How Phototherapy Works

Phototherapy Works... Safely

How Phototherapy Works  UV Phototherapy treatment works by exposing the skin to specific segments of UV light. Leading studies have shown UV phototherapy treatments to be short and effective over time.  Most often the wavelength used is Narrowband UVB (311 nm), but your doctor may prescribe other wavelengths. Treatment is typically three times for several weeks with phototherapy exposure time slowly and carefully increasing over those sessions.  Compared to topical treatments or ointments, UV phototherapy is effective treatment for psoriasis, vitiligo, and other skin disease, clearing in 24 to 36 sessions.

Safety  Home phototherapy has been studied for over 30 years, repeatedly finding that it is safe for long term use.  Recent research showed no increased risk of skin cancer.  Phototherapy has been safely prescribed for immune suppressed individuals and pregnant and nursing women.  Side effects are minimal when instructions regarding the use of UVB or NB-UVB are followed.

Economical  Many skin conditions are chronic, genetic diseases. Home phototherapy is often less costly than either medication or regular doctor's office visits.

Side Benefits of Ultraviolet Light (Phototherapy)   With UV phototherapy, people often report that they enjoy relief from the anxiety caused by living discomfort. They obtain peace of mind, knowing that less pain, fewer drugs, and less embarrassment means better mental health. And, since UV light is sunlight, the therapy itself often has a calming effect.

A Few References:

Lim, C.  Quality of life in psoriasis improves after standardized administration of narrowband UVB phototherapy.  Australasian Journal Of Dermatology [Australas J Dermatol], 2006 Feb; Vol. 47 (1), pp. 37-40; PM

Lee, E; Koo, J, and Berger, T. UVB phototherapy and skin cancer: a review of the literature.  The International Journal of Dermatology Vol 44, 355-360. 2004    CONCLUSION: Phototherapy is a common treatment modality for psoriasis and other skin condition  showed no increased skin cancer risk with UVB phototherapy.

Njoo, MD; and Westerhof, W.  Treatment of Generalized Vitiligo in Children with Narrow-Band (TL-01) UVB Radiation Therapy. Journal of American Academy of Dermatology. Vol 42, Number 2 February 2000.  CONCLUSION: Narrow-band UVB therapy is effective and safe in childhood vitiligo; it may also significantly improve the quality of life.

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