Phototherapy involves the use of ultraviolet light to treat many inflammatory skin conditions as well as certain types of skin lymphoma. Doses of ultraviolet light are precisely delivered in a carefully controlled schedule to minimize risks. Phototherapy is particularly effective for psoriasis and eczema. It is also very useful for less common conditions such as lichen planus, diffuse granuloma annulare, pityriasis rosea or mycosis fungoides. Vitiligo can be treated with phototherapy but usually requires a more prolonged treatment course.
Narrow-band UVB phototherapy is used at our clinic for its effectiveness and patient convenience. We have the most advanced phototherapy units including the Waldmann UV 7002 for full body treatment as well as separate units to treat hands and/or feet only. Treatments are usually performed 2-3 times per week. The duration of treatment varies depending on the skin condition being treated.
Narrow-band UVB phototherapy is well tolerated in the great majority of patients. Possible adverse effects include:
- Reactivation of herpes simplex (cold sores)
- Increased risk of skin cancers: likely only a small increase in the risk