UVB phototherapy refers to irradiation that has shortwave ultraviolet radiation. In order to receive full-body treatment, the patient, undressed, has to stand in a specially designed cabinet equipped with fluorescent light tubes.
Initially, only broadband UVB were used, but now, narrowband UVB phototherapy (311 nm) became popular on the market. Doses of UVB are increased in each session. Usually, there are 2 or 3 sessions per week that last until the skin condition has cleared up, the number of the pre-determined maximum number of treatments was reached, or if this treatment method was ineffective.
The effects of UVB are similar to the effects obtained from regular sun exposure. Any excessive exposure contributes to quicker skin ageing and also places one at risk of developing cancer.
UVB phototherapy is used to treat various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and vitiligo.
Psoriasis is a very common disorder that is usually inherited and varies in terms of extent and severity. UVB is usually recommended for patients who have extensive psoriasis. However, it may not be a suitable treatment option for individuals who have fair skin or those whose psoriasis gets worse when exposed to sunlight.
Most patients have three treatment sessions each week. The first few exposures are very brief: they last a few seconds. The length of exposure gradually increases according to the patient’s response.
Usually, about 24 treatment sessions are needed for psoriasis to clear out or greatly improve. At this stage, treatments are usually stopped. The skin then remains clear for several months. However, psoriasis may later reoccur, and; therefore, additional UVB phototherapy sessions will be needed.
UVB is also used for treating severe cases of dermatitis, especially eczema. The frequency and dosage of each treatment sessions are determined according to the patient’s response. A course of phototherapy may last longer than 24 sessions.
UVB is considered to be effective for treating vitiligo. Treatments must be held with extreme caution because white skin tends to burn very easily. The treatment sessions may take several months until improvement will become visible.
All scheduled appointments should be kept and regularly attended in order to see improvements. All health problems, including eye disease(s), should be reported to medical staff prior to starting treatment. All active medications also have to be reported because some may cause skin burning as its adverse effects. No ointments and cosmetics (e.g. perfumes and coal tar products) should be applied. Natural sun exposure during treatment and non-treatment days should be avoided. It is recommended to constantly apply broad-spectrum sunscreen on face and hands.
Centre for Medical and Surgical Dermatology offers a unique and personalized UVB phototherapy treatment option for each patient. For more information about this treatment, visit the following link:
For more information about psoriasis, visit the following link:
For more information about atopic dermatitis, visit the following link:
For more information about vitiligo, visit the following link: