I went to the dentist last Monday and spoke with one of the ladies who worked there. She noticed the eczema on my hands and told me a story about her husband, who also has eczema, but on his hands and feet. Jolleen told me his eczema is so bad, his feet bleed on a daily basis. She said sometimes when she wakes up in the morning, she will find his socks drenched in blood and their sheets stained. Jolleen told me in 6 months time, he was practically fully healed after he tried light therapy.
I had never heard of light therapy before, with the exception of a dermatologist who suggested I try tanning. Needless to say, I didn’t further ask and he didn’t further explain about it. I stopped seeing that dermatologist and looked into light therapy for myself and for this blog after hearing Jolleen’s story.
The treatment is called phototherapy and depending on what kind of light you use for treatment, it can be called UVB or UVA phototherapy. The treatment exposes the skin to ultraviolet light to suppress overactive immune system cells that cause inflammation, according to Everyday Health. Thus, the cells affecting the eczema are suppressed and the surface of the skin begins to heal. The treatment is seen as controversial for its use of artificial light.
Just as tanning beds use artificial light and have been tied to causing skin cancer, both doctors and patients believe phototherapy may have the same affect. It has been shown that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light can cause skin cancer.
- The Pros and Cons of Eczema Light Therapy (everydayhealth.com)
- UV Treatment For Eczema (gotclearskin.typepad.com)
- Ask Dr. K: Light therapy one way to treat vitiligo (goerie.com)