PHOTOTHERAPY

Phototherapy (light therapy) treats a wide variety of skin conditions such as:

  1. Psoriasis
  2. Vitiligo
  3. Eczema
  4. Intractable itching.  

Sunlight has always been known to help heal many skin conditions. However, the risk of skin cancer with prolonged UV exposure makes it a less desirable approach.  Over time, researchers have been able to create technology that mimics very specific wavelengths in order to harness the therapeutic light rays while eliminating the damaging ones.  

 

What is phototherapy?

Narrowband phototherapy is a safe and effective treatment for many autoimmune diseases of the skin.  In fact, in many situations it is considered a first-line treatment option for conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema.  It is safe to use in pregnant women and in children, and it does not have any of the side effects associated with systemic medications or biologics.

 

How is phototherapy done?

Narrowband UV therapy, or light therapy, involves the coming to the office several times per week for a treatment session.  Once in the office, you are escorted to a private room where you remove your clothes.  Our assistants will help you to apply petrolatum to the affected areas, as this does increase the efficacy of the treatment.  Our computer keeps track of your previous treatments, and creates a safe algorithm for your subsequent treatments.  Once your skin condition has improved, typically treatment sessions are decreased.  For example, most people begin by coming 3 times weekly.  After several weeks they decrease to 2 times weekly, then once weekly, and eventually many people can stop coming or may only need to come once per month for a treatment.

 

Does insurance cover these treatments?

Yes, insurance typically covers phototherapy treatments.  Every insurance company is a little different, and individual plans may vary.  Some people are responsible for a copay, while others are responsible for a larger amount as it is considered a procedure that goes toward the deductible.  Typically, a pre-authorization is necessary before the procedure.  Our office can talk to you about pricing.