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inflammation reduction, tanning and bone reinforcement
Ultraviolet radiation can be divided into three main categories that differ from each other by their effect on living organisms. These three categories are UV-A with wavelengths ranging from 400 to 315 nanometers, UV-B with wavelengths from 315 to 280 nanometers and UV-C with wavelengths from 280 to 100 nanometers. UV-C carries the most energy and it is the most harmful of the three. Exposure of the skin to UV-C very quickly leads to symptoms of burning and it is suspected to cause skin cancer. UV-C that is emitted by the sun is almost completely absorbed in the ozone layer of the atmosphere. Dedicated UV-C radiators are designed for disinfecting of surgical instruments or for sterilisation of food but small quantities of UV-C can also be present in UV-A and UV-B radiators. The significance for therapeutic applications is mainly limited to UV-A and UV-B. UV-A penetrates deeper into the skin than does UV-B and it is responsible for the tanning of pigment that is already present there. UV-B on the other hand stimulates the production of new
pigment and it converts cholesterol into vitamin D. Through our liver and kidneys this vitamin is converted into a hormone that makes our bones to absorb calcium. Furthermore ultraviolet radiation suppresses the immune system and reduces the inflammatory responses as often seen by skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema. The difference in the effect
of UV-radiators of various types and brands can mainly be explained by differences in the relative contribution of UV-A and UV-B. UV-A leads to a quicker tanning, the tanning of UV-B lasts longer.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease at which the speed of production of new cells within the epidermis is about four times higher than normal. A skin that is affected by psoriasis renews itself in about a week rather than in four weeks, being the normal rate of renewal. The structure of the fast renewing skin differs significantly from that of a normal skin and an increased expelling of dead skin cells causes flakes with often a scale like structure (psore is Greek for scale). Radiation with UV-B has proven to be effective for the treatment of several types of psoriasis. A positive result can sometimes be obtained with a so-called PUVA treatment where PUVA stands for Psoralen or Phototherapy plus UV-A. With this method the sensitivity of the skin for ultraviolet radiation is first increased with help of a photosensitizing agent called psoralen, a chemical compound that exists in certain plants and that can be chemically synthesised since 1970. Subsequently the now sensitive skin is radiated with UV-A and the methods for obtaining the proper doses is comparable with that for the determination of the doses required for tanning. PUVA therapies are also successfully applied in the treatment of eczema. Treatment of psoriasis always needs the supervision of a physician.
Eczema is a general name for a great number of different skin diseases with symptoms like itching, reddishness, peeling, pimples, bladders etc. There are many possible causes for eczema like allergy, irritation, dehydration, degreasing and fluid accumulation under the skin. Radiation with UV-B or with UV-A in combination with psoralen (see psoriasis) has proven to be effective for the curing of some types of eczema. There are also types of eczema however, that do not react or even deteriorate when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Treatment of eczema therefore always needs the supervision of a physician.
other medical indications
reduces the level of cholesterol
reduces blood pressure
increases the efficiency of the heart
fights rachitis or rickets
general instructions for use
Warning: In all cases follow the instructions in the manual that came with your sun-lamp. When the manual is missing, try to obtain a replacement from your supplier or the original manufacturer. The instructions for use that are given on this site are specifically aimed at those who are interested in working and use of sun-lamps for tanning purposes without necessarily possessing one themselves. The author of this site is in no way responsible for any damage caused by the use of a sun-lamp.
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As with sun bathing it is important for a treatment with artificial ultraviolet radiation to preserve a strict timetable and to gradually increase the exposure times in order to prevent burning. The length and intensity of a session depends on the type and sensitivity of your skin and the aim of the treatment. An UV-B blocking cream may be used when it is only tanning that you are looking for. Filtering may not be desirable for therapeutic use of UV-B. Since it
has disappeared and the next treatment should be shortened. When there is no effect at all the next treatments can be lengthened in steps until the desired effect is reached. Make sure that you keep the same distance to your UV-source all the time since otherwise no clear comparison can be made. A typical distance is something between 50 and 70 centimeters. Normally a cure consists of sessions of 6 to 8 weeks interchanged with resting periods of 2 to 4 weeks. Always start a new session from the beginning since the sensitivity of the skin will increase during the
periods of resting. During the treatment you should protect your eyes with the eventually supplied dedicated eye protectors or with UV-blocking sunglasses. Never use eye protectors or sunglasses from which it is not completely sure that they block ultraviolet radiation. Some sun glasses only consist of dark coloured glass or synthetic material that insufficiently blocks the UV-radiation. Since they do block the light however, your pupils will widen, causing your eyes to catch more
ultraviolet radiation than they would have without any protectors. Also be careful with older types of equipment. Asbestos may likely be used as isolation and sometimes a protecting cover of (quartz) glass can be removed easily. This cover mechanically protects the lamp but it also acts as a filter that blocks the UV-C radiation. UV-C guarantees a quick tanning but it may be harmful at longer lasting exposures.
takes 4 to 6 hours before symptoms of burning by ultraviolet rays becomes evident it is important that the first treatment lasts no longer than 2 or 3 minutes. About 6 hours after the treatment you can control its effect. When the skin becomes a little reddish without itch, the dose was just fine. When itch occurs you have to wait until it
Ultraviolet laser radiation is well absorbed by biological matter and organic compounds. An ultraviolet laser adds just enough energy to such material to disrupt the molecular bonds of the surface tissue, which than disintegrates into the air in a process called ablation. Thus ultraviolet lasers can remove exceptionally fine layers of surface material with almost no heating or change to the remainder of the material. These properties make ultraviolet lasers well suited for delicate surgeries such as eye surgery, also referred to as LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). Wavelengths of ultraviolet lasers vary from 337 to 126 nanometers so it covers the complete range from UV-A through UV-C. Eye surgery may only be executed by a physician.