Kevin St. Clair

Author Bio -


* Phototherapy uses UV light, such as what is found in sunlight, to treat some skin conditions, notably psoriasis and acne.

Phototherapy (or Light Therapy) is a treatment for some skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and parapsoriasis. It works by exposing the infected area to UV light in order to lessen the effects of the disease. For instance, UV radiation is known to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammatory responses, including the ones responsible for psoriasis.

There are two types of Phototherapytreatment for psoriasis, broad band and narrow band. Narrow band UVB light bulbs release a smaller range of ultraviolet light. Narrow-band UVB typically clears psoriasis faster and produces longer remissions than broad-band UVB. It also may be effective with fewer treatments per week.

Treatment usually requires two or more visits a week for several weeks. A Phototherapy booth works similar to a tanning booth. Patients, wearing protective eyewear, stand in the booth for anywhere from one to 15 minutes. The amount of time is increased on each visit. For psoriasis, you may need 20 or 30 phototherapy treatments for ideal results.

You may also get the same results from exposure to the sun for short periods of time. Start with 10 minutes a day in the sun and gradually increase to around 30 minutes a day. Be careful to avoid overexposure and sunburn.

The use of Phototherapy for three consecutive days has also been shown to reduce the bacteria responsible for adult acne (acne vulgaris). Studies have demonstrated that it's more effective than benzoyl peroxide and the treatment is far better tolerated.

Side Effects

Because phototherapy does not involve using any medications, there are no drug-to-drug interactions or medicinal side effects. However, results are often enhanced when Phototherapy is done in combination with conventional medications.