The employment of light as a therapeutic agent is no new thing in medicine. The best term to employ for the treatment in general is Phototherapy. The use of that especial form, the discovery of which has immortalized the name of Roentgen, is generally known as Radiotherapy. Actinotherapy seems to be the most suitable designation for the employment of the ordinary sun or arc light, or portions of their rays. It is to this latter that I desire to call attention.
To go no further back than the time of General Pleasanton, most of us recollect the "blue glass craze" that swept over the land. Wonderful therapeutic results were attributed to its use; and isolated specimens of the blue glass panes that then appeared in so many windows may still be seen. But Pleasanton and his followers truly saw "as through a glass darkly"; their method was not only empirical,
GOTTHEIL WS. ACTINOTHERAPY IN CUTANEOUS MEDICINE —A PRELIMINARY COMMUNICATION.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(1):21–23. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.62470270021002g