Ultra Violet B Therapy
At Rao Dermatology, we use Ultra Violet B (UVB) to treat patients with eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and pruritis. UVB therapy is usually recommended for patients whose conditions have been resistant to improving with topical and oral medications, or who have affected areas that are too large for topical medication to be effective or practical. Patients usually start with 2-5 sessions per week until the lesions begin to clear, then taper down to one maintenance session per week or every other week.
Blue Light Therapy
Blue light therapy kills the bacteria that is usually responsible for acne. It is often prescribed for resistant moderate acne but it can also be used as an alternative or a supplement to a topical and/or oral regimen. Typically patients start with 1-2 treatments per week, and once their acne starts to clear they taper down to one monthly maintenance treatment.
Blue light therapy is completely non-invasive and pain free; many people even consider it relaxing. The blue light also usually causes general improvement in overall skin tone and texture, it is also popular as a general monthly maintenance treatment.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy uses a photosensitizing agent to prepare the skin before it is exposed to a light source for treatment of actinic keratosis, acne, rosacea, or for photorejuvenation. Actinic keratoses – often referred to as “sun spots” or “age spots” – are pre-cancerous skin lesions that usually occur in individuals over 40 years old, and are caused by sun exposure. Levulan®, a safe and naturally occurring acid, is applied to the skin 45-60 minutes before light exposure. The Levulan® penetrates the skin and “sticks” to the abnormal cells that cause actinic keratosis.
After the incubation period of the Levulan®, the light exposure portion of the PDT treatment only takes approximately 15 minutes. During the incubation and exposure, you may experience a tingling or prickling sensation in the areas that have been treated with Levulan®. These sensations usually dissipate after the exposure has ended, but may take up to 24 hours to discontinue completely. After the treatment it is very important that any sun exposure be completely avoided for 48 hours. At Rao Dermatology, we will schedule your PDT treatment either in the late afternoon or early evening, so that there will be little to no sunlight to avoid when you leave the office. If the sun has not yet set, you will be advised to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your photosensitized skin.
After the treatment, there may be some swelling, redness, or scaling/scabbing of the treated area. The swelling and redness usually resolve within one to three days. Scaling and scabbing, which usually occur on the areas where there were actinic keratoses, can take up to a few weeks to completely disappear. Sun damage, fine lines, and blotchy pigmentation may also be improved because of the positive effect of PDT, which is why it is a popular alternative for photorejuvenation.