Ultraviolet Light Therapy (Phototherapy)

About Phototherapy

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  • Helps improve blood circulation in the affected area.
  • Stimulates production of collagen required for repairing damaged tissues.
  • Activates the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
  • Helps eliminate continuous inflammation, itch and can trigger faster tissue repair.
  • Helps treat many types of skin problems and aids in reduction of scar tissue.

What is Phototherapy?

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Ultraviolet light therapy is also known as phototherapy. It is a kind of therapy that involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light for a prescribed duration of time. Phototherapy can also involve the use of other forms of light such as lasers and fluorescent lamps.

The use of ultraviolet light therapy has proven to be very useful for treating various kinds of skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, spongitis dermatitis, acne and other skin conditions. Ultraviolet A (UVA), Ultraviolet B (UVB), Photochemotherapy (PUVA) are the spectra of ultraviolet light that is used for phototherapy.

Phototherapy can be applied directly on the skin by the therapist. It may also involve making use of medications or chemical agents that can be applied on the skin to increase the effect of the applied of UV light that is used for treatment.

Why Phototherapy

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Skin problems can be hard to cope with. Moreover, skin issues present on the face and neck cannot be hidden and if not treated in the right way, the condition may worsen. You may even be restricted to eat certain types of food that do not trigger your condition. This can negatively affect a patient’s comfort level and self-confidence.

Skin problems are often persistent and often non responsive to ointments, lotions and creams.  However, many skin conditions can be treated successfully with ultraviolet light therapy. UV therapy can provide long-term recovery from conditions that affect the skin’s appearance.

Common Questions

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The duration of the treatment varies from patient to patient and also depends on the skin condition. For instance, a patient suffering from psoriasis may show improvements within 5- 7 weeks whereas a person suffering from vitiligo may take several months to show positive signs of improvements. Even though the treatment can go on for several weeks, you can usually observe positive signs during the first week or two. After the skin problem has been treated, you will also need maintenance sessions.

It has been found that phototherapy lowers the activity of the immune system. The immune system of the skin becomes over-active during any skin problem. Phototherapy helps in lowering the activity of the immune system and thereby enriching the skin quality by healing the skin issues.

Phototherapy is covered by various insurance companies. Check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered.

Eyes must be covered by protective glasses and the groin area must also be covered during a UV therapy session. If you are undergoing any treatment or taking medicine for any skin conditions, you should inform the UV therapists.

You will be asked to discuss all your skin problems and the medication that you are taking. You will be asked to stand inside a box that is lined with UV light bulbs for few seconds or minutes during which you are required to wear protective gear your eyes and genitals.

This can be done two to three times in a week. Some treatments involving PUVA may also require you to soak your hands and feet in a solution for 20 minutes. After this, the affected area will be exposed to UVA light. After each treatment, the therapist will discuss any possible side-effects and will inquire as to how you are feeling in relation to the last treatment session.

Coverage Options

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pt Health therapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP (Ontario), Alberta Health Care and Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia). Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-749-7461.

At pt Health we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.

Ready to feel your best? Schedule an appointment at any one of our convenient locations near you or BOOK ONLINE!

Learn More About pt Health Coverage Options

Research

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A research study was conducted about the use of phototherapy to treat newborn infants with hyperbilirubinaemia. Fibreoptic phototherapy is a new mode of phototherapy which is reported to lower serum bilirubin (SBR) while minimising disruption of normal infant care. It is was found to be a safe alternative to conventional phototherapy in infants with physiological jaundice.

A study ‘Reversal of diabetic peripheral neuropathy with phototherapy (MIRETM) decreases falls and the fear of falling and improves activities of daily living in seniors’ was done  and the results suggest that symptomatic reversal of diabetic neuropathy will have a substantial favorable, long-term socioeconomic impact on patients with DPN and the Medicare system, and improve the quality of life for elderly patients with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.

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