The Science of Photomedicine

  • James D. Regan
  • John A. Parrish

Part of the Photobiology book series (PB)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Photobiology in Medicine

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. J. A. Parrish
      Pages 3-17
  3. Photophysics, Luminescence, and Photochemistry

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. W. L. Carrier, R. D. Snyder, J. D. Regan
      Pages 91-112
    3. J. D. Spikes
      Pages 113-144
  4. Photobiology of Normal Human Skin

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 145-145
    2. R. R. Anderson, J. A. Parrish
      Pages 147-194
    3. M. F. Holick, J. A. MacLaughlin, J. A. Parrish, R. R. Anderson
      Pages 195-218
    4. J. L. M. Hawk, J. A. Parrish
      Pages 219-260
    5. F. Urbach
      Pages 261-292
    6. W. L. Morison, J. A. Parrish
      Pages 293-320
  5. Photosensitized and Abnormal Reactions of Human Skin

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 321-321
    2. L. C. Harber, I. E. Kochevar, A. R. Shalita
      Pages 323-347
    3. H. Ippen
      Pages 349-394
  6. Photoprotection

  7. Therapeutic Photomedicine

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 475-475
    2. T. R. C. Sisson, T. P. Vogl
      Pages 477-509
    3. D. E. Rounds
      Pages 533-543
    4. J. L. Melnick, C. Wallis
      Pages 545-559
    5. M. Jarratt, W. Hubler Jr., W. Panek
      Pages 561-570
    6. J. A. Parrish, R. S. Stern, M. A. Pathak, T. B. Fitzpatrick
      Pages 595-623
    7. T. J. Dougherty, D. G. Boyle, K. R. Weishaupt
      Pages 625-638
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 639-658

About this book


Although the history of photomedicine dates back thousands of years, with even preliterate cultures appreciating the healing properties of sunlight, for many workers in the discipline photomedicine is associated with the observation about 100 years ago of Niels Finsen, a Danish physician. Finsen recognized that people with tuberculosis who lived in Norway and who had very little exposure to sunlight often developed facial lesions (lupus vulgaris) which would decrease and sometimes disappear during the summer months. This very observant physician reasoned that artificial light ought to produce the same effect as sunlight and began utilizing the radiation from the newly available carbon arc. At first, he used a glass lens to concentrate the radiation, but since this produced considerable burning, he replaced this with a hollow glass lens filled with water. However, while this reduced the heat burns, it did not actually duplicate the effect of direct sunlight. Finally, using a hollow lens filled with water but equipped with quartz windows, Finsen was able to imitate, even improve upon, the effect of sunlight. As a result, lupus vulgaris was practically eliminated from the Scandinavian countries.


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Editors and affiliations

  • James D. Regan
    • 1
  • John A. Parrish
    • 2
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

Bibliographic information