In this article we explain what phototherapy is and what to expect before phototherapy procedure, during phototherapy procedure, and after your procedure.
The goal of phototherapy is to scale back the expansion of your skin cells and to treat underlying skin inflammation. Phototherapy, also called light therapy, does this by putting ultraviolet (UV) light on your skin.
Phototherapy are often wont to treat several skin conditions, including:
- Psoriasis (raised, red, scaly patches on your skin)
- Vitiligo (loss of color on patches of your skin)
- Eczema (a condition that produces your skin red and itchy)
- Lichen planus (small bumps on your skin)
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (a style of lymphoma that appears as patches or scaly areas on your skin)
- Itchy skin
How Phototherapy Procedure Works
light therapy uses UV light, which is additionally found in sunlight. Phototherapy can even be utilized in combination with other topical (applied on the skin) therapies.
Phototherapy will be given to a particular area of your body or to your entire body if over 5% of your skin is affected.
There are 2 main varieties of phototherapy:
Ultraviolet B (UVB)
There are 2 varieties of UVB phototherapy, including broadband and narrowband (NB-UVB). The difference is that NB-UVB gives off a shorter wavelength of UV light.
This type of therapy uses UVA light and an oral (by mouth) medication called psoralen that produces your skin more sensitive to light.
Before Your Phototherapy
Your doctor will determine if phototherapy is safe for you. To do this, they will:
- Do a complete body skin exam by watching all of your skin. they’ll also ask about your reaction to sunlight.
- Ask you about your personal and case history of carcinoma and photosensitizing disorders (disorders that make your skin more sensitive to the sun).
- Ask if you’re pregnant or if you’re breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor what medications you’re taking, including patches, creams, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications (medications you get without a prescription). Some medications, like retinoids (including tretinoin), certain antibiotics, cancer medications, et al can make your skin more sensitive to UV light.
If you’re having PUVA light therapy, you may have to see your ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to own an eye fixed exam before you start.
Planning Your Phototherapy
Phototherapy is finished in your local dermatologist’s (skin doctor) office but if you’ll need long-term therapy, you’ll talk over with your local dermatologist about doing phototherapy from your home.
Phototherapy in your dermatologist’s office
Este Pearl doesn’t currently do that procedure. If you’re having phototherapy in an exceedingly doctor’s office, you’ll must find an area dermatologist that does this as an in-office procedure.
Your dermatologist will explain what you wish to try to to and the way long you’ll receive your phototherapy.
Phototherapy at home
If you’re having phototherapy at home, you’ll need a home phototherapy machine. Your doctor’s office will send information to the corporate which will send you the machine and directions for the way to use it.
You can find more information about home phototherapy units and firms that offer them at: www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/phototherapy/uvb/home-equipment.
Depending on the kind of home phototherapy machine you employ, you’ll need to:
Fill out a home phototherapy patient form and the other needed forms. Your doctor who ordered phototherapy for you’ll offer you these.
Have your doctor’s prescription that has the kind of therapy and also the dose.
Giving Yourself Phototherapy at Home
- Don’t placed on lotion or moisturizer for twenty-four hours before each treatment.
- For each treatment, you may need:
Protective goggles. you may get these from the corporate that supplies your phototherapy machine.
The home phototherapy machine.
- If you’re only getting phototherapy to certain areas of your body, confirm all other areas are covered. you’ll be able to cover them with clothing or sunscreen. This keeps your skin from getting burned. If you’ve got any questions about covering your body, ask your healthcare provider.
- Wear protective goggles during every treatment, as instructed by your healthcare provider. Wearing goggles will help prevent damage to your eyesight.
If your eyelids are the world being treated, you don’t have to wear the goggles but make certain to stay your eyes closed during your entire treatment.
- The dose of phototherapy are calibrated (pre-set) for you by the corporate that creates the machine.
- Stay the right distance from the unit throughout your treatment, as directed by your doctor or your home phototherapy machine instructions.
- Expose your affected skin to the phototherapy light, as directed by your doctor.
After Your Phototherapy
- You may have redness, itching, or a burning sensation after your phototherapy treatment. These are all normal side effects of this therapy.
- Phototherapy can dry out your skin. Moisturize your skin with a fragrance-free moisturizer, like Aquaphor® or Cetaphil®, a minimum of once daily.
- It may take 6 to eight treatments before your skin starts recovering. for a few people, it’s going to take 2 months to work out improvement.
- You may must follow-up along with your dermatologist who is managing your skin condition, your ophthalmologist, and your doctor at Este Pearl.
- Ask your doctors after you should schedule these appointments.
When to Call Your Healthcare Provider
Call your healthcare provider if you have got the following:
- A fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- Blistering, cracking, drainage, or a rash on your skin
- One or more new lesions (skin growths or patches that don’t appear as if the skin around them) on the affected area after your treatment
- Flu-like symptoms, such as:
Headaches or body aches
Fatigue (feeling more tired or weak than usual)
Nausea (feeling like you’re visiting throw up)
Vomiting (throwing up)
Diarrhea (loose or watery bowel movements)
Runny or stuffy nose
- Any open areas on your skin, including cuts, tears, blisters, burns, or ulcers
- Redness on the skin that was treated that lasts for over 24 hours