Immunophototherapy

Immunophototherapy

Immunophototherapy refers to a new treatment modality which combines the principals of immunotherapy (allergy injections) and phototherapy (narrow band ultraviolet phototherapy) in the treatment of allergic skin conditions. Immunophototherapy is the ultimate treatment for allergic skin conditions such as eczema and is only available at the Corpus Christi Allergy & Asthma clinic.

Narrow Band UVB

Skin diseases are most commonly treated using ultraviolet B light (UVB) phototherapy. This does not cure the disease but can help you control or better the condition of your disease by exposing the skin to the UV light at high energy. 

The required number of treatments per week differs from patient to patient but is generally three to five a week to clear the condition, starting with an exposure of only a few seconds and increasing as needed after our specialists examine the area. The condition may not clear completely and you may not see results until 15-25 treatments have been completed. Once your skin has cleared, treatment needs could reduce to a few treatments every one to two weeks. It is possible that the need for treatments may cease all together.

Using narrow band UVB phototherapy reduces the risk of pathogenic exposure to UV light in harmful ranges or burning by cutting down the exposure to conventional UV light. Some conditions that could benefit from narrow band UVB treatments are:
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema 
  • Vitiligo 
  • Mycosis Fungoides  
  • And More

The Expected Benefits of Phototherapy

  1. Existing lesions improve 
  2. New lesions reduced 
  3. Remission – duration of remission varies with each patient, maintenance therapy may be required 

Risks and Side Effects of Phototherapy

  1. UVB-induced sunburn caused by exposure to the light or some medications. This is why it is important to let us know which medications you are taking during therapy.
  2. Exposure to any kind of UV light increases chance of skin cancer, but this usually only occurs when there is a great number of treatments performed.
  3. Dryness and itching.
  4. Skin aging over time and increase of freckles and pigmentation of the skin. 
  5. Eyes may be damaged and increase your risk of cataracts unless you are wearing protective eye goggles to prevent damage. We will provide goggles and require our patients to wear them during treatments.
  6. Fever blisters and mouth sores may appear. 
  7. Could cause increased chance of genital cancer in men if UV light is exposed to the genital area long term. Athletic supporters are required for male patients to wear during treatments. 

Skin Conditions Treated with UVB and/or PUVA

UVB
  • Psoriasis 
  • Eczema
  • Photodermatoses 
  • Pruritis
  • Pityriasis Rosea 
  • Lichen Planus 
  • Pityriasis Lichenoides 
  • Acne 
  • Parapsoriasis 
  • Pruritic Eruptions of HIV Infection
  • And More 
PUVA
  • Psoriasis 
  • Mycosis Fungoides 
  • Vitiligo 
  • Eczema
  • Photodermatoses 
  • Lichen Planus 
  • Pityriasis Lichenoides 
  • Parapsoriasis
  • Pruritic Eruptions of HIV Infection
  • Pruritus, Other Causes
  • Alopecia Areata
  • And More 
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