Many common dermatologic diseases are thought to be caused by abnormal regulation of the skin's immune system. These disorders often improve when skin is exposed to natural sunlight, and, in recent years, physicians have discovered that ultraviolet light is the source of the sun's therapeutic effects. Ultraviolet light appears to block the normal immune mechanisms present in patients with particular cutaneous diseases, causing a temporary or permanent partial or complete remission of symptoms.
Phototherapy is useful in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, pityriasis rosea, lichen planus, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), and intractable itching. Exposure is directed towards the involved area of skin and can include total body, hand and foot, or other specialized modalities.
Narrowband UVB is a newer therapeutic modality used in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and other disorders of the skin. Advantages of narrowband UVB include no need for oral medications, no necessary eye precautions or risk of photosensitization, and decreased risk of side effects such as photoaging and skin cancer. Preliminary studies suggest narrow band UVB may be comparable in efficacy to standard PUVA and possibly superior to standard UVB.
The Department of Dermatology offers four phototherapy booths and numerous hand and foot units for localized therapy. Early morning sessions are available upon request, and a professional physician and nursing staff are available to custom tailor a therapeutic regimen best suited to your needs.
If you are interested in learning more about phototherapy for your skin condition, please contact us for an appointment.
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