Photomedicine is an interdisciplinary branch of medicine that involves the study and application of light with respect to health and disease. Photomedicine may be related to the practice of various fields of medicine including dermatology, surgery, interventional radiology, optical diagnostics, cardiology, circadian rhythm sleep disorders and oncology.
A branch of photomedicine is light therapy in which bright light strikes the retinae of the eyes, used to treat circadian rhythm disorders and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The light can be sunlight or from a light box emitting white or blue (blue/green) light.
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Photomedicine is used as a treatment for many different conditions:
- PUVA for the treatment of psoriasis
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for treatment of cancer and macular degeneration - Nontoxic light-sensitive compounds are targeted to malignant or other diseased cells, then exposed selectively to light, whereupon they become toxic and destroy these cells phototoxicity. One dermatological example of PDT is the targeting malignant cells by bonding the light-sensitive compounds to antibodies to these cells; light exposure at particular wavelengths mediates release of free radicals or other photosensitizing agents, destroying the targeted cells.
- Treating circadian rhythm disorders
- Alopecia, pattern hair loss, etc.
- Free electron laser
- Laser hair removal
- Optical diagnostics, for example optical coherence tomography of coronary plaques using infrared light
- Confocal microscopy and fluorescence microscopy of in vivo tissue
- Diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform for in vivo quantification of pigments (normal and cancerous), and hemoglobin
- Perpendicular-polarized flash photography and fluorescence photography of the skin
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- Smith, Kendrick C. (1981). "Photobiology and Photomedicine; The Future Is Bright" (PDF). The Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 77 (1): 2–7. doi:10.1111/1523-1747.ep12479186. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Davidson, Tom. "Photomedicine Uses and Research". NISIM. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
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- Dement, William C. "Disorders of the Sleep/Wake Cycle". Stanford University. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- Richards, Rebecca (6 June 2017). "Applications of Photomedicine". Sample Hime. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- Hamblin, Michael R.; Huang, Ying-Ying (2013). Handbook of Photomedicine. CRC Press. ISBN 1439884692. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Lim, H. W. (1993). Clinical Photomedicine. CRC Press. ISBN 0824788621. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Regan, J. D. (1982). The Science of Photomedicine. Springer. ISBN 9781468483147. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Rünger, Thomas M. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine Wiley. Online ISSN 1600-0781.
- Smith, Kendric C. (1984). Topics in Photomedicine. Plenum Press. ISBN 9780306415104. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Wyss, Pius (1999). Photomedicine in Gynecology and Reproduction. Karger Publishers. ISBN 9783805569057. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
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