Phototherapy is an extremely popular and effective therapy that has a lot of benefits for the aforementioned conditions.
What is it?
Does not warm sunshine feel good on the surface of the skin? It really does feel good to most of us and you will be pleased to know that it also has a number of health benefits as well. Sunlight is an extremely good source of Vitamin D and many other benefits. The best part about all this information is that this light can be mimicked through artificial means and it has a lot of the same benefits as the actual thing. There are machines available nowadays, called light therapy boxes and some other names, that beam rays of light on to us in order to treat a number of health conditions. This has also proven to be an extremely popular form of therapy as one of the main advantages of this type of therapy is that it hardly has any side effects at all.
Yes, this method of treatment is known as light therapy or phototherapy or bright light therapy, whatever you may feel like calling it- it all is the same. This type of therapy makes use of light to treat a number of conditions. These conditions involve skin diseases such as psoriasis, vitiligo etc. It can also help with skin cancers and also moderate to severe level acne vulgaris. It has also proven to be effecual (effective) in treating skin wounds that came from some kind of injury or diabetes. Another use of this therapy is to treat jaundice in babies. Lastly, light therapy or phototherapy has been found to be very effective in helping with mental health conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
How Does It Help With SAD and Depression?
SAD is a type of depression that is normally onset when it is the darker times of the year, which is the fall and also the winter months. The fact of the matter is that the lack of natural light can make it more likely for people to experience depression. If you feel (think) you are suffering from depression, you may notice the following:
- Low mood
- Low energy and fatigue
- More tendency to overeat
- Gaining weight
- Easily Irritated
- Suicidal thoughts etc
It is true that scientists have not fully figured out how exactly light therapy helps with SAD. One thing that we do know however, is that light therapy or phototherapy has the ability to control certain chemicals in the brain that have an effect on mood and the circadian rhythm of the body. One of the major functions of this clock is to manage the mood you experience throughout the day.
Devices that are available
There are choices when it comes to devices, you can choose from devices that are tabletop sunlamps or you can get one that puts out a very wide arc of light. These devices are different from the ones that are used to treat conditions of the skin. These ones emit very little UV light. It is vital to note that this has yet to be approved or regulated by the FDA for treatment of SAD. What this means is that while your doctor can recommend you one, they can’t put it in a prescription. The majority of insurance providers will not at all cover the cost of this.
You should ideally look for a device that can emit 10,000 lux of light and emits very little UV light. When conducting sessions make sure you do it first thing in the morning for a period of about 20 minutes. Make confident that the light hits your face but do not stare at it. You should normally start in the fall and continue till the spring.
Light therapy and skin conditions
One of the main ways in which light therapy helps the skin is by making it possible for the skin to produce more vitamin D. This can help with inflammation, heal wounds and also to fight off skin tumors. It also has the potential to help you ward off any bacteria that can cause an illness. It can also very much help with skin conditions that are chronic. This includes things such as eczema.
In order to treat skin conditions, phototherapy makes use of different kinds of light. The lights that are of the UVA and the UVB type can help with inflammation and also to soothe skin that itches. UVB light that is narrowband in nature happens to be the most common type of treatment for eczema.
There are a lot of light therapy types that do not use UV light but make use of only blue-green rays of light. This type of light therapy can really help babies who get jaundice. What they do is that they break up a substance in the blood called bilirubin that is responsible for making their skin or eyes become yellow. After the excess bilirubin has been blasted into smaller pieces, the baby can absorb it and hence the yellow goes away.
Devices for Skin Conditions
Light therapy or phototherapy can be gotten at the hospital, at the doctor’s office or also at a clinic. It can also be done at home with lamps and handheld devices that your particular doctor recommends.
The devices include:
- Lamps that are hand-help and can beam light at multiple areas of the skin
- Treats the hand or foot with a tunnel of light that is small.
- Booths and large panels that emit light to your entire body
- Combs that are used for treating psoriasis in the scalp.
UVA and PUVB normally mixes light treatment with a thing called psoralen. These are plant products that are responsible for helping your skin absorb the rays of light. Also you can find more helpful resources at theuniversalbeauty.
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