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Phototherapy for Eczema & Dermatitis

NYU Langone has a state-of-the-art onsite phototherapy center that offers full-body treatment in as little as 5 to 10 minutes. This painless treatment uses ultraviolet (UV) light—the same type of light found in natural sunlight—that has been specially filtered to remove light wavelengths that are more damaging to the skin.

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Exposure to these altered UV rays, called narrow band UVB rays, may shut down the immune system cells in the skin that have caused the inflammation. Phototherapy may relieve symptoms of eczema and dermatitis without the need for medicated skin creams or medications taken by mouth. Phototherapy poses minimal risk of skin cancer and may be safe for children and pregnant women.

Each phototherapy unit is a chamber lined with long, tubular UVB light bulbs. These bulbs emit therapeutic light rays, and the effects of therapy may be noticeable after just a few weeks of treatment. Your dermatologist may suggest medication in addition to phototherapy to enhance the results of both types of treatment.

For people with moderate-to-severe eczema or dermatitis, dermatologists may recommend two or three phototherapy sessions a week. Our dermatologists and staff offer appointments throughout the week, including evenings and Saturdays, to make scheduling treatments convenient for you.

Possible side effects include redness, burning, or stinging of the skin, although research shows that side effects to phototherapy are infrequent and usually go away quickly.

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