmetology book: "increases circulation, which produces the heat in the tissues....(c)".
Well it just means that the body warms up naturally via increased circulation, just like our face becomes suddenly hot when we blush.
One more fact that might cause this misunderstanding: there is a similar device on the market. It looks just like High-Frequency Wand and operates with Orange glowing electrodes. It is a Russian invention called Ultra-Tone and it does generate heat. It also utilizes High-Frequency impulses but does not produce static. Instead, it vibrates and heats up.
It is not available in the US market as it is a strictly medical device and not cleared by FDA.
In the end, it comes to personal preferences: if you like a mystical glow and the vintage look of the Violet Ray Wand, go with the Argon electrode. Its purple glow reminds us of the first High-Frequency device inventor.
If you prefer sunset color of the Neon electrode, pick that one.... Or get both colors and do you own exploration...
If you want to dig deeper into the subject from a practical point of view check what shapes of the electrodes are used for different tasks.