Ultraviolet light occurs naturally in sunlight and is the part of sunlight which causes sunburn. The use of light as a treatment is known as phototherapy and has been available since the 1980’s. The wavelength used is 311nm to 312 nm and is known as narrowband UVB. Psoriasis, eczema and generalised itching are the most common conditions treated with phototherapy.
Most patients have treatments 3x/week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. The treatment time is dependent on your skin type. Patients with fair or sensitive skin will have shorter treatment times than those with darker skin. The initial doses are low, usually a few seconds and are slowly increased. You should not expect a response in the first 3-4 weeks. Once your skin condition has cleared, there is always a possibility it may return, as the UV treatment is not a cure but a remission. A small number of patients will notice the light burns, irritates and/or worsens your skin condition. If any of these occur, UVB is ceased and a review by the dermatologist to discuss other treatments will be made.
Narrowband Ultraviolet Light Therapy for the management of
- Generalised Itching
- Lichen Planus