The Evolution of Modern Phototherapy

There have been a number of developments in the modern age of phototherapy that have brought new and better ways of treating skin diseases such as psoriasis and vitiligo along with numerous technological advances that have enhanced the safety and effectiveness of those new therapies. The following are some of the most important advancements and developments in photomedicine thus far. 


PUVA:  The approval of PUVA was an exciting, translational development that propelled phototherapy to the forefront in the treatment of psoriasis and other photo-responsive skin diseases. It was truly the beginning of the modern age of phototherapy.

1980’s – 1990’s

Integrating Dosimetry:  The development of integrating dosimetry systems for phototherapy devices advanced the accuracy and consistency of light therapy by precisely measuring the variations in their energy output. Environmentally-caused changes in output no longer affected accuracy.

1990’s – 2000’s

Narrowband UVB:  A convergence of biology and physics facilitated the development of Narrowband UVB phototherapy. The therapeutic action spectrum for psoriasis lies in the 311 to 313 nanometer range and luckily, the mercury arc in fluorescent lamps emits energy in much the same wave range. When phosphors were developed that filtered out the remaining, non-therapeutic emissions, a safe and effective new means of treating psoriasis and other diseases was born.


Light Prescription Systems of Control:  The advent of “smart” data based control systems led to a significant enhancement in safety.  Systems such as Daavlin’s pioneering SmartTouch™ ensured that the potential for careless operational errors were minimized. With such systems, it was no longer possible to mistakenly deliver the wrong kind of light or a dose that was larger than intended.


UVA1:  To be effective, the treatment of photoresponsive diseases such as scleroderma require large doses of UVA. Until the advent of high powered pure UVA1 systems such as the ML24000™, the extraneous UVB energy in standard phototherapy devices made effective doses of UVA impossible. Patients would receive erythema inducing levels of UVB long before an effective dose of UVA could be delivered.  Proprietary filtering systems and special high energy lamps combine in these devices to make high dose UVA1 practical.


Targeted Phototherapy:  Targeted, non-laser, ultraviolet energy emitting phototherapy devices deliver therapeutic energy to localized areas of the skin at a fraction of the cost of their laser-based cousins. And, with Daavlin’s Lumera™ and Levia™ products, proprietary fiber optic technology makes treatment of the scalp practical. Brush-like tines successfully bypass the hair barrier and deliver light directly to the scalp.

To learn more about phototherapy innovations, advancements, and products, call Daavlin at 1-800-322-8546 or email today!