At Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia, now a part of U.S. Dermatology Partners, we are dedicated to assisting patients in the Sterling area with their skin care concerns. Atopic dermatitis (or eczema) is a condition that leaves patients with inflamed, rough, often itchy patches of skin. In some cases, eczema is caused by a reaction, but for many, there is no clear cause of the condition.
Treating eczema can depend on a number of factors including age, skin type, and severity of the condition. For many individuals, treatment involves a number of therapies. One of the treatment options that may be included in the plan to treat your eczema effectively is light therapy, also known as phototherapy.
Light therapy utilizes UVB to suppress the immune system. By exposing the eczema carefully to this light for precise amounts of time, the inflammation can be significantly reduced or even completely cleared. Additionally, light therapy can help prevent common bacterial infections associated with eczema, and reduce the need for high strength corticosteroids.
The different types of light therapy include:
- Broadband UVB – This type of treatment requires up to 30 sessions. Multiple sessions can be scheduled each week. Each session lasts until the skin becomes pink. Once the initial treatment phase is complete, follow-up appointments may still be needed.
- Narrowband UVB – This type has quickly become the most common because it is just as effective method.
Light therapy has its advantages because it works even if other treatments have not and often has fewer side effects than prescription medications.
There are some risks associated with light therapy and it’s important to be aware of them. They include:
- Sunburn or blistering, this is especially true for those with light or fair complexions
- Premature aging of the skin
- Sun spots or hyperpigmentation
If you are interested in learning more about the services and treatments we offer, contact Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia Sterling. We assist patients of all ages in our state-of-the-art facility. We provide medical and cosmetic dermatology solutions to men and women at both our Sterling and Centreville locations. Our Sterling location can be reached at (703) 450-5959 and is conveniently located in Suite #105 at 21495 Ridgetop Circle. We accept new patients who are ready for quality, comprehensive dermatological care.