Present status of eyelid phototherapy. Clinical efficacy and transmittance of ultraviolet and visible radiation through human eyelids

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992 Apr;26(4):607-13. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(92)70089-x.


Background: Phototherapy for the eyelid has not previously been recognized as a safe and effective treatment of photoresponsive dermatoses of the eyelid, such as atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, psoriasis, lymphomatoid papulosis, and parapsoriasis.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of this treatment.

Methods: Two cases are presented to demonstrate clinical efficacy. In addition, a retrospective eye evaluation of seven patients receiving a combined total of greater than 1300 eyelid phototherapy treatments was performed. To determine whether potentially harmful UV radiation is significantly transmitted through eyelid skin, an in vitro study was conducted to measure the percentage transmittance of ultraviolet-visible radiation through five excised eyelids.

Results: In the two cases presented, remarkable improvement occurred without adverse side effects, suggesting that it is possible to deliver incremental UV dosages to eyelid skin to achieve clearing of skin disease. Retrospective analysis of patients' records revealed no ocular disease from the phototherapy. In vitro eyelid examination produced data that indicated negligible quantities of UV radiation were transmitted through eyelid skin compared with the visible spectrum, in which up to 77% of the radiation was transmitted through the tissue.

Conclusion: The combined clinical experience and transmittance data suggest that eyelid phototherapy is a safe and effective treatment in selected patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / radiotherapy*
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy
  • Eyelid Diseases / pathology
  • Eyelid Diseases / radiotherapy*
  • Eyelids / pathology
  • Eyelids / radiation effects*
  • Facial Dermatoses / drug therapy
  • Facial Dermatoses / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • PUVA Therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultraviolet Therapy*
  • Vitiligo / drug therapy
  • Vitiligo / radiotherapy*
  • White People