treatment for rashes and dry skin
Rashes and dry skin patches are common skin concerns that may make you want to hide your skin under layers of clothing. In most cases, topical treatments aren’t enough to treat these issues. The good news is that dermatologists can harness the power of light to treat chronic medical conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
At Spring Street Dermatology in NYC, our board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants use phototherapy to provide patients with a skin-soothing treatment that can decrease skin inflammation, helping to clear your skin disorder.
What is Phototherapy?
Present in natural sunlight, narrowband ultraviolet B (nbUVB) is a small range of ultraviolet light that can treat various skin conditions, including stubborn conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis. As it penetrates the skin, UV light slows down the growth of affected skin cells and decreases the inflammation associated with skin conditions responsive to phototherapy. The treatment involves regularly exposing the skin to UV light under medical supervision.
What Does Phototherapy Treat?
Who is a Candidate for Phototherapy?
Both adults and children can benefit from light therapy. Ideal candidates for phototherapy do not respond to topical treatments and prescription products or have broad affected skin areas. NbUVB light therapy is also safe for pregnant women.
For resistant, localized skin diseases like psoriasis, Spring Street Dermatology also offers targeted excimer phototherapy, which emits high-intensity UVB beams and penetrates deeper into the skin at our SOHO, Tribeca, and Uptown skin care clinic locations.
Phototherapy on Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Phototherapy is an accessible procedure with a wide range of effectiveness, offering a safe alternative to systemic treatments, which is why we consider it as one of the best treatment options for patients with chronic skin diseases.
To learn more about phototherapy, please visit ncbi.gov.
Benefits of Phototherapy
Increase collagen formation and blood circulation
Increase ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) energy to improve cellular performance, encourage tissue repair, and regeneration and provide anti-aging protection
Create clearer skin
Reduce future rashes
Reduce the need for topical medications
During your visit to our skin care clinic, you will need to change into a dressing gown and apply moisturizing oil to your skin. You will stand in a large cabinet that contains UV bulbs via a hand-held wand, and you may also have hand and foot units where you can insert your hands or feet during treatment. You will undress except for underwear, goggles, or a face shield. We will then activate the light-emitting machine.
Treatment time varies, depending on the extent of your skin condition being targeted, skin type, and how your skin reacts to treatment. The initial dose will likely only take a few seconds and will gradually increase over the treatment course. Patients typically attend phototherapy treatment sessions 2-3 times weekly, for a total treatment plan lasting 6-10 weeks. Patients must adhere to their treatment plan for optimized results.
Schedule Your Phototherapy Treatment Online
At Spring Street Dermatology, we are committed to helping our patients achieve healthy, beautiful skin through proper skin care and individualized treatments. To learn more about phototherapy, contact Spring Street Dermatology in SOHO, Tribeca, or Uptown, NYC to schedule a consultation. You can also schedule an appointment online here.
Phototherapy Questions & Answers
Q: Are there any possible side effects from phototherapy?
A: Phototherapy is considered very safe. But as with other treatment technologies and medical procedures, phototherapy comes with risks and possible side effects. However, risks associated with phototherapy are considered low compared with the use of indoor tanning beds. And if side effects occur, they are usually mild and short-lived. They may include:
- Skin tenderness and sunburn
- Dry or itchy skin
- Temporary worsening of skin condition
- Temporary darkening of freckles
- Photosensitive skin eruptions
- Future cataracts
Your physician may be able to manage side effects by reducing treatment time, taking breaks during longer sessions, moving you farther away from the light source, or changing the time of day you undergo phototherapy. Due to the regular exposure to UV rays, phototherapy can lead to premature skin aging and increase your risk for cancer. Keep in mind that dermatologists can quickly treat skin cancers during the early stages, so always come for your skin cancer screening at least once or twice a year.
Q: How long will my results last?
A: Most patients see an average of 50-70% repigmentation of affected skin after 6-12 months of treatment. Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic skin conditions. Symptoms may gradually appear after several months of remission, so we recommend maintenance treatments to keep skin clear. Results may also last longer for those who take proper care of their skin by staying hydrated and regularly applying sunscreen and moisturizer.
Q: Does a phototherapy treatment hurt?
A: Treatments are usually short and generally well tolerated by patients. However, it is common to feel warm during or following phototherapy. Most patients report skin dryness, mild irritation, and a tight feeling after phototherapy. Vaseline or other bland topical emollients should relieve discomfort.
Q: What is recovery from a phototherapy treatment like?
A: You should stay indoors and avoid sunlight for 24-48 hours or as directed by your physician. Avoiding direct sunlight is crucial to prevent skin irritation. Overall, patients can resume their normal activities 24-48 hours after their treatment. Your physician will also let you know which precautions to take based on your treatment area and size.
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