My UVB Phototherapy Starts Next Month
Greetings my fellow eczema warriors! The time is just coming up to 9 am as I write to you this morning from the sunny UK. It's actually overcast here but that first line sounded just a bit marvelous so I had to keep it in. As you can read, I am feeling a little brighter at present and this is for two reasons:
- I am managing to keep my eczema at bay just by eating clean and sticking to a strict washing and moisturizing schedule, although I still have a niggling eye problem.
- I have received confirmation from my dermatologist that my UVB phototherapy treatment will begin on the 7th of May. Yey!!
A skin test before phototherapy begins
Before I begin the sessions, I will need to go in for a skin test next Friday. My nurse explained that this is just to see what strength of UV light my skin can handle. I am really excited about this because I know from experience that my skin reacts well to natural sunlight and I have read that artificial light is more effective with patients suffering from eczema. I have also mentioned in a previous article that my skin reacted nicely to short bursts on a sunbed. That is what initially gave me the idea about requesting light therapy.
It's a real commitment
My nurse forewarned me that before I embark on this treatment I need to fully understand how committed I have to be. There is no point in starting the treatment if you are going to miss the odd week here and there. So, it is essentially thirty weeks of therapy split across three days a week. Of course, it is a bit of a pain to organize my diary around this, however, I need to do this. I have not tried this treatment before and anything new to try is a must for me!
What is UVB phototherapy?
Phototherapy is essentially the use of light waves to treat people with atopic dermatitis. As with any kind of medical treatment, there are always side effects. According to our brilliant editorial team here at AtopicDermatitis.net, "UVB light is 280-320 nm and causes delayed skin tanning and sunburns with prolonged exposure. UVB light increases the risk of skin cancer and other cellular damage." I am pretty sure that these are rare side effects. Some more common problems are, headaches, itching, redness, and stinging.
Managing my expectations
I am not a naive person so I understand that this treatment may not work and this is important to know. It keeps my expectation levels low so I won't be too disappointed if things do not work out well. But it doesn't mean I can not get a little excited at the thought of it working. It's a new treatment! It is also a good thing that I am starting this treatment when my skin is relatively clear. I feel like I am right on top of my eczema right now and that can only be a good thing for the road ahead.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?