Rush dermatologists use light therapy to treat moderate to severe skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and others. We reduce symptoms so you can feel better, longer.
Phototherapy, also called light therapy, uses ultraviolet (UV) light to treat certain skin conditions. The ultraviolet light works to reduce the skin inflammation that causes itching, swelling and rash.
Light Therapy for Eczema, Psoriasis and Other Conditions
Rush dermatologists use phototherapy to treat moderate to severe skin conditions that are widespread or don’t respond well to other treatments. These can include:
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (mycosis fungoides)
- Granuloma annulare
- Itchy skin
- Lichen planus
Light therapy is an effective alternative to medicines and topical creams that can cause negative side effects. It uses UV light to slow skin cell growth and reduce inflammation.
Phototherapy at Rush: What to Expect
At Rush, we use a phototherapy light box, or a cabinet that you stand in.
Depending on your condition, you may need two to five weekly sessions given over two to three months. Each session can last 15 to 30 minutes.
Light therapy is not a permanent cure, but it does help control symptoms, often for months.
Phototherapy Light: Is It Safe?
Ultraviolet light is a type of light that’s present in sunlight. It can increase the risk for skin cancer, burns and early aging. There are different types of UV light, with different side effects.
At Rush, we use narrowband UVB phototherapy light, the most common form used for light therapy. Narrowband UVB takes out some of the wavelengths that can damage skin. Research suggests it’s generally safe.
Narrowband UVB light therapy offers a higher intensity, which can mean:
- Increased treatment effectiveness in shorter exposure times
- Shorter course of treatment
- Longer times between maintenance sessions
Phototherapy Side Effects
Light therapy healing and recovery may be easier compared to other treatments like oral medicines and topical creams.
Phototherapy side effects are similar to a sunburn reaction and are temporary. These include:
- Hair follicle irritation
Rush Excellence in Phototherapy (Light Therapy)
- Effective treatment planning: Rush dermatologists are experts in phototherapy and have years of experience. That experience means we can better help you manage its risks and any side effects. We create a treatment plan that’s safe and effective.
- Access to other world-class Rush specialists: Our dermatologists have close working relationships with many Rush specialists. We partner with highly skilled rheumatologists, allergists, oncologists and others to plan care if needed.
- Compassionate care: We know how skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can affect you physically and socially. Our team works hard to get you feeling great, inside and out.