Eczema is a skin condition that can become painful, especially during flare-ups. Many people with the condition use anti-inflammatory creams and ointments. It’s also beneficial to avoid using anything that might be considered an irritant. For serious cases of eczema, light therapy is a good solution. Light therapy for eczema involves the use of UV rays. The information below will shed light on how this treatment works.
As a disclaimer, while we do our best to make sure all info is accurate, check with your healthcare provider before attempting any new treatment.
About Light Therapy for Eczema
Light therapy for eczema is when the part of your body that's irritated is exposed to UV light. The purpose is to influence the division of cells and inhibit inflammation. This treatment is often administered in closed rooms where there are fluorescent lamps. These lamps emit light that is the wavelength required to divide cells. It’s common to have light therapy at tanning spas that are equipped with the appropriate technology.
The number of sessions required usually depends on the severity of your eczema and any sensitivities that you might have. It’s likely that you will need up to six sessions each week. For mild cases, a couple of sessions might suffice. The treatment should be continued for several months. It’s normal for your skin to require time getting adjusted to UV rays. After a few treatments, it’s possible that the amount of light therapy administered will need to be increased.
Types of Light Therapy
The type of wavelength used from one person to another will vary. Sometimes UVB rays is used, while on other occasions UVA rays are more appropriate. UVB rays are believed to reduce side effects because the light spectrum is limited. Applying light therapy for the correct amount of time and at an appropriate wavelength will determine its effectiveness. There are numerous options and it’s important to choose the right provider to ensure the best outcome.
Benefits of Light Therapy
There are many symptoms associated with eczema. While the main symptom is inflammation, it’s also possible to experience itching and broken skin, which can result in an infection if left untreated. When eczema is severe, it is sometimes necessary to combine UV light therapy with other treatments to minimize or eliminate itching. This might include the use of medicinal creams or moisturizing products with ingredients that soothe the skin.
If you choose light therapy for eczema, it will require consistency to ensure the treatment is effective. In the event that several appointments are required over a long period of time, it will be critical to keep those appointments to achieve the desired results.
It’s important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with light therapy. Some patients experience dry skin as a result of the radiation. This can be mitigated with moisturizing creams applied after each treatment. You'll likely receive strict instructions on how and when to use the moisturizing cream.
It’s important to understand the possibility of premature aging caused by ongoing exposure to UV radiation. This may not be a problem for short-term treatments lasting for only a few weeks or a few months. It’s not uncommon for treatments to last for up to six months, which can age your skin. There are also studies linking exposure to UV radiation and skin cancer.