Do you suffer from eczema? This skin condition affects millions of people around the world. It appears as dry, red, irritated, and itchy skin. Though there is no cure, there are many reputable treatments. One type of treatment utilizes ultraviolet light. The following information will describe what this type of treatment is and how it works.
What is the ultraviolet light treatment?
This type of eczema therapy uses ultraviolet, or UV light to treat the rash and itching associated with the condition. It is believed that when you expose the skin to UV light, it will suppress the skin’s immune system cells that are overactive and cause inflammation. Though the treatment type works rather well, it’s not without its faults.
Real or Fake UV?
While some experts will say that natural sunlight exposure is great for easing eczema’s symptoms, others will say that artificially-produced UV lights are the best to use for treatment because it can be administered under supervision and it’s controlled. In fact, one doctor explained that light therapy can be used as a reputable treatment for adults and children over the age of 12, who suffer from moderate to severe symptoms.
Here is a list of the three types of eczema photo-therapy:
- Narrowband UVB
- Broadband UVB
The Benefits of using the Therapy
This form of ultraviolet light treatment is usually used for cases that do not respond well to other types of treatment. The truth is that when this type of treatment is used correctly, it offers far fewer side effects than other prescription medications that you can use.
The Risks of using Light Therapy
Much like anything else, light therapy brings its own set of drawbacks. The biggest one is that it takes a great deal of time, as you must go to several doctor’s visits over a span of weeks. While some light therapy units can be used at home with a prescription, most dermatologists want to do the treatments in the office where they are more controlled. Here is a short list of other risks:
- This type of treatment can cause blistering and sunburn.
- Though it has not yet been proven, it’s possible this kind of treatment can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
- Over time damage to the skin such as freckles and wrinkles can occur.
So, while it works as a treatment for eczema that is moderate to severe, it should be used in an environment where precautions are taken and it is controlled. Ask your dermatologist if this is a good treatment option for you!