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Phototherapy treatment for skin disease

Shed some light on your skin

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN), we now offer phototherapy, a safe, effective treatment for many skin problems. It uses a lamp to periodically expose your skin to ultraviolet light B (UVB) under medical supervision. 

As with natural sunlight, exposure to UV rays can increase the risk of skin cancer. This is why phototherapy medical treatments must be monitored by a physician.

How does phototherapy work?

UVB is present in natural sunlight. It can penetrate the skin and slow the growth of cells affected by disease. Studies have shown that narrow-band UVB can clear skin disease faster with longer lasting results.  

Phototherapy works for:

  • Psoriasis
  • Atopic dermatitis/eczema
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Lichen planus
  • Vitiligo

It can also be an initial therapy for early cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and severe itching (pruritus) due to liver or renal disease. Tell your doctor if you are on a medication that makes you sensitive to the sun.

How do I get phototherapy?

Our dermatologist will examine you to see if phototherapy can help you. You will come for light treatments two or three times a week for one hour per session. Usually you will see results in two to four weeks.

When only your hands or feet are affected, we use a smaller UVB lamp, to focus more closely and protect healthy skin.

What can I expect?

Phototherapy is safe for most people. Initially, your condition may look worse. Your doctors will adjust your exposure as treatment continues.

Once your skin condition has cleared, you will be slowly tapered off the therapy. If your skin condition returns, you can come back for more treatment.

Phototherapy outpatient treatment locations

Depending on your needs — whole body vs. hand and foot — you can get phototherapy treatment at any of these AHN Dermatology locations. Call to schedule an appointment:

Allegheny General Hospital
Whole body narrow band UVB and hand/foot UVB unit
Allegheny Professional Building, Suite 107
490 East North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Fox Chapel
Whole body narrow band UVB/UVA
241 Freeport Road
Suite 7
Aspinwall, PA 15215

Hand/foot UVB unit
125 Emeryville Drive
Suite 120
Cranberry, PA 16066