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Dermatology Services: Photo Therapy Treatment

The UC Irvine Health Dermatology Center offers Orange County's most complete range of photo therapy services under the supervision of board-certified dermatologists.

Natural sunlight has therapeutic effects on an array of skin conditions. The ultraviolet band B, in particular, has been identified as the optimal wavelength for treating psoriasis and a host of other skin conditions.

Photo therapy, also known as light therapy, differs from natural sunlight in that it uses a concentrated dose of UV light within the narrow therapeutic light spectrum. This minimizes the risks of sunburn and skin cancer inherent in natural sunlight.

Narrow band UVB (NB-UVB) phototherapy has had significant success in reducing visible symptoms for the many conditions, including:

  • Hand dermatitis
  • Alopecia areata
  • Lichen planus
  • Hypersensitivity and/or allergic reactions

Photo therapy has produced only rare or minimal side effects. However, it is important to consult with your primary physician or dermatologist before proceeding with photo therapy.

If you do not have a referral and would like to meet with one of our board-certified dermatologists to discuss treatment options, including photo therapy, please contact us at 949-824-0606 or 714-456-7070.

How safe and effective is phototherapy?

Photo therapy is an advanced technology that has been around for many years.

Although no treatment is without risk, narrow band ultraviolet B band photo therapy (NBUVB) has been demonstrated to be a highly safe treatment option, especially when compared to other alternatives such as injections, topical creams and oral medications.

NBUVB treatment supplies the most therapeutically beneficial type of ultraviolet light while minimizing the risk of sun damage and skin cancer. As a highly effective treatment with rare and minimal side effects, photo therapy continues to gain support from patients and physicians for its fast-acting and long-term effect on a broad range of skin conditions.

The UC Irvine Health Dermatology Center's photo therapy services are provided by highly skilled registered nurses and medical assistants whose emphasis is on high quality patient care. A board-certified dermatologist is always on hand should any questions or concerns arise during treatment.

What photo therapy treatments are available?

Your personal healthcare provider should determine whether photo therapy is best suited for your condition.

Our photo therapy services at the UC Irvine Health Dermatology Center are designed to meet the needs of a wide range of dermatology patients and referring providers. Available treatments options include narrow band ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) booths and localized excimer lasers.

The dermatology center is equipped with three full-scale NB-UVB therapy booths and one ultraviolet A band light booths. These booths deliver full body exposure with a narrow range of UVB or UVA wavelengths. They are ideal for treating conditions that involve a large area of the body. We have another UVA unit designed for use on hands and feet.

We also use a hand-held excimer laser to deliver a more concentrated dose of ultraviolet light to specific areas. This option is best for localized skin conditions (such as on the hands or feet); or areas of persistent problems. It is also useful for treating young children.

A hand-held excimer laser can deliver a precise dose of 308nm UVB light to a specific area, making it an ideal option for patients who don't need a full body dose.

Benefits for referring physicians

Because the UC Irvine Health Dermatology Center has Orange County's most advanced ultraviolet delivery technologies, we are able to provide the full range of photo therapy services to your patients.

Our goal is to provide a high standard of care for referral patients who may benefit from treatment with photo therapy. We recognize and support the role of the primary dermatologist in diagnosing and treating skin diseases.

Once the patient begins treatment, we provide quarterly reports on the patient’s progress and refer the patient back to his or her primary dermatologist for follow up and continued care.

If you are referring a patient for photo therapy services, please call our referral line at 949-824-1615.

Learn more about our services at the UC Irvine Health Dermatology Center ›  

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