The invisible lightness of healing

Phototherapy deemed low risk for atopic eczema patients who find the treatments simple and effective.

Benefits of exposing skin to ultraviolet light for people with atopic eczema far outweighs the risk, according to a study that will leave clinicians to rest easy, knowing that prescribed phototherapy does more good than harm.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, was authored by Dr. Tashmeeta Ahad, a clinician-scientist within the Skin Research Program at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI). 

Its findings support the use of phototherapy — including narrowband UVB, broadband UVB and concurrent UVA plus broadband UVB — as a non-carcinogenic treatment for atopic eczema. Ahad, Dr. Sunil Kalia, principal investigator, and Elle Wang, a graduate student who worked on the study, found that phototherapy does not lead to higher incidences of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma in people with this skin disorder. 

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