Mixed results have been reported so far for UVA1 for sclerodactyly but one study of 5 reported improvement for all systemic scleroderma patients, with both acral (hand/feet) and proximal (closer to the center of the body) scleroderma. So far, more extensive testing has been done with morphea scleroderma, where about 88% experienced improvement in their skin lesions, so now larger scale clinical trials are underway.
It is like a tanning booth, except it is upright. You simply stand in the unit, with special UVA lights on all sides, wearing protection for your eyes and face. The actual time in the booth is very brief, less than a minute, but they will generally tell you the treatments take 20 minutes because of the time it takes to remove most of your clothing and then get dressed again.
You don't expose only the parts with skin involvement, but rather the whole body, because the effects of the light are not just on the skin. As I understand it, they believe some of the beneficial effects are because the light causes changes in the bloodstream and thus the immune system.
The treatments are entirely painless; no drugs, no surgery! The main side effect is a gradual tanning. For the first visit they just do a small test with little spots on your arm at different settings to see what the best level is for you to begin at.
UVA1 is also being used for other diseases, such as psoriasis and lupus. The main problem right now is that there aren't many dermatology centers that have UVA1 equipment.
Since the usual treatment program is 2 or more times per week, it really helps to have an insurance plan that doesn't have co-pays for specialist office visits.
Apparently they have UVA1 units that can be purchased for home use, a frequently cited cost is $1100, which may or may not be covered by insurance. If you consider that route, it would be extremely important to consult a doctor about it, to make sure the unit type and size would be sufficient, that dosage would be carefully monitored, and that you have a prescription for dosage as well as regular follow-ups.