Narrowband UVB Phototherapy
Light therapy or phototherapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis and under medical supervision. Narrowband UVB phototherapy is used to treat psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and other photoresponsive skin disorders. The key to success with light therapy is consistency.
Present in natural sunlight, Ultraviolet light B (UVB) is an effective treatment for psoriasis. UVB penetrates the skin and slows the growth of affected skin cells. Treatment involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular schedule.
UV Phototherapy is an Effective Treatment for Psoriasis and More
UV Phototherapy can be a very effective psoriasis treatment. While treatment of psoriasis is the most common use of Phototherapy, it is also effective in treating vitiligo, eczema, and over 25 other skin conditions. People typically see some improvement immediately and experience clearing with 20 to 25 treatments. Long term remission is experienced for 90 to 95% of cases.
Side benefits of UV phototherapy
With UV phototherapy, people often report that they enjoy relief from the anxiety caused by living with chronic discomfort. They obtain peace of mind, knowing that their episodes and pain are manageable and that less pain and fewer drugs means better mental health.
What is the difference between Narrowband and Broadband UVB?
Narrowband UVB has become the phototherapy treatment of choice for psoriasis, vitiligo,atopic dermatitis (eczema) and other photoresponsive skin disorders. Conventional Broadband UVB lamps emit light in a broad range over the UVB spectrum, including both the therapeutic wavelengths specific to the treatment of skin diseases, plus the shorter wavelengths responsible for sunburning (erythema). Sunburning has a negative therapeutic benefit, increases the risk of skin cancer, causes patient discomfort, and limits the amount of therapeutic UVB that can be taken.
Narrowband UVB lamps, on the other hand, emit light over a very short range of wavelengths concentrated in the therapeutic range, and minimally in the sunburning range. UVB Narrowband is therefore theoretically safer and more effective than UVB Broadband, but requires either longer treatment times or equipment with more bulbs to achieve the same dosage threshold. With the goal being to minimize the total cummulative dosage of erythemogenic ultraviolet light in a patient’s lifetime, it follows that younger people should consider using UVB Narrowband.
What does the treatment involve?
Patients attend two to five times weekly. The patient is placed in a specially designed cabinet containing fluorescent light tubes.
The patient stands in the center of the cabinet, undressed except for underwear, and wears protective goggles. Usually the whole body is exposed to the UVB for a short time (seconds to minutes).
The amount of UV is carefully monitored. A number of protocols exist depending on the individual’s skin type, age, skin condition and other factors.
The skin may remain pale or turn slightly pink after each treatment. Let your therapist know if you experience any discomfort.
Patches of psoriasis generally start to become thinner after five to ten treatments. Most patients with psoriasis require 15 to 25 treatments to clear.