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Tanning Bed Treatments for Eczema
What Is Eczema?
"Eczema" is a catchall term for different skin inflammation conditions. The most common form of eczema is atopic dermatitis, which is a recurring, itchy rash. According to EczemaNet, roughly 10% to 20% of the world is affected by atopic dermatitis at some point during their childhood.
Eczema is an abnormal response of the immune system that causes skin inflammation, accompanied by itchiness. When it triggers, eczema can be a vicious cycle, because scratching the itchy skin makes the protective top layer fall off, which makes the skin more inflamed. Then it becomes more itchy.
Light Therapy for Eczema
One of the treatments for eczema as recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians is photo or light therapy. Phototherapy uses controlled doses of ultraviolet A and B rays to penetrate deep into the skin, kill bacterial growth and slow the growth of affected skin cells. This therapy uses a combination of UVA and UVB rays, or narrow-band UVB. Occasionally, a topical or oral chemical and UVA are combined for treatment (photochemotherapy) if other light therapy does not work.
Tanning Your Way To Healthy Skin
While your doctor may provide specific instructions about what type of light therapy procedure you will follow, for mild to mid-range eczema, a tanning bed uses a combination of UVA and UVB light bulbs to mimic the effects of the sun. Although you may need more of one and less of another, some tanning beds allow you to adjust the levels of UVA and UVB. If this method of light therapy works, your doctor may prescribe a few sessions at the tanning salon to help cure your eczema. Based on what your doctor prescribes, you may need a few minutes of controlled UV exposure two to three times a week for several months. There is no cure for eczema, and the amount of time your treatment takes to control your eczema will vary based on severity and response.
By Ushe Tahb, eHow Contributor