Frequently Asked Questions
Is phototherapy safe?
Phototherapy using Narrowband UVB light is considered safe and is often considered to be the safest of all treatment options. Due to its safe history, dermatologists often prescribe phototherapy for children, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people who have a weakened immune system or an ongoing infection.
How long does it take to see results?
It depends on many factors. Some diagnoses, like psoriasis, usually respond within 3-6 weeks. Other diagnoses, like vitiligo, can take several months before results are noticed.
Is home phototherapy covered by insurance?
It depends on your medical plan, your diagnosis, and if you have tried phototherapy in the past. After Dermitech receives your information, insurance benefits are checked and reviewed with you.
Is a prescription required to get home phototherapy?
Yes, FDA regulations state that a prescription from a dermatologist or other authorized and licensed healthcare professional is required for home phototherapy.
How long does it take to get a phototherapy device?
If insurance is used, there may be a delay in receiving authorization from your insurance company which is usually less than a month. If insurance is not used, it usually takes 1-2 weeks to receive your home phototherapy device.
When should someone not use phototherapy?
While dermatologists safely prescribe phototherapy for most people, it may not be recommended for those who:
* Have had a melanoma or any other type of skin cancer
* Have a medical condition that makes you more likely to develop skin cancer, such as Gorlin syndrome or xeroderma pigmentosum
* Have medical condition that makes you sensitive to UV light, such as lupus or porphyria
* Are taking medicine that makes them more sensitive to UV light, such as some antibiotics, diuretics, and antifungals
What are the possible side-effects?
While phototherapy is considered safe and side-effects are rare, all medical treatments carry possible side effects. The possible side effects that can happen after a treatment include:
* Sunburn-like reaction (red or tender skin)
* Mild stinging or burning
* Dark spots on the skin
* Blisters (rare)
* Burn (rare)
Note that after treatment, your skin may be pink or slightly tender. This is desirable for best results and not considered a side effect.
Possible long-term side effects include:
* Early skin aging (age spots, wrinkles, loose skin)
* Increased risk of developing skin cancer
Under a dermatologist’s care, these long-term side effects can be managed.
What is the cost of home phototherapy?
If insurance is used, it depends on your insurance coverage, deductible and co-insurance. If insurance is not used, Dermitech offers different brands and size products and to help find an affordable solution. Often it is less expensive to purchase a home phototherapy device than to pay co-insurance and travel expenses to receive treatments in a clinic.