Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) phototherapy has been associated with both deleterious and beneficial effects to patients with both localized and systemic skin disorders. Phototherapy is advantageous in diseases of the epidermis and dermis, as it provides the most direct approach minimizing systemic side effects. Most recently, ultraviolet A1 (UVA1) phototherapy has emerged as a specific UVR phototherapeutic mechanism. It has shown to be therapeutic in a number of sclerosing skin conditions and other dermatitides, in many cases proving to be more effective than other phototherapy modalities. Treatment advantages of UVA1 phototherapy include the ability to penetrate into the deep layers of the skin to affect changes on disease-causing T cells, as well as activation of endothelial cells to promote neovascularization. UVA1 therapy also has been shown to be relatively free of side effects associated with other phototherapy regimens, including erythema and cellular transformation. These properties make UVA1 phototherapy an important treatment option for many debilitating skin conditions.
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