UVB Phototherapy Explained by UV Treat

What is UVB Phototherapy, how does it work, and why is it considered a safer and more effective solution for treating skin diseases? Is it FDA-approved? These are the key questions we will address in this training module.

Phototherapy, including UVB light therapy, offers a practical approach to treating skin conditions like Psoriasis, Dermatitis, and Vitiligo, with each condition benefiting from a unique mechanism of action.
In the case of Psoriasis, UVB light therapy operates by decelerating the rapid cell growth and diminishing inflammation, two hallmark features of this condition. This dual action alleviates symptoms and enhances the skin’s appearance.

For Dermatitis, particularly atopic dermatitis, phototherapy reduces skin inflammation and alleviates itchiness. It can also regulate the immune response within the skin, resulting in symptom improvement and fewer flare-ups.

In the context of Vitiligo, UVB light therapy, especially narrowband UVB, stimulates melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in the skin. This stimulation can lead to the repigmentation of the white patches characteristic of vitiligo, gradually enhancing their appearance over time.

This treatment employs specific wavelengths of UV light to target the excessive growth of skin cells. By modulating cell turnover and immune responses, phototherapy has the potential to substantially alleviate symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for individuals undergoing this therapy.

Phototherapy can be combined with other treatments to achieve more favorable outcomes (further details will be provided shortly). Typically, you will start with 2-3 sessions per week initially, and the frequency will gradually decrease over time. While in-office treatments are widely practiced, home phototherapy is also feasible, although one should consider equipment space requirements.
In addition to retinoids, a range of other medications are employed in conjunction with phototherapy to effectively manage conditions such as Psoriasis, Dermatitis, and Vitiligo. These medications include:

1. For Psoriasis:

  • Methotrexate: An immunosuppressant that can be effective when used with phototherapy.
  • Cyclosporine: Another immunosuppressant that can enhance the effectiveness of phototherapy.
  • Corticosteroids: Reduce inflammation and are often used in combination with phototherapy.
  • Biologic Agents: Such as TNF-alpha inhibitors, which can be used in combination with phototherapy for more severe cases.
  • Vitamin D Analogs: Like calcipotriene, which can be used topically in conjunction with phototherapy.

2. For Dermatitis:

  • Topical Steroids: Often used alongside phototherapy to reduce inflammation and itching.
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors: Such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, can be used in combination with light therapy.
  • Moisturizers and Emollients: Essential for maintaining skin hydration and barrier function.

3. For Vitiligo:

  • Topical Corticosteroids: Can be used to encourage repigmentation in combination with phototherapy.
  • Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors: Like tacrolimus, which may be effective in combination with UVB therapy.
  • Vitamin D Analogs: Sometimes used to enhance the repigmentation effect of phototherapy.

It’s crucial to emphasize that selecting medications alongside phototherapy depends on the individual’s specific condition, its severity, and the response to treatment. These medication combinations should always be overseen and prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional.

Our phototherapy journey commences by determining your optimal dose through the MED test, which is set just below the threshold that induces skin redness. Depending on your skin’s response, we tailor and fine-tune this dosage as we progress over time.

While phototherapy is generally considered safe, there are some common side effects to be aware of, including redness, itching, and blistering. It’s important to note that excessive exposure can elevate the risk of light-related skin damage, underscoring the importance of regular skin examinations.

Phototherapy encompasses several distinct types. Narrowband UVB Therapy, frequently employed for psoriasis, leverages a specific UV light wavelength and can be complemented with medications. The UV TREAT Excimer Laser 308 provides precise, high-energy UV ray treatments. Targeted Phototherapy is well-suited for treating localized skin areas, while PUVA combines Psoralen medication with UVA therapy, offering high effectiveness but requiring some additional considerations.
In detail:

1: Narrowband UVB Therapy:
This is the most frequently employed form of phototherapy for treating psoriasis and various skin conditions.
Narrowband UVB Therapy utilizes a highly precise wavelength of UV light at 311 nm. It is generally effective in reducing psoriasis symptoms within 1-3 months and sustaining clear skin thereafter, contingent upon an individual’s response to phototherapy.
Combining narrowband UVB therapy with systemic medications, like retinoids, can enhance effectiveness and decrease the risk of severe side effects.

2: Laser 308 nm (UV TREAT Excimer Laser 308):
The UV TREAT Excimer Laser 308 is an innovative phototherapy treatment device that emits high-energy ultraviolet rays.
In contrast to traditional phototherapy methods, this system offers exceptional treatment precision and targeting, significantly reducing treatment duration.
It is known for effectively treating diseases in a relatively short timeframe, delivering rapid therapeutic results.

3: Targeted Phototherapy:
This approach focuses exclusively on treating specific localized areas of the affected skin, making it unsuitable for patients with widespread conditions like Psoriasis, Dermatitis, and Vitiligo. It is particularly beneficial for individuals with isolated, resistant patches of these diseases.

Targeted phototherapy often necessitates fewer treatment sessions compared to other phototherapy methods. However, in rare cases, it may be associated with the development of blisters.

It’s crucial to emphasize that the treatment of Psoriasis, Dermatitis, and Vitiligo depends on an individual’s skin response to phototherapy and the specific stage or complexity of the disease.

Congratulations on successfully completing this module! We trust that you’ve found it informative and beneficial. Please keep in mind that our dedicated team is readily available to offer further assistance and address any inquiries you may have regarding the selection of the most suitable device for your patients.