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Eczema Treatment Using Light
The first is called UVA-1 Phototherapy. In this type of therapy, a narrow band of light is used to penetrate deeply into the skin. This is the newest one around and doctors have claimed that it is more focused and intense compared to other types since it does not burn the skin in therapeutic doses.
One of the advantages of this type of therapy is the fact that it can target large areas of skin without the side effects of oral or topical medications. It is currently being used to treat patients who are also suffering from dermatitis or dyshidrosis which is a condition that causes blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and morphea, thought to be an autoimmune disease that is localized to the skin and causes thickening and discoloration.
Since it is quite new, it is only available in a few hospitals in the US. During the session, a machine will emit UVA light directly over the affected area. Treatment usually takes 12 minutes and patients can keep coming back several times in a week. Some patients experience itchiness or redness after but this quickly disappears after a session.
Most patients have at least 4 to 5 therapy sessions in the first week and then cut this down to two or three in the succeeding weeks. You will see improvements after three weeks and doctors claim that there are no traces of this after a few months.
Aside from UVA-1 Phototherapy, you have narrow band UVB. This is the most common form of phototherapy around. The word narrow band refers to a specific wavelength of radiation so most of the time the patient is exposed to 311 nanometers of ultraviolet radiation.
The reason why it is the most common form aside from the fact that there are a lot of facilities that have it is the fact that your exposure time to the ultraviolet light is much shorter as well the course of treatment. It is more likely to clear your skin condition and you will enjoy a long remission period before it appears again.
Aside from eczema, this form of treatment is used to treat patients suffering from dermographism, early cutaneous T-cell, lichen planus, lymphoma, polymorphous light eruption, pruritus, and vitiligo.
The third type is PUVA which stands for Psoralen and UVA treatment. Psoralens are found in plants and can only be sensitized when this is taken either orally or applied topically. When applied with UVA, the patient does not have to be exposed too long to the radiation.
This process works by taking Psoralen orally an hour before UVA treatment. If the patient is not able to handle it, the hospital must provide a bathing system or a topical version of psoralens. Afterwards, the patient wears protective goggles during treatment and for the next 24 hours.
PUVA is given 2 to 3 times a week for a period of 3 months. Post treatment or maintenance therapy is one session a week. Each time the patient leaves the clinic, he or she must avoid exposure to sunlight for the next 24 hours.
Eczema treatment using light is safe and effective. You should consider it if you have this skin condition.
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