What is UVB Phototherapy?
It is treatment with shortwave ultraviolet radiation. Here at Hope Dermatology, we use Narrow band UVB. The whole body can be treated at once or just the hands and feet, depending on the doctor’s prescription. Removal of clothing is required depending on the area being treated and goggles must also be worn to protect the eyes. Patients stand in a specially designed chamber containing fluorescent light tubes that deliver UV light.
The settings of the treatment will be determined by the dermatologist during your initial appointment and will be adjusted appropriately over time. Attending for UVB 2-3 times a week gives the best results’ with a day rest in between treatments.
With a valid Medicare Card, there is no cost for the actual UVB treatments at our clinic; as the UVB treatments are bulk billed to Medicare.
Any medication being taken must be mentioned to the Doctor as some can cause photosensitivity causing the skin to burn.
What skin conditions can be treated with UVB Phototherapy?
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that is treated with UVB. Most people with extensive psoriasis find they get great results but this treatment may not suit patients with very fair skin or those whose psoriasis gets worse in the natural sunlight.
Improvement can take up to 12-24 treatments. Even without treatment the skin may remain clear for some months. Psoriasis may later flare up again and additional UVB treatment may be necessary.
Dermatitis in some severe cases, especially atopic eczema, we can use UVB treatment. Dosage and frequency of treatments are very similar to that used for psoriasis.
Vitiligo can also be treated with UVB therapy and is very effective. Pale skin burns easily so treatments must be cautious and improvement of the vitiligo can be slow because of this.