Phototherapy is a treatment commonly used for psoriasis, eczema, itching, vitiligo and several other skin conditions. There are different types of phototherapy available, and we use narrow band UVB light. We have a full body unit for conditions that involve the body. Narrow Band UVB (NBUVB) light is felt to be the safest light available (safer than UVA). Narrow band is the safest and most effective portion of the UVB spectrum to use. Importantly, the narrow band UVB light is much more specific than a tanning bed.
The light treatments work by suppressing the inflammatory cells in the skin (which are causing the disease). Treatments are typically 2-3 times a week. The treatments themselves will last only seconds to minutes. You can expect to be in and out of the office in about 20 minutes. Make sure you do not apply sunscreen to any areas of your body that need treatment prior to your office visits. We do recommend wearing sunscreen after your treatments. If you have any concerns about your treatment, please discuss this with us at your next visit, or call our office.
Phototherapy with NBUVB light is felt to be relatively safe. Potential side effects include a sunburn, freckling of the skin, aging of the skin, and a possible increased risk of skin cancer. However, freckling, aging and cancer risks are felt to be lower with UVB light as compared to UVA light (tanning beds are mostly UVA). All Patients are required to wear eye protection. This is to prevent any potential damage to your eyes with the light treatments.
It typically takes multiple treatment sessions to see results from the phototherapy. This will vary from person to person and between different conditions treated. Drs. Pace or Shelley may be able to give you a more accurate estimate for your condition.
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