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Light Therapy for Skin

Light therapy on hands Light therapy of the hands

Light therapy is a highly effective outpatient treatment for many skin conditions, including psoriasis, vitiligo, scleroderma and other skin disorders. It works by slowing down cell growth and inflammation that causes skin problems to develop.

Some forms of light therapy are also highly effective cosmetic treatments and can greatly enhance the appearance of skin.

Our team includes highly skilled University of Chicago Medicine dermatologists, some with more than three decades of experience treating patients with light therapy. Working together with specially trained nurses, we offer a broad range of light and laser therapies, including:

Narrow band ultraviolet light B (UVB) therapy, which uses a targeted wavelength spectrum to treat psoriasis, vitiligo and other inflammatory skin disorders. Unlike many centers, we offer whole-body light boxes, as well as hand and foot light boxes for those with skin problems affecting only part of their body.

Marcia Trawinski For Marcia Trawinski, PUVA therapy keeps a severe case of dermatitis of the hands in check. Without this effective treatment, Trawinski, who is blind, would not be able to read Braille or easily perform regular daily activities, such as cooking. » Read Trawinski's story

Psoralen and ultraviolet light A (PUVA) therapy, which combines the use of an oral or topical medication that maximizes the effects of light therapy. It is another highly effective treatment option for conditions like psoriasis and vitiligo.

UVA-1, a light therapy that is not available at many other centers. It can be effective against many skin conditions such as scleroderma, morphea and cutaneous graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We also offer whole-body, hand and foot light boxes for UVA-1 treatment.

Excimer laser therapy, a highly precise method for treating psoriasis and vitiligo, dermatitis and mycosis fungoides, a type of skin lymphoma, without damaging healthy skin. It requires shorter and fewer treatments than many other therapies.

Blue light photodynamic therapy, which can treat acne by reducing bacteria in the skin. This treatment is also effective against actinic keratoses (AKs), rough patches of skin that may develop into cancer. To treat AKs, the dermatologist applies a medication to the skin and uses blue light to destroy precancerous skin lesions while leaving healthy skin unharmed.

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