Light Therapy for Dermatitis and Eczema
Dermatitis, also called eczema, is an inflammation of the skin. It can have many causes and occur in many types. Generally, dermatitis involves swollen, reddened and itchy skin. Dermatitis is common, not life-threatening and not contagious, but it can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A combination of self-care steps and medications can help you treat dermatitis and its symptoms – but some drugs have hazardous side effects.
UVB treatment is widely accepted as a valid and medically proven treatment for dermatitis. There are many types of dermatitis and eczema, and just as many causes, each patient will have different results from UV phototherapy treatment. UVB has been widely recognized as the type of UV photo-therapy that is most beneficial to Dermatitis sufferers. You will require a skin test, and then your treatment sessions will be twice a week for several weeks, depending on individual variations.
Dermatitis or eczema is often drier and covers more area than the typical psoriasis case. It can often be mistaken for psoriasis and vice versa. Dermatitis occurs in several types, each with distinct signs and symptoms. For this reason, each person should have their condition professionally diagnosed by a dermatologist or their doctor.
What causes dermatitis and eczema?
Several health conditions, allergies, genetic factors, physical and mental stress, and irritants can cause Dermatitis.
For some time, excessive amounts of sweat and the salt in human sweat have been considered a major contributing factor to dermatitis. It has been suggested that overactive sweat glands may cause some forms of dermatitis.
UV Photo-therapy lamps for vitiligo have for many decades been recognized widely as a relatively safe medical treatment.
It is free from the common and sometimes- dangerous side effects of many of the drugs in common use today. If used properly, there are almost no side effects. It is not a gimmick or passing “new age” therapy. It has been scientifically proven time and time again.
Effectiveness of UVB treatment
American Academy of Dermatology. Study Confirms Effectiveness of Revolutionary Vitiligo Treatment SCHAUMBURG, IL (July 12, 2001) – Imagine feeling perfectly healthy on the inside, but something looks wrong on the outside.
For millions of people who suffer from vitiligo, a disease in which patients experience a complete loss of pigment in localized areas of the skin, this feeling is one they know all too well. In a new study by dermatologist Henry W. Lim, MD, chairman of the department of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich., the effectiveness of narrow-band UVB (NB-UVB) phototherapy as a treatment for vitiligo was examined in a small sampling of patients. The results of the study are promising for this often hard-to-treat skin condition. After completing an average of 19 treatments with NB-UVB phototherapy, five of the seven vitiligo patients that participated in the study showed greater than 75 per cent repigmentation. Additionally, one patient has remained repigmented 11 months after phototherapy was discontinued. “The successful repigmentation that these patients experienced is quite remarkable,” explained Dr Lim, co-author of “Narrow-Band Ultraviolet B is a Useful and Well-Tolerated Treatment for Vitiligo” published in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. “Vitiligo is a difficult skin condition to treat, and patients are often frustrated because results from some of the other current treatments are not nearly as favourable. “Vitiligo is a disease in which patients have a complete loss of pigment in localized areas of the skin. These areas, often around the mouth and eyes, become completely white. As a result, vitiligo can be cosmetically disfiguring, especially for dark-skinned people. Vitiligo affects 1 per cent to 2 per cent of the worldwide population and about half of the people who develop it do so before the age of 20. About one-fifth of those with vitiligo have a family member with this condition. Vitiligo usually affects both sides of the body, and although the cause is generally not known, it is believed to be an autoimmune process. During the twelve-month trial period, 11 patients participated in Dr Lim’s study. Therapy was administered three times a week, and affected segments of the body were treated with NB-UVB, a light source that emits a very narrow spectrum of UVB, the portion of sunlight that causes sunburn.
The dose of radiation was increased by 15 per cent for each treatment. If mild burning, pain or blistering developed, the irradiation dose was decreased. Once the desirable 75 per cent re-pigmentation was achieved, the treatment frequency was tapered to twice a week for four weeks, weekly for an additional four weeks.
NB-UVB therapy has several advantages over other therapies for vitiligo. While topical corticosteroid therapy has a success rate of 56 per cent, long-term use of corticosteroids can result in thinning of the skin, stretch marks, and dilation of blood vessels. Another treatment option is oral or topical psoralen plus UVA (PUVA), the latter of which has a success rate of 51 per cent.
However, patients need to ingest or apply psoralen before getting light treatment. Long-term use of oral PUVA for another skin disease, psoriasis, has been associated with increased skin cancer incidence. Presently, only a few centres in the United States have the capabilities for NB-UVB therapy; therefore, patients undergoing this therapy have long distances to commute. While NB-UVB therapy has been used in Europe since the mid-1980s, there has not been any evidence that it causes an increase in skin cancer.
“Our findings confirmed that narrow-band UVB therapy is a useful and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with vitiligo,” says Dr Lim. “Although more research needs to be conducted, the successes thus far are promising to those who suffer from the psychological and physical effects of vitiligo.”
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UVB Narrow Band Laser – For a focal (localised) area treatment for Dermatitis, Vitiligo and Psoriasis.
A Skin MED test will be required £ 35.
- A treatment course consists of 8 visits £500.