If you've been diagnosed with vitiligo, you might be in the market for vitiligo treatment. While there’s still no available vitiligo cure, light therapy is a viable treatment option and could help you manage your vitiligo effectively. Let's take a look at why you should consider light therapy treatment.
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, has been around for a lot longer than you might think. In fact, phototherapy has been used to treat skin conditions for upwards of 3,500 years! Ancient Egyptians and Indians actually used the sun's light to treat conditions like vitiligo all the way back then.
While it may not have been very safe or effective, the idea that light could help treat skin issues was a revolutionary concept, medically. Now, we have much more advanced phototherapy tools and treatments, which means vitiligo spots can be treated using light therapy.
While diagnosing vitiligo may involve invasive tests like a biopsy or blood testing, this treatment option is completely non-invasive. In fact, it's almost completely sensationless.
While phototherapy does involve the use of UV rays, they're delivered in a specific dosage to small areas of the body. In some cases where these is widespread vitiligo, a patient may need to sit in a light box for their phototherapy treatment. In any case, the only sensation a patient might feel is slight warmth from whatever tool is being used to generate the light needed for specific vitiligo spots.
Unless there is a serious skin health issue that your dermatologist has pointed out, phototherapy is generally safe for all skin types. Not only that, but advances in light therapy technology mean that administering this therapy is safer than ever. Even light box phototherapy treatment is considered very safe if used responsibly. Light therapy sessions are typically short, as well, so there's no prolonged exposure to UV rays in a single session.
Light therapy doesn't have to be the only vitiligo treatment you're undertaking. In fact, if you're concerned about too much light therapy, your doctor may recommend that you use it in conjunction with another form of vitiligo treatment.
This is a particularly relevant fact for patients who have been living with vitiligo for multiple years. In addition, older adults living with vitiligo may want to pursue this approach, as aging skin may be a bit more sensitive to light therapy. Other treatments that may be combined with light therapy typically include topical creams.
Seeking out light therapy for vitiligo is typically a viable option for patients who have been recently diagnosed. The longer you live with vitiligo and go without treatment, the less likely light therapy is to be a good fit for you.
It's worth noting that patients have the highest potential for results from light therapy within two years of a vitiligo diagnosis. Be prepared to invest a bit of time in this treatment, though. It can take multiple sessions for results to manifest.
If you've been living with vitiligo and you think phototherapy could be a good option for you, don't hesitate to contact us at North Pacific Dermatology and set up an appointment.