Have you heard about UV light treatment for eczema? Phototherapy or light therapy is treatment using ultraviolet light for psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and other photosensitive skin problems. It is considered a safe and effective way to ease eczema.
What Phototherapy Is Like
Commonly, phototherapy for eczema uses the narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) light. This is a special wavelength of UVB light that can treat skin ailments with minimum sunburn risks. A specially designed machine is used to expose the patient’s skin to UVB light. There are also other forms of light therapy such as broadband UVB light, PUVA, and UVA1.
Light therapy is different from sunbathing under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight does not only consist of beneficial narrowband UVB light but also harmful forms of UV radiation.
Eczema patients can undergo light therapy in their dermatologist’s office at a clinic or hospital. There is also a home treatment option using a phototherapy unit. However, it must still be done under a doctor’s supervision.
Benefits of Light Treatment for Eczema
Studies show that about 70% of eczema patients have improved their health conditions with light therapy. The therapy takes a long time to take effect, and seeing your doctor 3 times a week is normal if you are seeking for intensive eczema treatment. However, if you stick to your therapy schedule, it is most likely effective.
The treatment is able to ease itch and skin inflammation. It also improves the skin’s immunity against bacteria, which might cause severe infection in eczema. According to those who have tried phototherapy, they have better skin conditions that last well after the treatment ends.
Should I Try UV Light Treatment?
Despite its proven effectiveness, light therapy is not for everyone. You have to consult your dermatologist about the risks and benefits of phototherapy.
Although phototherapy is generally safe, it still carries some side effects. The downsides range from sunburn, skin aging, to skin cancer.
UV light treatment is not recommended for people who have lupus, tumors, a history or risk of skin cancer, or a genetic disorder that makes their skin extremely sensitive to UV light. If you are taking any medication that can make you photosensitive, such as certain types of antibiotics, you are at a greater risk of getting the side effects as well.
Therefore, it is best to always ask your doctor first and foremost before getting UV light treatment for eczema.