Research Summary: Clinical Efficacy of Blue Light Full Body Irradiation as Treatment Option for Severe Atopic Dermatitis



Therapy of atopic dermatitis (AD) relies on immunosuppression and/or UV irradiation. Here, we assessed clinical efficacy and histopathological alterations induced by blue light-treatment of AD within an observational, non-interventional study.

Methodology/Principal Findings

36 patients with severe, chronic AD resisting long term disease control with local corticosteroids were included. Treatment consisted of one cycle of 5 consecutive blue light-irradiations (28.9 J/cm2). Patients were instructed to ask for treatment upon disease exacerbation despite interval therapy with topical corticosteroids. The majority of patients noted first improvements after 2–3 cycles. The EASI score was improved by 41% and 54% after 3 and 6 months, respectively (p≤0.005, and p≤0.002). Significant improvement of pruritus, sleep and life quality was noted especially after 6 months. Also, frequency and intensity of disease exacerbations and the usage of topical corticosteroids was reduced. Finally, immunohistochemistry of skin biopsies obtained at baseline and after 5 and 15 days revealed that, unlike UV light, blue light-treatment did not induce Langerhans cell or T cell depletion from skin.


Blue light-irradiation may represent a suitable treatment option for AD providing long term control of disease. Future studies with larger patient cohorts within a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial are required to confirm this observation.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 8-June-2011

Author(s): Becker D., Langer E., Seemann M., Seemann G., Fell I., Saloga J., Grabbe S., von Stebut E.


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