Phototherapy is a process that involves the use of light to treat medical conditions. Natural sunlight has been used as a form of therapy for thousands of years, and experts have long-established that the UV rays, most significantly UVA and UVB rays, produced by the sun can be helpful in treating certain skin diseases.
So how does phototherapy work?
Phototherapy uses ultraviolet light to lessen skin irritation. There are numerous management choices, including full or partial UVB spectrum treatment, also known as broadband UVB and narrowband UVB respectively. UVA treatment typically involves the combining of UVA treatment with a sensitizer known as psoralen, which makes the skin more sensitive to the light rays. This combination of UVA and psoralen is also referred to as PUVA or photochemotherapy.
Phototherapy treatment is frequently given as an outpatient cure, and sessions are held 2 to 5 times a week. Normally, the whole course comprises of 15 to 30 treatment sessions. The total number of sessions you will have would rest on the type of skin disorder you have, its severity, and how well your skin would react to the treatment.
Prior to treatment, a test session would be done to find out how the skin of the patient responds to the light. Certain skin problems become worse when the skin is exposed to sunlight, in which case phototherapy treatment will not be advisable.
When you are taking phototherapy treatment, there are some things you must avoid doing, such as taking drugs that upsurge your sensitivity to light, using sun beds, consuming excessive quantities of citrus fruits and vegetables that might make you more sensitive to UV light, and using scented or perfumed products.
When can phototherapy be used?
Phototherapy could be used to treat a wide variety of skin ailments such as dermatitis, eczema, itching, lichen planus, polymorphic light eruption, psoriasis, and vitiligo.
Phototherapy is a provisional type of skin disease management, so it does not totally remedy a skin disorder. A lot of people find that their symptoms reappear, as soon as they have stopped treatment. Hence, it is best that you get a handheld UVB phototherapy lamp so you can regularly treat yourself even in your own homes.
What are the different types of light therapy?
There are different forms of light therapy that may be recommended depending on the skin problem.
Red/Infrared Light Therapy
This is advantageous to people who want to get rid of their acne, diminish wrinkles, and increase collagen production.
Blue Light Therapy
This is favorable to acne sufferers.
Amber Light Therapy
This can be of assistance to those who suffer from rosacea, skin inflammation, and other congestive skin disorders.
Platinum Light Therapy
This is perfect to those who are suffering from premature signs of aging.
Green Light Therapy
This may be helpful to people with freckled or sun damaged skin.
All of these forms of light therapy treatments are also obtainable in portable light boxes or lamps, allowing you to expose your skin at your own convenience in more controlled amounts of UV light.