Light Sources for Phototherapy
Modern photomedicine started about 100 years ago with the publication (1899) of Niels Finsen in which he described the treatment of lupus vulgaris by ultraviolet radiation.
The past 30 years has seen an increase of publications concerning hotobiological research and photomedicine; this reflects the expanding potential of optical radiation for prevention and therapy.
Of course, adequate knowledge and experience with handling optical radiation are essential if full advantage is to be taken of all potential uses. The aim is always to maximize the benefit whilst minimizing the level of risk. The correct dosage is the most important step. This means that phototherapy must always be carried out under the supervision of a doctor!
Light for therapeutic purposes
Photo(chemo)therapy is a treatment method using ultraviolet light.
During photochemotherapy, also referred to as PUVA therapy, a
lightsensitizing substance is additionally administered.
Fields of applications
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease caused primarily by genetics, which affects approx. 2% of the fair-skinned population. Photo(chemo)therapy is very likely to result in the elimination of symptoms.
Atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis or endogenous eczema) is a generally chronic inflammatory skin disorder. In the majority of patients, treatment with phototherapy has a favorable effect.
Vitiligo is a frequently occurring skin disease. It is more than just a minor pigmentation disorder – the pigmentforming cells (melanocytes) are for the most part destroyed. When applied over an extended period, phototherapy can result in cosmetically beneficial results.
Other photodermatoses (photoallergies)
Mechanisms of action