Benefits and Risks of UVB narrowband Phototherapy
The evidence that narrowband UVB treatment is both safe and effective is solid. It has built up over a long period of time with study after study finding positive results with minimal side effects.
The benefits of home UVB narrowband phototherapy include
· Fast clinical response. Condition usually clears in around 20 treatments (around 6 weeks)
· More complete clinical response of psoriatic plaques
· Longer periods of remission from symptoms
· Minimal side effects
· Home phototherapy is convenient
· Treatment administered quickly
· Less travelling
· Less time lost from work and social activities
· Short period of exposure needed
· No drugs
The potential risks
· Your skin can occasionally become itchy and dry, or very occasionally develop a rash due to sunlight.
· Your skin may burn. As with any form of sunlight some tanning and redness of your skin is likely. This usually develops 8-14 hours after your treatment and usually settles within 24 hours.
· As with too much sun exposure, long-term use of UVB (many months to years) may age your skin. Studies have shown no increased risk of skin cancer although this must be considered a possibility particularly in cases of overuse.
· If you do not wear protective goggles, you risk developing a sunburn like reaction to your eyes within a few hours of exposure; you may also increase your risk of developing eye cataracts in the future.
· UVB may not be appropriate if your condition becomes worse in sunlight.
Readers are encouraged to obtain the help and recommendations of a doctor before starting UVB treatment. Your skin condition, general health, medical history, and use of immunosuppressive drugs will be considered.
Your doctor will make sure you do not overdo it and increase your risk of side effects, and if any side effects do present themselves then they can be properly taken care of.