Photobiology pp 577-590 | Cite as

Light Treatment in Medicine

  • Theresa Jurkowitsch
  • Robert Knobler


The beneficial uses of light have been noted and observed since ancient times; it is only since the last century that these beneficial effects have also been studied and explored from a scientific point of view leading to more specific applications as well as a better understanding of the mechanisms of action, both chemical and biological, responsible for the observed effects. Among the fields of medicine that have taken it upon themselves to deal with the therapeutic effects of light, dermatology is considered to be a major representative. As examples for the medical uses of light we concentrate on the following: phototherapy (use of UV-A and UV-B radiation without added photosensitizer), photochemotherapy, extracorporeal photochemotherapy (both of which combine photosensitizers and ultraviolet radiation), and photodynamic therapy (using photosensitizers activated by light in the red or blue range). Some other very widespread medicinal uses of light are briefly covered.


Photodynamic Therapy Light Treatment Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Neonatal Jaundice Photodynamic Action 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theresa Jurkowitsch
  • Robert Knobler

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