Phototherapy Benefit, Procedures, and Risks

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Phototherapy or also known as light therapy is a medical procedure with halogen, fluorescent, or LED light. Doing uva1 phototherapy can overcome skin problems, psychiatric problems, and newborn jaundice. Phototherapy is recommended in certain conditions. Various skin problems including vitiligo, eczema, psoriasis, and itchy skin are advised to apply the phototherapy method. Phototherapy is usually needed for those with sleep disorders, mood disorders, and so on. Phototherapy methods can be used for esophageal cancer, endobronchial cancer, and other cancers including precancerous conditions such as Barrett’s disease. Phototherapy is generally possible for those with newborn jaundice because of hyperbilirubinemia.

Who Should Not Undergo Phototherapy / Light Therapy?

Although phototherapy is very beneficial, there are certain conditions that make it necessary for a person to avoid phototherapy. This light therapy is not recommended for those who are breastfeeding or pregnant. It should also be avoided phototherapy for those whose family members have a history of various skin cancers. Phototherapy is not recommended for those who have liver disease and have lupus.

Preparation Before Doing Phototherapy

There are also various preparations that need to be known before phototherapy. In particular, there are no special preparations before uva1 light therapy is carried out. However, you should discuss everything with your doctor about the risks and benefits of phototherapy first. For those with cancer, a photosensitizer will be applied to their bodies before phototherapy procedure. The light reaction and photosensitizer can produce oxygen in cancer cells.

The Main Type of Phototherapy For Skin Problems or Problems

Phototherapy treatment will use UV rays like sunlight to reduce skin inflammation. For skin disorders, there are three types of phototherapy that are commonly used.

1.UVB Broadband

UVB Broadband is commonly known as BBUVB, UVB Broadband method can treat skin to be healthier and avoid skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema. UVB Broadband uses a full spectrum of ultraviolet radiation.

2.UVB Narrowband

The Narrowband UVB method involves a small amount of UVB radiation to treat the skin. Narrowband UVB is arguably more intense when compared to broadband UVB. This type of phototherapy is the phototherapy option most often used by dermatologists.


PUVA involves UVA light along with the chemical psoralen. Psolaren is applied to skin or it can be taken as a pill. PUVA is also more intensive with many side effects. PUVA can be used for vitiligo, psoriasis, and skin lymphoma.

Phototherapy Procedures For Various Skin And Jaundice Problems

Light therapy can be done in different methods. Because it depends on each existing disease that can differentiate phototherapy procedure. There is phototherapy that is done for skin problems. There is also phototherapy performed for newborn jaundice problems. The following is an explanation of phototherapy procedure.

  1. Phototherapy newborn jaundice

When doing uva1 phototherapy for jaundice problems, baby’s clothes are removed first. Until baby is only wearing a diaper. Then baby’s eyes are closed with eye protection. This stage can prevent eye complications due to light exposure used in the phototherapy method. The baby is positioned on his stomach so that he can absorb light more effectively when doing phototherapy. That is phototherapy method used for the scope of newborn jaundice problems.

  1. Phototherapy of skin problems

Phototherapy is not only done for jaundice. Phototherapy can also be done for skin problems. The phototherapy procedure is performed where patient applies a moisturizer to problematic skin. Then patient takes off their clothes, except for their underwear, and is asked to wear goggles or eye protection while undergoing phototherapy or light therapy. The patient is asked to lie down or can also sit in a certain area. The doctor operates a device to shine a light on body of certain patients who have skin problems. That is phototherapy method used to treat skin problems.

Some of the Risks of Doing Phototherapy

Unfortunately, phototherapy has several complications or risks that can be faced by patients. Especially if phototherapy is done too often, higher the risks. Complications of uva1 phototherapy that can occur are:

  • The risk of skin cancer can increase
  • Skin irritation
  • A suppressed immune system conditions or Immunosuppression
  • Skin has a burning sensation
  • Eyes are more sensitive when looking at light
  • Premature aging can also occur if this phototherapy therapy is carried out excessively