Targeted Phototherapy
What is targeted phototherapy treatment?

Targeted phototherapy is also known as concentrated phototherapy or focused phototherapy or micro phototherapy. In this ultraviolet radiation is focused and delivered with specific wavelength directly on the affected area or patch of the affected skin. It involves laser or non-laser technologies. There were few disadvantages of conventional phototherapy that these treatments gave a slow delivery of light, sometimes surrounding skin was also exposed to the rays. This treatment was very difficult to perform in children. Due to this, a new and advanced technology was introduced that is called targeted phototherapy. In this different technologise are used such as excimer laser, intense pulse light system (IPL), photodynamic therapy and ultraviolet (UV) light source.

What are the indications?

Targeted phototherapy is used on skin problems, a small area is targeted or the whole body surface. In this a narrowband UVB (NB-UVB) with a wave length 311–313 nanometer is used to deliver the light energy. Few skin indications where this treatment is done are:-

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Vitiligo
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Wound healing
Who needs this treatment, and at what age group should it be done?

Any one who has above mentioned skin disorder can opt for this treatment. Any age group can get treated depending upon the needs and condition of the skin problem. As this treatment is very safe because minimal or specified wave length is targeted on the skin area.

Things to Know

Targeted phototherapy is a very safe treatment. As it is a new and advanced technology of phototherapy, but should be done under supervision of a dermatologist
Yes this treatment has side effects like redness and slight burning sensation but usually subsides after some time. And the dosage and duration is titrated by the treating physician depending upon the response.

Use sunscreen lotions as and when required.

Avoid direct sun exposure soon after the treatment.

During the therapy one must wear UVB protective glasses.

Dr Shail Gupta, MD (renowned dermatologist) with almost 2 decades of experience in the field of dermatology says that this treatment can prove to be very useful in treating difficult skin disorders by avoiding side effects of systemic medicines. Targeted phototherapy is proven to be very safe and effective in different skin disorders. He also says in this specific wavelength is targeted on a particular skin lesion.
Yes, this treatment can be combined with other treatments depending upon the severity of the skin condition and the need of the treatment according to the area.
One can have slight erythema or itching during the initial sessions of the treatment. But this usually subsides after sometime.
No, this treatment is not painful.
The duration of the treatment depends upon the amount of energy the physician wants to deliver. So the duration can be less than a minute in the beginning and then it is given to a maximum of 11 minutes, depending upon the area, location of the part of the body and response towards the treatment.
Small area of the body or the whole body can be treated with this treatment. The affected body part should only be exposed to the light and rest of the body parts should be covered to avoid un necessary exposure.

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