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What is Phototherapy?


What is Phototherapy?


 by James Salter


Phototherapy is a type of treatment used to cure various diseases by exposing the affected area to different light wavelengths. Light therapy is considered a non-invasive and cost-effective therapy that has been in existence for centuries. It uses light energy that mimics natural sunlight to treat various illnesses. Phototherapy encompasses all therapies that use various wavelengths of light to manipulate biochemical reactions within the body's cells, tissues, and organs.

Phototherapy can be categorized into three main types depending on the wavelengths of light used: narrow-band UVB therapy, blue light therapy, and red light therapy. Narrowband UVB is mostly used in treating conditions such as psoriasis, mycosis fungoides, and eczema. Blue light therapy is used to treat acne, whereas red light therapy is used to treat skin aging signs such as wrinkles.

Phototherapy works by transmitting light energy to the body, which is absorbed and converted into biochemical energy. This energy affects cellular processes that control inflammation, pain, and the immune response. The primary purpose of phototherapy is to increase or decrease cellular function or biological reactions based on the desired therapeutic outcome. This is why different light wavelengths are used to target different diseases.

Phototherapy is a low-risk therapy that may cause mild side effects such as redness, itching, and dryness but is still considered an effective treatment for several diseases. It can be used either as a standalone therapy or in combination with other medications for better outcomes.

Phototherapy has several health benefits. For instance, it's used to treat skin disorders such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and atopic dermatitis. Phototherapy has also been used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression associated with a lack of sunlight during the winter months. Furthermore, phototherapy is used to treat circadian rhythm disorders, such as sleep disorders caused by jet lag.

In conclusion, phototherapy is an effective and safe therapeutic modality that utilizes different wavelengths of light to treat various diseases. Although it doesn't work for all conditions, it's a valuable and low-risk option for treating certain skin and circadian rhythm disorders, and more research is needed to identify other potential applications for this therapy. Nonetheless, it is an excellent alternative to medication or invasive therapies, especially for those who are unable or unwilling to undergo them.


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