Phototherapy: FSA Eligibility
What is phototherapy?
Phototherapy, or commonly known as light therapy, encompasses a wide range of potential treatments which utilize ultraviolet light in testing and topical treatments. The wavelength ultraviolet B is used in both narrow and broad band forms to treat psoriasis, eczema and a variety of other skin conditions that have not responded to topical treatments. Additionally, phototherapy can take on the form of blue light treatment for acne, as well as UVA1 therapy, targeted/home phototherapy and photochemotherapy to treat some skin cancers (WebMD).
How does phototherapy work?
In the vast majority of cases, individuals who receive phototherapy to treat skin conditions will receive some form of ultraviolet B waves, which is done using a special machine that emits UVB waves at 311-312 nanometres (nm) which is the most beneficial portion of natural sunlight for skin diseases. While UVA radiation is the primary culprit in the development of skin disorders and cancers, UVB is harnessed to reduce itching, reduce any inflammatory effect that may be present, jumpstart vitamin D production and even increase bacteria-fighting systems in the skin.
A standard phototherapy session will begin with the physician placing a moisturizing oil on the affected skin, and then the phototherapy machine will be activated for just several seconds or minutes, either in a localized area or the entire body. Over time, the physician will keep careful records of the body's response to these treatments, and typically the light is increased with each treatment. The procedure is simple and painless, and usually lasts for several months until the skin condition has cleared or gone into remission (DermatologistonCall).