This medical video takes a look at how some researchers are taking ideas from the sun to help treat those with painful skin diseases.
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Jennifer Matthews: This is how Mary Tibuni begins her morning three days a week. She suffers from a disease called Morphea. Mary Tibuni: I had a bunch of bumps on my legs, and it gradually turned into bruises, almost purple, and then my skin started to get hard, and it was painful to the touch. Dr. Heidi Jacobe: This can affect any area of the body, and around joints it can cause decreased motion of the joints." Jennifer Matthews: Dermatologist Heidi Jacobe uses a new kind of phototherapy called u-v-a-one to ease the effects of morphea. Dr. Heidi Jacobe: We think the combination of the deeper penetration into the skin, as well as the higher doses, seem to somehow decrease the excessive thickening of the skin that's part of the morphea and thin it back out to a normal level -- making it flexible again. Jennifer Matthews: Up to four times a week, patients receive rays of ultraviolet light just fifteen inches from the problem spots. Each area is treated for twelve minutes. Studies show the light can also help other skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema. After four months of treatment, Mary can feel the difference. Mary Tibuni: The redness and tightness has gone away from my legs. I can walk better and do more things. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.