Phototherapy Patient Information
What is Phototherapy?
Phototherapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light shone directly on affected areas of skin. This light occurs naturally as a component of sunlight and is part of the ultraviolet light spectrum.
How do Phototherapy Lights Work?
Ultraviolet Phototherapy lights slow abnormal growth of normal skin cells. Phototherapy uses different wavelengths of the UV spectrum based on which condition is to be treated. The safest wavelengths, narrowband UVB, have been shown to be very effective in treating psoriasis and in the repigmentation process for vitiligo.
What is Phototherapy Treatment Like?
This depends on your condition. For psoriasis, phototherapy lights are usually used 3 times per week, with sessions starting with a few seconds and increasing to several minutes over time. Once skin is clear, your doctor will determine whether maintenance requires regular phototherapy or whether your remission needs only periodic checkups.
At What Point Is Home Phototherapy A Viable Option?
Obviously, consult your physician, but if your involvement is 10% or more of your body, ultraviolet phototherapy lights are the fastest, most effective, and safest treatment possible. You can treat yourself in the privacy of your own home with your physician's guidance. All U.S. orders for home phototherapy devices require a physician's prescription.
Is Home Phototherapy Expensive?
Usually, no. Many insurance carriers recognize the value of a home photo therapy regimen for the treatment of severe psoriasis: