Hey luvs,

I wanted to share my journey of healing my eczema with phototherapy. It’s also called light therapy or photomedicine. Phototherapy is the use of light to clear certain skin diseases like psoriasis and dermatitis.

Phototherapy treatment for healing eczema

I got the light treatment for the full body as my eczema was from my face down to my legs. But there are light therapy treatments for hands and feet.

light-therapy-for-eczema

This is what is looks like.

I would get undressed (everything off but underwear) put some coconut oil and sunscreen on my skin (in the worst parts) then I would step in and close the doors. Then the nurse would come in and set the timer. Then when it went off I would step out and get dressed. That was it.

It didn’t seem like much because I was only in there for seconds (eventually by the end of my 2 month treatment I was up to a minute) but the lights are that powerful.  I went twice a week for about 2 months. I was supposed to continue for another month but I didn’t, I explain below.

Sharing my personal journey healing eczema. I used phototherapy for treatment of my eczema and it helped with the itching.

The bottom left picture was after the 2 months of phototherapy so you can see I was not 100% healed. The bottom right picture is me the other day 100% healed. 

As I mentioned in the video not every dermatologist offers phototherapy as treatment. It took me a while to finally find a doctor in my area as I originally was flying down to FL to get treatment, which was not practical for the long term. One of the downsides to phototherapy is the time commitment. You are only in front of the light for seconds but the journey to get to and from the doctors office is always the issue.

Phototherapy is not the answer for everyone, but it sure helped jump start my healing journey. The number one thing it helped was reduce the intensity of the itching.  Through my diet, supplements and lotions I was able to heal my eczema on my own without the treatment as I stopped my treatment early.

Why? Time. The whole process took about 2 hours from driving, waiting and getting the treatment that it just became too much for me. I knew I could heal the rest on my own and I did!

Phototherapy to help heal my eczema.

If you have eczema and have never tried phototherapy I would recommend you talking to your doctor about it.

If you have any questions for me leave me a comment below and I will answer them.

Click here to see all my posts about eczema. 

Thanks for all the love and support.

xoxo

Michelle

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38 thoughts on “Phototherapy to treat eczema: before and after pictures

  1. Wow, it seems that the phototherapy treatments combined with the doctor-prescribed antifungals really did the trick! That is great.

    Is phototherapy covered by insurance? If not, would you mind sharing the costs?

    Posted on July 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm
    1. Thanks. It was covered by my insurance so not sure the costs.

      Posted on July 25, 2015 at 9:39 am
  2. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks s much for sharing this update. That is wonderful that phototherapy was so effective for you! You say that it healed your eczema–is phototherapy something that eczema sufferers will need to use long=term, or is it considered a permanent fix? Thanks!

    Posted on July 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm
    1. I honestly think it will be different for each person as we all have different reasons we have eczema. My doctor told me he hopes he doesn’t have to see me again for the treatment, but if I do have a flare up I can call and get back in. I personally see it as a long term thing if the individual does other lifestyle changes.

      Posted on July 25, 2015 at 9:41 am
  3. so glad it worked. what kind of doctor prescribed the anti-fungals? also the dermatologist?

    Posted on July 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm
    1. Hey, I currently have eczema on my hands. It’s not severe enough to merit phototherapy (I think?) but am still curious about the anti-fungals. Did you get them from the derm? Next appointment I have with the dermatologist I want to ask about it… Thanks for all the eczema journey posts. It’s really nice to know we’re not alone out there, although of course I wish you never had to go through any of it.

      Posted on July 27, 2015 at 1:09 am
  4. Congratulations! This is just the best news 🙂 So happy for you Michelle!

    Posted on July 27, 2015 at 9:13 am
    1. thank you so much Lauren!

      Posted on July 28, 2015 at 12:24 pm
  5. Yay!!! So glad that worked for you. Its amazing you only have to be in the light a few seconds

    Posted on July 30, 2015 at 1:27 pm
    1. Thank you.

      Posted on July 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm
  6. So amazing! What a transformation! I recently watched a miraculous turnaround with eczema as well using a greens supplement and a nourishing botanically based cream (originally designed for stretch marks). I remembered your journey with it on your legs from last August and was checking in to see how you had progressed (I mainly utilize the recipe section!)! Yay for you. I’d love to share the Greens and Cream with you if you like as they are affordable and easy to purchase for those who may not have insurance and are struggling! We are all meant to shine and relieving skin issues makes such a difference! Congratulations!

    Posted on August 16, 2015 at 8:21 pm
    1. Hi Ruby,

      I’m currently suffering from eczema in 12 spots in my body. =\ It’s quite itchy! I’ve had it since last year, I was using steroid creams for 1 year, and decided to stop as I’ve read about withdrawal, and that it simply doesn’t cure anything, that’s when it got worse. I do believe in natural treatments and creams. I’m using one called Novapel (Australia producer) right now which is good for the itchy, but I’m also doing the phototherapy to see if it improves long term. But please let me know your treatment. I live in Australia, so they might not sell here, but there is always online shops. My email is thaisepf86@gmail.com.

      Thank you so much for your help!!

      Thaise

      Posted on October 25, 2016 at 12:47 am
  7. Hi Michelle,
    I really need your help here. I have been struggling with eczema since October 2014. It started when I was 4 months pregnant. I refused to use steroids at the time to keep my baby safe. It spread on my belly, back, buttocks, arms and thighs. 3 weeks after she was born, it spread everywhere – face, legs, hands. Thank God she’s healthy and fine. I finally caved in and use Dr. Aron’s compound that contains steroid and antibiotics. It helps calm things tremendously. I have also been doing phototherapy for 4 months now. I am also doing Gut healing program. It has helped but doesn’t heal it fully. On Saturday, I started to get flare ups again and it is spreading to my neck, arms, hands and belly. I am so scared it will get as bad again. I tried to read all your posts about it but didn’t know what ultimately help heal you completely. Would you please help?
    Thanks much!

    Posted on August 24, 2015 at 6:15 pm
    1. I am so sorry to hear this I know how horrible it is. I would try to slowly wean off the steroids. Keep doing the light therapy and working on your gut. Did you see my post about the supplements I take? Vitamin D and borage oil were great for my skin. As I mentioned in this video, it wasn’t just one thing that helped my eczema. It was a mix of everything from the light therapy to supplements to lotions to diet and mindset. I still plan on doing a diet post hopefully soon. You mentioned gut healing, what are you doing? I found keeping a very simple diet to help the most. What foods are you avoiding?

      Posted on August 27, 2015 at 9:24 pm
  8. Hello, i suffer from eczema, however this year it got the worst its ever been.. I did phototherapy a couple of times, its normal to feel itchy after right? Also, i recently stopped because it cause the eczema to spread all over my arm. But that was also the time i was doing moisturizer withdrawal so i feel like that also contributed to it. I am just asking for your opinion if i should give it another try. I am really nervous to because i always feel more itchy afterwards. Also how many session into your phototherapy did you started seeing improvement and what kind of improvements did you see? Right now i suffer from extreme redness and minor itching. What more do you think i should do?

    Posted on October 4, 2015 at 11:49 am
    1. Yes it is normal to feel itchy after getting a light therapy treatment. The days I got treatment I was always more itchy but then the next day and the days to follow everything was fine. I would say about 6 treatments it took to notice changes, but I also was doing other things (diet, supplements, etc) that helped too. The biggest notice was my overall itching went way down. What are you putting on your skin? What lotions? What supplements are you taking? Eczema is complex and we all will have our own journey to heal. For me it wasn’t just one thing that helped, it was a everything in my life.

      Posted on October 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm
  9. I currently use polysporin for eczema and I eat a vegan diet. I take vitamin d, fish oil, l-glutamine and b12. Just wondering, is it normal to have flakiness of the skin, some what resembling a slight sun burn. Also, did the phototherapy help with weeping eczema for you? Phototherapy seem to make my eczema weep way more than usual.

    Posted on October 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm
    1. Do you put some type of oil on your skin before going in? I put a small amount of coconut oil on my worst areas before going in. Maybe give that a try.

      Posted on October 10, 2015 at 11:11 am
  10. They told me not to put anything on before. Also, did your eczema get worst at the beginning of the therapy?

    Posted on October 10, 2015 at 2:07 pm
    1. Ya different doctors say different things about that. My first one didn’t say anything but the second one told me to put something on the bad parts. The first few sessions my skin was the same yet just really itchy. Light therapy may not be the right plan for your skin.

      Posted on October 11, 2015 at 11:55 am
  11. Wow, it´s the first time I´m on your homepage and I´m glad to see your success with your skinproblems…I also work since 2011 with healthy eating to cure my psoriasis, witch I have for 24 years (I´m 26). Now it´s the first time I have the feeling that it helps. I just wanted to say that I admire your fearlessness to handle with your exzema so in the publicity.

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 3:42 am
    1. thank you Nora!

      Posted on November 14, 2015 at 9:58 pm
  12. Hi,

    I have just read a comment:
    “Through a very long and frustrating process we realised nightshade is the cause of my daughters severe eczema. We have removed it from her diet and within 2 weeks she just had dry skin and within a month it was completely gone.”

    and if you still struggle, maybe avoiding nightshades can help. Hope it will.

    Posted on January 18, 2016 at 6:49 am
  13. My 9 yr old son has suffered with eczema his entire life. Today we had an appointment with his dermatologist and she recommended phototherapy. I had never heard of this type of treatment…only try this steroid cream or use this body soap. Dermatologists recommend Dove because it’s so great….but it’s not when you are allergic to soy (took me years to figure this one out). She wants him to go 2 to 3 times a week. Right now I’m game but I have to see how much this is going to cost me because my copay for specialist is $100. I pray that this helps my son be more confident in his own body.

    Posted on October 13, 2016 at 11:00 am
    1. Trisha so sorry to hear that your son has eczema. Dove is a great product and happy to hear you are trying the phototherapy. It was a huge piece in my healing. Just be warned – he will be really itchy the day of treatment but it gets better overtime. Epsom salt baths saved me and staying positive through it all. I am thinking of you guys and wishing you all the best. Any more questions please let me know.

      Posted on October 14, 2016 at 11:23 pm
  14. Hiya I’d love for you to email me to chat a bit more about your excma story ! Can I find you on Facebook ? I’m losing my mind with my full body eczema and would love your advice and help with things ! From the uk and feel so alone as know no one else that suffers this and this is the first blog I’ve read that looks like the same sort of eczema x

    Posted on January 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    1. Oh no Lauren I am sorry to hear this. You can email me at twins@purelytwins.com

      Posted on January 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm
  15. Hello!
    I started my light therapy today and just wanted to know if this helped long term ? I’m 24 and I have had eczema since u was a baby when I flare up I always get prescribed prednisone and steroid creams it heels me for about a month and come and back even worst ? So I’m hoping this reliefs my eczema for good

    Posted on February 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    1. I have not had my eczema come back besides small breakouts, which are mostly due to stress and not keeping up with my skin care routine. Stay positive and focus on that you are healed! It is a journey but you will get there!! Sending you healing vibes.

      Posted on March 4, 2017 at 1:12 pm
  16. Hey Michelle,

    I just read your journey on phototherapy and I’ve done tons of research. I had a doctor recommend it to me and I told him I’d hold off, because I didn’t know much about it. I have chronic eczema on my face and arms. I was wondering if yours was completely healed or if you had any remissions during your journey? Thank you for sharing your story. It’s nice to know someone else out there understands the struggles.

    Joanna

    Posted on September 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm
    1. Phototherapy was completed new to me too. After I healed it, took about 3 months of phototherapy plus diet changes to heal it. I had two minor outbreaks a few months after, mostly due to stress and testing out some foods I took out and tried it again. I would say give it a try if you have tried other things and not getting results. Hope this helps. Best of luck.

      Posted on September 7, 2017 at 1:05 am
      1. Hello. I would like one question. I am considering to attend also light therapy but in solar studio, I have long experience and I would like to know if you covered your skin with anything just after this therapy? e.g. light therapy takes 5 minutes and then in 30 minutes you used some lotions on your skin or not and left it alone? Thank you. Martin

        Posted on September 15, 2017 at 5:46 am
        1. I put a little sunscreen on before I would go into the bed, sometimes I used just coconut oil. I used it mostly where my big patches where. I did not put anything on my skin afterwards. I let it be. At the start your skin will be itchy!!! So plan for that – keep your mind and hands busy. I had about an 30 min+ drive to get back home to luckily my hands were on the wheel and I listened to meditations and affirmations to keep my mind positive. Later on I put my normal lotions on.

          Posted on September 21, 2017 at 12:00 am
      2. Thank you so much! I set up an appointment with my derm, so hopefully it’ll heal! I am vegetarian as well so my diet is pretty well balanced minus the protein. But I’m 100% sure that I want to do it now, thanks to you and your story <3

        Posted on September 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm
        1. Awesome, keep me posted!

          Posted on September 21, 2017 at 12:01 am
          1. So I started phototherapy 2 days ago. I’ve only had one treatment and I’ve already noticed a huge difference. So have all my coworkers. I just want to thank you so much because I was very wary of it (I’d never heard of anything like it before). It’s very easy to become insecure about eczema and I think this treatment will be very beneficial to me and my life!

            Posted on October 28, 2017 at 1:58 pm
          2. SOOOOO happy to hear this. Keep me posted.

            Posted on November 1, 2017 at 12:30 am
  17. I’ve had eczema my entire life and now my sons do as well. We’ve spent hundreds of dollars on creams. I came across foderma serum and it cleared my sons fast in a matter of 3 days. The doctors were in shock and so was I. Get this serum before you do anything else.

    Posted on October 14, 2017 at 11:23 am