Photo light therapy can improve existing lesions, reduce likelihood
of new lesions and, in some cases, offer near total clearing of the disease
PUVA and narrow band UVB photo
light therapy are used for the treatment of various skin diseases and disorders,
such as psoriasis, eczema, itching and hard to treat atopic dermatitis. PUVA
stands for psoralen and ultraviolet A (psoralen is a light-sensitive drug that
absorbs ultraviolet) while UVB indicated ultraviolet B.
USF Health Dermatology is proud to be one of the few providers
in the Tampa Bay area to offer this technology.
benefits from phototherapy:
- Improvement of existing lesions.
- Reduction of new lesions.
- Remission – in many cases phototherapy has resulted in
near-total clearing of the disease process. The duration of this remission
varies with each patient. Maintenance therapy may be required.
remember to do prior to coming to appointment:
- Wear the same style under garments to each appointment. This
would include the jock strap for men and bra/underwear for women. (Wearing the
same style can prevent burns)
- Men should have a jockstrap to protect areas prone to burn.
- Apply sunscreen to face (and areolas in women) if these areas
are not being treated.
- Do not wear any jewelry, if you do please remove all
necklaces, bracelets, and watches prior to entering booth.
- Tell the nurse if ANY medications have changed. (This
includes over the counter medications, supplements, herbal supplements and ALL
- Do not start any new herbal medications while you are undergoing
- Certain medicines may make you more sensitive to light and
more apt to burn.
- The nurse will ask you to wear protective devices over your
head and neck and protective goggles during the treatment. Once started these
need to be worn EVERY treatment to prevent burning.
- It is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep every appointment.
Missing appointments will decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Wash treated areas gently with mild soaps, such as Cetaphil
- Do no rub, massage or pick at treated skin.
- You may use aloe or a moisturizer for dry itchy irritated
- Over the counter antihistamines can be used to ease the
itching that may occur.
- Avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Sunscreen at least SPT 30 is recommended daily.
- Perform regular self-skin exams for signs and symptoms of
skin cancers at least monthly.
- Side effects such as itchiness, redness, dryness of the skin,
burning and very rarely blistering may occur.
at home, contact the office if any of the following occurs:
- Signs of infections, including fever and chills
- Redness around the skin lesions or any discharge and/or
unusual growths, moles or skin sores.
- Severe skin redness, burning, pain, peeling, swelling or
- Side affects you experienced due to the treatment continue or
is NOT a cure, but can effectively control or improve the disease. Each condition
and patient will vary in the number of treatments needed per week and the time
it will take to reach clearing.
Typically, treatments start with only a few seconds of light
exposure and increase gradually as determined by the nursing staff. It may take
15-25 treatments or longer to note improvement. Not all patients will clear completely.
side-effect of phototherapy:
- The most common side effect of this therapy is UVB-induced
sunburn. This may occur at any time during therapy. Certain drugs may also
cause you to get sun burnt. Please let your doctor/nurse know of ANY
medications you are taking, or any that you begin while undergoing therapy.
- It is possible with any form of UV light that an increased incidence
of skin cancer may occur later in some patients, usually only with many UV light
treatments, especially in fair-skinned individuals.
- UV treatments may cause dryness and itching.
- UV treatments age the skin over time and may increase
freckles and pigmentation and wrinkles of the skin.
- UV rays may damage the eyes and increase your risk of
cataracts. This is PREVENTABLE with the goggles given to you that you are
required to wear during treatment.
- UV light may cause a flare of rosacea, fever blisters and
mouth sores in susceptible people.
- Long-term UV exposure to unprotected genital area in men may
cause an increase in genital cancer. Men WILL wear jock strap in treatment.
- UV light may cause exacerbation of other skin conditions
(such as Lupus).