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What You Need to Know About Light Therapy and Your Skin Condition

If you are plagued by alopecia, acne, eczema or psoriasis, there are treatment options to help make your symptoms less severe. Light therapy is a treatment option often used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with other treatments. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can perform light therapy, but it is important to know what it is and how it works.


What to Know About Light Therapy

What is Light Therapy?

Light therapy is not a one-size-fits all treatment. There are different light therapies based on each patient’s needs and what symptoms it is treating. Narrowband UVB light therapy, excimer laser, and phototherapy are the most common light therapies used for treatment. Common skin conditions treated by various light therapies include acne, alopecia, eczema, and psoriasis.


Skin Conditions Treated by Light Therapy

Acne is a condition that produces blocked pores due to rising hormone levels and overstimulated glands. It can be a mild to severe skin condition that can cause embarrassment, anger, and frustration. With phototherapy, a light is shined onto the skin and it kills the bacteria (acne). It also shrinks the oil glands in your skin that are a cause of acne. Treatments are done once per week for up to 30 minutes. After treatment, you can finally have clear skin and a confidence boost.

Alopecia can also be treated with light therapy. Alopecia is a skin condition that is an auto-immune condition caused from genetics, chronic illness, or other underlying skin condition. Males and females typically in their 30s may notice bald spots on their head or patches of hair missing from their beard. Most alopecia cases are autoimmune disorders allowing the hair to potentially grow back. Light therapy for alopecia is painless and noninvasive. The light delivers pulsed energy to the melanin hair follicles and destroys the bad hair follicles. After light therapy, your hair will ideally grow back but continued treatments may be needed.

Eczema is a skin condition that can occur all over the body or on centralized areas of the body. The skin appears red and itchy and can occur in males or females at any age. It is typically a chronic condition but thanks to light therapy, can be treated. Narrowband UVB therapy is the light therapy used to treat eczema. During treatment, you will stand in a light-emitting machine for a few minutes as it works to reduce the appearance of your eczema. You will continue this treatment for up to two months to see results.

Lastly, psoriasis can also be treated by light therapy. Psoriasis appears as inflamed, red skin in almost any area of the body with the most common areas being the legs, arms, and back. Psoriasis is caused by an abnormality in the white blood cells resulting in skin inflammation. Narrowband UVB therapy can be used like it is for eczema or an excimer laser may be used. An excimer laser uses a focused beam of laser light to rapidly clear the psoriasis.

Keep in mind, these are just a few common conditions that can be treated by light therapy. There are more conditions that can be treated, and we recommend working with our dermatologists to learn more. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or surrounding areas, complete this form. We will be in touch with the best light therapy options for your condition.

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