UVB light therapy at home 101
We are all looking for more convenient, accessible and cost-saving ways to prove our health and well-being at home.
One popular treatment is phototherapy, known as light therapy. Light therapy may be prescribed by a healthcare professional such as a dermatologist or can be done at home. UVB (ultraviolet light B) is a treatment that involves artificial exposure to a UVB light source, mimicking sunlight.
What is UVB light therapy, and how does it work?
Ultraviolet light B (UVB) light therapy penetrates the skin to slow the growth of affected skin cells. The treatment involves sitting with the affected skin exposed to an artificial UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular basis. You may undergo treatment in a medical setting, spa, or home.
There are two types of UVB treatment:
- Narrowband UVB light therapy, which uses a small part of the UVB spectrum
- Broadband UVB light therapy, which uses the full spectrum
Narrowband UVB treatment is more beneficial because it doesn’t include some more harmful wavelengths that may contribute to sunburn and damage.
What are the benefits of UVB light therapy?
UVB light therapy can be used for various conditions, particularly skin conditions, as well as increasing levels of vitamin D3 in the body.
Narrow-band UVB light therapy can be helpful in the treatment of eczema, which is a type of inflammation of the skin. Eczema results in itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin. The evidence suggests that using a narrow-band UVB light may reduce the frequency and severity of eczema flare-ups (1).
Psoriasis can also be treated using narrow-band UVB light therapy, with one study finding that 311-313 nanometres are the most effective wavelengths for treatment. Our UVB narrowband phototherapy lamp emits wavelengths of 305-315 nm (2).
Certain types of dermatitis may be successfully treated with narrowband UVB light therapy, such as seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis presents as red, flaky and itchy skin and small studies appear to suggest that UVB light therapy can be helpful (3).
Can you do UVB light therapy at home?
Yes, and at-home UVB light therapy treatment is popular because it is economical and convenient compared to visiting a health centre, spa or clinic to receive treatment.
Doing UVB light therapy at home using a portable device can save you time and money travelling to and from the hospital, clinic, spa or health centre. In addition, if you choose to do at-home treatment, you may be more likely to keep up with treatment because it is more convenient than heading out to appointments.
UVB light therapy devices can be purchased for use at home and are often conveniently sized to fit into your home with ease. When looking for a UVB light therapy lamp, please make sure you look for a medically-certified device. This is important to ensure maximum safety for your skin and home and maximum efficacy for you.
Are there any side effects of UVB light therapy at home?
Although rare, there are some side effects of using UVB light therapy devices, whether you are at home or in a medical or spa setting.
Even though many studies show the efficacy of UVB light therapy in improving skin conditions, the treatment cannot be entirely risk-free. Therefore, awareness of the side effects and signs of potential damage is essential.
When using a UVB light therapy device at home, one must be wary of potential side effects. These side effects may include redness and discomfort, dry and itchy skin, folliculitis, polymorphic light eruption, cold sores and blisters.
Remain vigilant whilst using any light therapy device, and if any damage occurs, such as blisters, itching or irritated skin and sunburn, cease use immediately and contact a medical professional.
To reduce the risk of side effects from light therapy treatments, ensure you are using a medically-certified device like our Derma UVB-Narrowband Phototherapy Lamp.