Narrow Band UVB Phototherapy
Narrow Band UVB has become the “Gold Standard” for the treatment of a wide variety skin diseases such as Psoriasis, Eczema, Vitiligo and can be used for many other skin problems as well. Phototherapy or light therapy, involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis and under medical supervision. Treatments are done in a doctor’s office or at home with phototherapy unit. The key to success with light therapy is consistency.
Present in natural sunlight, UVB is an effective treatment for psoriasis and other skin disorders. UVB penetrates the skin and slows the growth of affected skin cells and decreases the number of inflammatory cells in the skin. Treatment involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular schedule. This treatment is administered in a medical setting or at home.
UVB can be combined with other topical and/or systemic agents to enhance efficacy. Combining UVB with systemic therapies may increase efficacy dramatically and allow for lower doses of the systemic medication to be used.
Treating psoriasis with a UVB light unit at home is an economical and convenient choice for many people. Like phototherapy in a clinic, it requires a consistent treatment schedule. Individuals are treated initially at a medical facility and then begin using a light unit at home.
It is critical when doing phototherapy at home to follow a doctor’s instructions and continue with regular check-ups. Home phototherapy is a medical treatment that requires monitoring by a health care professional.
All phototherapy treatments, including purchase of equipment for home use, require a prescription. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of home UVB unit. Vendors of home phototherapy equipment often will assist you in working with your insurance company to purchase a unit.
National Psoriasis Foundation does not support the use of indoor tanning beds as a substitute for phototherapy.