The ancient art of healing with light.
How it works.
Modern day phototherapy utilizes the anti-inflammatory properties of ultraviolet light (UV). UV light makes up 3-5% of the sunlight that reaches the earth. It penetrates into the top layers of the skin where UVB it is responsible for the photo-conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to pre-vitamin D3 [figure 3].
In addition to the well-known production of vitamin D, UV light has the following profound effects:
- UV light is anti-inflammatory in the skin and internally. Ultraviolet light decreases over-active immune cells and increases the cells that turn off inflammatory reactions called regulatory T and B cells
- It strengthens the innate branch of the immune system, which is responsible for defense against pathogens.
- UV light influences the microbiome- it reduces pathogenic bacteria on the skin like staph aureus and increases beneficial bacteria like staph epidermidis. It improves the quality of the gut microbiome by increasing the diversity.
- UV light reduces blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk by causing nitric oxide release from the skin into circulation.
- UV light improves mood, in part by releasing endorphins
Many skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are driven by allergens or microbial antigens that trigger an imbalanced immune reaction in the skin. The goal of treatment is to address any underlying triggers and to treat any aberrant over-reactivity of the immune system. Phototherapy is a tried-and-true method that condenses the beneficial, anti-inflammatory properties of natural sunlight into a potent medical treatment against over-reactive immune responses.
 Gupta, Asheesh & Avci, Pinar & Dai, Tianhong & Huang, Ying-Ying & Hamblin, Michael. (2013). Ultraviolet Radiation in Wound Care: Sterilization and Stimulation. Advances in wound care. 2. 422-437. 10.1089/wound.2012.0366.
 Ash C, Dubec M, Donne K, Bashford T. Effect of wavelength and beam width on penetration in light-tissue interaction using computational methods. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Nov;32(8):1909-1918. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2317-4. Epub 2017 Sep 12. PMID: 28900751; PMCID: PMC5653719.
What to expect.
Light is usually applied to the whole body, but sometimes is focused on the affected areas using special light units. At Body and Sol, we have a full-body unit, hand and foot units, and a targeted laser-like unit for very focused application. See pictures below.
The dose of light starts very low and is increased over the course of a few weeks. The first dose is about 30 seconds and increases to about 2-3 minutes in most cases. Treatments are given three times a week until the skin is nearly clear or until a goal dose is achieved. At this point, the dose is usually held and the frequency of treatments is decreased to twice a week and then once a week.
Skin conditions treated.
If it is inflammatory or autoimmune in nature, it is probably treated with phototherapy.
- Alopecia areata
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
- Prurigo nodularis
- Lichen planus
- Generalized itching
- Granuloma annulare
- Lichen sclerosus
- Graft-verses-host disease
- And more
Meet our phototherapy units
Different units for your specific light needs.
Hand and Foot Unit
Intrigued by photo-immunology? Visit my personal site http://www.thesunlightdoctor.com for a deeper dive.
Start Healing Today
Please call or email to schedule an appointment.
Phone: (916) 645-1447
Fax: (866) 502 – 3465
566 E St. Lincoln, CA 95648