Published on February 23, 2024

Narrow-band UVB and vitiligo

A number of recently published studies have demonstrated that narrow-band UVB is an effective treatment for vitiligo, and compares favorably to UVA and psoralens (e.g., Westerhof, 1997; Njoo et al, 2000; Scherschun et al, 2001).  Unlike PUVA, narrow-band UVB does not involve the use of sensitizing agents.  Narrow-band UVB is typically administered 2 to 3 times per week for several months.  However, there is a lack of evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of home narrow-band UVB phototherapy for the treatment of vitiligo.


In a randomized controlled study, Ada et al (2005) concluded that narrow-band UVB phototherapy is effective in treating vitiligo, and the addition of topical calcipotriol does not improve treatment outcome.


  • Westerhof W, Nieuweboer-Krobotova L. Treatment of vitiligo with UV-B radiation vs topical psoralen plus UV-A. Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(12):1525-1528.
  • Njoo MD, Bos JD, Westerhof W. Treatment of generalized vitiligo in children with narrow-band (TL-01) UVB radiation therapy. J Am Acad Dermatol; 2000;42(2 Pt 1):245-253.
  • Scherschun L, Kim JJ, Lim HW. Narrow-band ultraviolet B is a useful and well-tolerated treatment for vitiligo. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001;44(6):999-1003.
  • Ada S, Sahin S, Boztepe G, et al. No additional effect of topical calcipotriol on narrow-band UVB phototherapy in patients with generalized vitiligo. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2005;21(2):79-83.
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