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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can UV light be used to treat eczema?

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  • The role of the Eczema Association of Australasia Inc (EAA) is to be a supportive body for eczema sufferers and carers, to increase public awareness … View Profile

    Doctors started to use ultraviolet light to treat eczema after they noticed that some people who had eczema got better in the summer. Also, we know that ultraviolet light helps people with psoriasis, another kind of skin condition.

    Ultraviolet light can be used on its own or with a drug called psoralen. This drug makes skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light, so the light treatment is more likely to work. The combination is known as PUVA, or psoralen plus UVA. Psoralen comes as tablets or as a solution that you add to the bath.

    Light treatments are only used if usual treatments like steroid creams haven't worked. You will need to see a specialist (a dermatologist). it be harmful?
    However, we know that ultraviolet light can burn the skin. And repeated exposure to ultraviolet light is linked to skin cancer, especially in young people.  If skin cancer runs in your family, treatment with ultraviolet light may be too risky. Talk to your doctor about the risk.

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