When we think of UV light and its relationship with our skin, we tend to think of the damage caused by the sun. But UV light, when administered in a controlled, medical environment can provide real relief to people with chronic skin conditions. This treatment is called phototherapy.
What is Phototherapy?
Phototherapy is a relatively painless way to treat and manage certain skin concerns. It consists of two primary treatments which are chosen based on the patient’s specific needs. They are called:
- Ultraviolet B (narrowband UVB) A patient stands in a booth lined with specialized fluorescent lights for between 15 and 20 minutes.
- Psoralen-UV-A (PUVA) This combines regular narrowband UVB treatments with the use of oral medication for severe cases.
In both cases, a phototherapy unit emits wavelengths of light that are effective in relieving the symptoms of a number of skin conditions, such as eczema, vitiligo and psoriasis. The reason for this is that it slows down the production of new skin cells, thus reducing the formation of plaque. It is also able to reduce inflammation and itching.
What You Should Know
While phototherapy isn’t known to be painful, it can come with side effects, such as bruising and sunburn. It is also important to wait at least 24 hours until your next session to avoid damaging your skin.
For best results, it’s recommended that you receive phototherapy two to three times a week over a five or six week period. This procedure can also dry out your skin, so using a fragrance-free moisturizer after your sessions will help to keep your skin barrier healthy.
Set Up Your Appointment With a Dermatologist Today
If you are battling with a chronic skin condition and think that phototherapy can help, use the buttons below to find a clinician or location near you that offers this treatment.
Call us at: (978) 759-4032