Phototherapy is used to treat multiple conditions including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, eczema and mycosis fungicides amend others.
UVB is an effective treatment for Psoriasis and is present in natural sunlight. It penetrates the skin and helps to slow the growth of affected skin cells. Phototherapy treatment involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a specific amount of time on a regular interval. The treatment can be given at home or in a medical setting.
There are two types of UVB treatment: broad band and narrow band. Narrow band UVB light bulbs release a smaller range of ultraviolet light than broad band. Both are very similar in many ways. Some studies indicate that the narrow band UVB is more beneficial for the following reasons: longer remissions, clears psoriasis faster, can be more effective with fewer treatments per week than broad band UVB.
When undergoing UVB treatment, your condition may temporarily worsen before getting better. Your skin may itch and become red from exposure to the UVB light. Reducing the amount of UVB may help to avoid further irritation. These reactions tend to resolve with continued treatment.
Although UVB can be combined with other systemic or topical agents to enhance results, they can increase photosensitivity and burning and could possibly shortener remission. When combining systemic therapy and UVB, efficacy may increase and allow for lower doses of the systemic medication to be used.
For further information on phototherapy, please visit the National Psoriasis Foundation Website.