What To Expect During Uvb Light Therapy
UVB treatments are performed in-office, 2-3 times weekly on a regular schedule. The treatment lasts less than five minutes and requires no special preparation.
During the treatment, patients stand in a light unit that features swinging doors, which completely encircle the body. The treatment area is exposed so that the skin can absorb the UV light rays, but patients can otherwise remain dressed. Patients wear goggles to protect their eyes.
Most patients achieve their goals of relief from rash and itching or remission of the underlying condition in 6 to 8 weeks of therapy. Many patients benefit from repeating a UVB series on an as-needed basis to keep a condition under control or to maximize the benefits of phototherapy.
How To Choose The Most Popular Uv Light Therapy For Eczema
The three most crucial criteria to consider are price, quality, and popularity.Price is an obvious factor to consider, as you want to ensure it is acceptable for your needs.Quality should also be examined because buying a low-quality goods will not help you achieve your main aim of obtaining the best product.Finally, while not as obvious as price or quality, popularity can be just as significant as both when it comes to attracting new customers.
Light Therapy For Eczema Does It Work
LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.
Eczema is a very common skin condition. According to the National Eczema Association, over 31.6 million Americans have some form of eczema, which is almost 10% of the population. So if you suffer from eczema, know that you are not alone.
While some may turn to moisturizers and corticosteroid creams to help prevent and calm eczema flare-ups, topical treatments dont always work for every patient. This is when light therapy may be used as an alternative treatment.
In this article, we are going to look at eczema, triggers, things you can do at home to help manage this condition as well as light therapy for eczema. Well cover what it is and how it works.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Eczema Getting Worse
The Pros And Cons Of Eczema Light Therapy
Discover why light therapy may be a good solution for people struggling to treat eczema and the potential drawbacks of this approach.
Anyone dealing with eczema knows how debilitating the disease can be. Its miserable to live with eczema it has a big impact on a persons quality of life, causing chronic itchiness, visible rashes on the body, and disrupted sleep, says Melissa Piliang, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. It can even impact relationships. While some people with eczema may turn to moisturizers and corticosteroid creams to help prevent and calm flare-ups, topical treatments dont always work for every patient. Thats where light therapy may come in.
RELATED: How Is Eczema Treated?
Possible Benefits Vs Risks
Based on the guidelines for using phototherapy from the American Academy of Dermatology and due to lack of studies, small sample sizes, and different dosing parameters, no conclusions can be made regarding what specific form of phototherapy is best for treating eczema. Narrowband UVB phototherapy, however, is most commonly recommended because of its relative effectiveness, availability, tolerance, and low associated risks.
Caution should be taken with patients who take medications making them sensitive to light, such as topical calcineurin inhibitors, since these patients may be at an increased risk of side effects posed by phototherapy. Using psoralen with UVA treatment also increases the risk of patients developing headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity of the skin and eyes to light.
Patients should receive regular skin checks during and after phototherapy as the risk of developing skin cancer during or after treatment remains unknown.
Read Also: How To Use Manuka Honey For Eczema
What Is Ultraviolet Light Therapy
As the name implies, UV light therapy uses ultraviolet light waves, which are very similar to the ultraviolet light produced by the sun, to heal irritated skin. In most cases, dermatologists will use equipment that emits narrowband ultraviolet B light. The treatments can be done all over the body for widespread eczema or can be used only in targeted areas if they have not been responsive to treatments.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends only using UV light therapy when other treatments, such as emollients and topical steroids, have failed.
UV light therapy has had a lot of positive outcomes for patients, Dr. Jack says. It can help calm inflammation, reduce the amount of itching, improve the skins ability to fight bacteria and can also increase vitamin D production.
According to the National Eczema Association, it is effective in about 70% of all users.
What Can Cause Eczema
- Heredity. If the childs parents suffered from allergic diseases , the chance that child will develop eczema is quite high. According to statistics, 60% of eczema cases can be attributed to genetic predisposition.
- Allergy. Another eczema trigger can be irritant allergens and the immune reactions that they cause on the skin.
- Chemical irritants: household chemicals, cleaning products, decorative cosmetics, workplace pollution, polluted environment.
- Injuries with skin lesions. The disease can develop on the affected areas.
- Stress. Nervous tension is a frequent trigger for many dermatological diseases, including eczema.
- Infections: viruses, bacteria, fungi. They may cause the primary or the secondary form of eczema.
- Humidity, temperature: excessive moisture, severe sweating or dryness, too high or too low temperatures.
- Chronic diseases, for example, digestive tract disorders.
- Hormonal changes. Especially it concerns women. Hormonal changes might aggravate chronic eczema.
Don’t Miss: How To Clear Up Baby Eczema
What Is The Uvb Light Therapy For Psoriasis
Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of uvb light therapy for psoriasis is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the uvb light therapy for psoriasis listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Uv Light Therapy Process
There are different types of ultravioletlight used for eczema, including UVA, UVB and UVC. While its beneficial to useUV light for eczema, sometimes flare-ups can occur after you have stoppedhaving the treatments. It usually takes a few weeks before you truly start tosee the benefits of UV light treatments. In addition to visible changes, thereis often less itching and flaking skin. The timeframe for receiving treatmentswill depend on the severity of your flare-ups. Some people only receivetreatments for a couple of months, while others can receive them for six monthsor longer.
Also Check: Tips For Eczema On Hands
How Light Therapy Treats Eczema
Sunlight contains ultraviolet light. Excessive sun exposure is a leading cause of sun damage and skin cancer, but sunlight can also reduce symptoms of certain skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.
Light therapy is FDA-approved for eczema, and it combines the benefits of natural sunlight with medical expertise. Its different from simply spending time in the sun, because it involves controlled exposure to specific wavelengths of UV light.
Also called phototherapy, light therapy primarily uses UVB wavelengths. Your patches of eczema are exposed to the light for a specific time from a few seconds to a few minutes and the UVB rays work to reduce inflammation and extra skin cell buildup on your skin.
Read Also: What Is The Best Otc For Eczema
Knowing The Risks Of Uv Light Therapy
While those who have benefited from UV light therapy are quick to sing its praises, Dr. Jack points out that its important for patients to understand that there can be certain risks involved.
When youre being monitored by a doctor, you have a lowered risk of side effects, but they can still occur, he says.
Some of the most common side effects of UV light therapy are:
- Burning or stinging sensation after treatments
- Premature aging of the skin, particularly for people with fair skin
Recommended Reading: What Helps Clear Up Eczema
What To Expect At Your Light Therapy Appointment
Patients usually go to light therapy appointments two or three times a week for several weeks to months, says Piliang. At the appointment, youll moisturize your skin, then stand undressed in a light box, with goggles on to protect your eyes, according to the National Eczema Association. Treatment can last anywhere from seconds to a couple of minutes, the society notes.
While light therapy may sound like a simple way to help with eczema, its not without its drawbacks.
How Does Phototherapy Work
Natural sunlight can help reduce symptoms in eczema for some people by reducing the inflammatory response in the skin. Both UVA and UVB wavelengths are used to treat eczema. There is debate about how phototherapy works, but it is known to reduce inflammation in the skin, thereby having an effect on the immune system.
Don’t Miss: Why Do I Suddenly Have Eczema
What To Expect From Uv Light Therapy
When receiving UV light therapy, your dermatologist will apply moisturizer to your skin before allowing any exposure to the light. You also will wear special goggles to protect your eyes from the UV rays.
The amount of time each affected area is treated can be a few seconds or several minutes, depending on how long youve been receiving the treatments.
Every situation is different, so the amount of time needed for treatment can vary greatly from one person to the next, Dr. Jack says. We start with very short exposure times and gradually increase that time, depending on how well the patients skin responds.
If, after receiving several treatments you have a good response, your dermatologist may even stop the sessions to see if your eczema is in remission.
It can take a couple of months of regular treatments to see improvements, but over time, its very possible that flare-ups wont occur as often, which means patients can go longer between treatments.
Who Is A Candidate For Uv Light Therapy
In addition to the skin conditions mentioned above, it is reported that UV light can also help improve some depression disorders, especially the seasonal type known as Seasonal Affective Disorder , which responds very well to sunlight exposure. Candidates are patients with no skin cancers and those who are not taking any photosensitive medications.
Read Also: What Causes Eczema On Palms Of Hands
What To Expect With Light Therapy For Eczema
Eczema symptoms and triggers vary from person to person, and theres no one-size-fits-all treatment. If youre diagnosed with eczema, Dr. Mikell may first recommend moisturizing regularly and using gentle cleansers. He may also recommend prescription treatments, such as topical corticosteroid creams or oral corticosteroids.
However, if you have widespread eczema across your body or if other treatments havent been effective, Dr. Mikell may suggest light therapy. Light therapy requires a series of consistent sessions to be effective, but it could offer relief from bothersome eczema symptoms.
Light therapy is quick and pain-free. Dr. Mikell may use a handheld device for small patches or a whole-body machine to treat larger areas. During treatment, he directs a beam of light at your skin, and it starts working to relieve your symptoms.
You should expect to have 2-3 light therapy sessions every week for 1-2 months. Dr. Mikell will monitor your condition throughout treatment, adjusting your sessions as needed. Once you start seeing an improvement in your skin, he may gradually reduce the frequency of your sessions.
Since light therapy involves UV light, its not without risks. It may not be a good option for people who find that their eczema gets worse with sun exposure, and it could increase your risk of developing skin cancer. After talking with Dr. Mikell, he can let you know if this treatment is right for you.
You Might Also Enjoy…
How Does Phototherapy Differ From Indoor Tanning
Indoor tanning may seem like a convenient alternative, but phototherapy differs from indoor tanning in many ways:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves medical UV phototherapy lamps and devices. It does not approve indoor tanning devices.
While the FDA does not approve indoor tanning equipment, it can place restrictions on products deemed dangerous. In 2014, the FDA placed stricter regulations on indoor tanning equipment. Tanning beds and sunlamps will be required to display a warning label. This label must include the message that tanning lamps are not recommended for people younger than 18 years.
A dermatologist closely monitors and supervises phototherapy to minimize each patients risk.
A phototherapy technician controls the UV exposure that your child receives. This control is not possible with tanning beds and sunlamps.
The Federal Trade Commission states that claims made by the Indoor Tanning Association about the health benefits of tanning are false and misleading.
Recommended Reading: Doctors Who Specialize In Eczema
Is It Time To Get A New Uv Light Therapy For Eczema
Youre looking for a new uv light therapy for eczema. What do you think? Its difficult to predict future price changes. If there are no signs of production slowing, it can be worth buying now to enjoy your investment sooner. But if output is declining and prices are predicted to rise, you might want to wait until the buzz has died down before making a choice.
The Lowdown On Light Therapy For Eczema
Eczema light therapy, or phototherapy, refers to the use of ultraviolet light to treat the skin rash and itching of eczema. Exposing the skin to UV light suppresses overactive skin immune system cells that cause inflammation, explains Elizabeth H. Page, MD, a dermatologist at Beth Israel Lahey Health and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Light therapy works by chasing away the white blood cells that trigger the inflammation, so light therapy is anti-inflammatory.
Another payoff? Light therapy also smoothes the lesions, decreasing skin thickening, says Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, a dermatologist and the director of the Laboratory of Inflammatory Skin Diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Recommended Reading: How To Avoid Itching Eczema
Is Phototherapy Suitable For Children
Yes, provided the child is old enough to stand in the light unit by him or herself without getting frightened. Children should visit the unit beforehand to see the light units and understand what they need to do. Initially, treatment is just for a few seconds and children quickly get used to the routine. The parent can remain by the unit and talk to the child, and sometimes there is a window they can see each other through. Parents are occasionally allowed in the unit for the first few treatments until the child gets used to it.
Why The Light Therapy
UV rays of a narrow spectrum have a pronounced cytostatic effect on skin cells, reducing the speed of their renewal. Because of that unpleasant symptoms disappear. Light destroys the immune cells of T-lymphocytes, and therefore, affects the source of the pathological skin reaction.
Eczema light treatment in combination with various creams is an effective and painless way to get rid of the disease. 60-70% of the patients positively respond to this effect. Eczema phototherapy helps even in cases where other measures didnt bring any results. Sometimes you can even avoid using of medications like Cyclosporine and Methotrexate.
Eczema phototherapy has been used since 1979 and it is still consistently productive. But only the last decades the safest narrowband spectrum of UV radiation.
Eczema phototherapy relieves the aggravation and discomfort , stimulates vitamin D production, and significantly prolongs the period of remission of the chronic form of the disease.
Don’t Miss: Dove Body Wash For Eczema
Research Shows Promise For Red Light As A Psoriasis Treatment
A 2010 study treated patients with chronic psoriasis, which in most cases had proved resistant to conventional treatments. Researchers treated patients for a 4-5 week period, with follow-ups, and found significant improvements in psoriasis symptoms. Red light therapy improved psoriasis symptoms:Psoriasis Cleared: Patients had a 60% to 100% clearance rate with recalcitrant psoriasis.Reduced Inflammation: Red light therapy reduced the skin inflammation of psoriasis patients.Patient Satisfaction: Researchers concluded that satisfaction was universally very high among the psoriasis patients treated with red light. Another double-blind, randomized study assessed 20 patients with psoriasis. By monitoring two psoriatic plaques on each patient, one treated and one untreated, researchers were able to determine that red light therapy improved psoriasis by reducing redness, hardening, and scaling of the skin.
Recommended Reading: Vitamins For Dry Skin Eczema
Purpose Of Ultraviolet Light Therapy
This treatment is used to manage certain skin diseases and infections. It can result in improvement of your symptoms, and it can cure certain skin infections. However, when used for chronic inflammatory disease, the effects of ultraviolet light therapy might be temporary, and the condition can recur months or years after treatment is stopped.
Conditions treated with ultraviolet light therapy include:
This treatment can prolong survival in CTCL, but outcomes are not as easily measured when it comes to skin conditions that cause discomfort and unwanted changes in the skins appearance, like psoriasis.
Ultraviolet light therapy has also been studied for treatment of lupus, a systemic inflammatory disease that causes a range of symptoms. Additionally, it has been used for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, a mood disorder that is associated with lack of sunlight.
Don’t Miss: How Does Eczema Look Like In Babies
How Much Is Uvb Light Therapy For Psoriasis
uvb light therapy for psoriasis come in a variety of designs and pricing ranges. Its difficult to predict product costs nowadays. You dont know how much something costs because the pricing range is so vast. For example, a pair of pants can range from $20 to $200 depending on where you buy them. Similarly, additional goods like as uvb light therapy for psoriasis.