Women in a beach U.S. Dermatology Partners
By U.S. Dermatology Partners | Blog May 16, 2019

Harnessing Light For Good With Our Phototherapy Procedure

Every day Dr. Bryan Selkin and his team see the effects of sunlight on the skin. Much has been made of how the sun’s Ultraviolet rays damage the appearance of the skin and overall health. Patients show up at the Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery with everything from freckles and “liver” spots to suspicious lesions and cancers.

You may also read about some benefits of sunlight. Exposure to the sun’s rays has also been connected to the production of vitamin D, beneficial to keep bones strong.  Exposure to sunlight is also thought to boost immunity and lift those “feel good” endorphins. This could explain why a sunny day can immediately lift spirits in a way gloomy or rainy days don’t.

UV light can also be used as a therapy to treat a number of different skin conditions, including some types of skin cancer and challenging cases of psoriasis.

How is this possible?

By exposing the skin to controlled amounts of specific wavelengths of ultraviolet light under medical supervision, the center can effectively treat conditions such as psoriasis.

Unlike other skin conditions where cell turnover slows, psoriasis has the opposite effect on patients’ skin. Cells grow so quickly that they build up on the surface. The result is patches of skin that look scaly or red and may be quite painful.

With controlled, regular exposure to ultraviolet B light, patients’ skin cells stop growing so quickly. Narrowband UVB light uses less than 1 percent of the wavelengths found in natural sunlight. This artificial light also clears psoriasis faster and achieves longer remissions than with its broadband counterpart, which releases a greater range of ultraviolet light.

It is also considered a safe and effective treatment for vitiligo, whose white patches present themselves when the production of the color-giving pigment melanin slows.

Vitiligo and psoriasis plaques may also be treated with lasers. The excimer laser also harnesses UVB light. A beam of this high-intensity light may be emitted to a targeted area from the laser. By delivering precise amounts of laser light to the treatment area based off of the thickness of the skin and complexion, this energy starts a process of repigmentation in the case of vitiligo. The process takes only a few minutes and requires repeat sessions to see desired results.

Photodynamic therapy has many medical uses. In the derm world alone it can be used to treat:

  • Premalignant Actinic keratosis
  • Moderate to severe acne
  • Superficial basal cell carcinoma and other nonmelanoma cancers
  • Psoriasis
  • For photorejuvenation (treating sun damage such as spots)

The light used in PDT works with a drug that selectively destroys abnormal cells. The drug is applied to the skin and becomes activated only when in contact with a controlled amount of specific, intense wavelengths.

One of the many benefits of these therapies is they are so targeted. Also, no oral medications are needed, avoiding side effects on internal organs. Surrounding healthy tissues are not touched or damaged during sessions. In addition, these procedures may achieve results in patients who have tried numerous other medications and topical products with no success.

Contact the team to find out what phototherapy procedure in Plano TX is best for you.

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Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery is committed to helping patients achieve healthy and beautiful skin. Our dedicated team is comprised of the following:

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Board-Certified Dermatologist & Dermatopathologist

Board-Certified Dermatologists & Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeons

Board-Certified Maxillofacial Surgeon