Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Other treatment for atopic dermatitis includes light therapy and complementary therapies.
Severe atopic dermatitis may be treated by exposing affected skin to Reference ultraviolet Opens New Window (UV) light. There are two types of ultraviolet light, called ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
- Reference Phototherapy uses UVA, UVB, or a combination of UVA and UVB.
- Reference Psoralen plus ultraviolet light therapy (PUVA) uses UVA light along with psoralen medicines, which make the skin more sensitive to UV light.
Too much sun exposure and light treatment (such as with UVA or UVB treatments) increases your risk of skin cancer.
Complementary or alternative treatments
Complementary or alternative treatments may be helpful for treating atopic dermatitis. Some small studies showed benefit from these treatments. But there isn't clear scientific evidence to show that they help. Examples of complementary and alternative treatments for atopic dermatitis include:
- Dietary supplements of Reference essential fatty acids (EFAs) Opens New Window, such as fish oil or evening primrose oil.
- Creams that are put on the skin. These creams contain St. John's wort or vitamin B12.
- Chinese herbal therapy. But herbal therapies may also contain substances that may cause liver or heart problems.
If you are interested in these treatments, talk to your doctor. Ask about the treatments' use, their effectiveness, and any possible interactions related to other medicines you are taking.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 17, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology