Understanding Phototherapy Modality (Light Therapy)

Phototherapy Modality, or light therapy, is a general term to describe a host of therapies that use varying degrees of light to treat a variety of illnesses, including skin conditions.

How Does Phototherapy Work?

During a phototherapy treatment, the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light B (UVB) or ultraviolet a (UVA) in order to slow the growth of cells and reduce inflammation, two key factors that contribute to the development of several skin diseases. This can be done in a light booth, or administered by a “laser” type application.

Through the reproduction of sunlight in a medically controlled setting, light therapy can treat many skin conditions.

What Does Phototherapy Treat?

Phototherapy can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Scleroderma
  • Psoriasis
  • Vitiligo
  • Jaundice
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Acne Vulgaris
  • Skin Cancer

Cosmetic concerns that phototherapy can treat including the following:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Skin elasticity
  • Age spots and sun damage
  • Melasma or pregnancy mask
  • Pore size
  • Acne

What Can I Expect During a Phototherapy Treatment?

Phototherapy treatments are a simple process. The area of skin to be treated is prepared with a moisturizing substance and the patient is given protective eyewear to wear throughout the treatment.

In most cases, the patient will sit or lie back and relax as the phototherapy treatment is administered and medical lasers are used to deliver specific wavelengths of light to the skin affected for a prescribed amount of time.

The number of treatments and frequency are determined by the skin condition. Treatments may occur once, a few times a year, or several times a week based on diagnosis, severity of the condition and accepted practice.

How Does Phototherapy Help?

Phototherapy has been shown to have the following, positive effects:

  • Reduction or elimination of the malady treated
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Increased Vitamin D production
  • Relief of itching
  • Increase in the skin’s bacteria-fighting systems

To learn more about phototherapy treatments and to seek diagnosis and treatment for skin-related conditions, contact the Skin and Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110.