What is Narrowband UVB Phototherapy

What is phototherapy?

Phototherapy is the use of light or other forms of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation in treatment. The light or radiation is produced by a medical device commonly referred to as a phototherapy unit.

The most commonly used medical lamps in phototherapy units emit a narrow band of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which reduces or eliminates various skin diseases, at least temporarily.

What is Narrowband UVB phototherapy?

Narrowband UVB is now the most common form of phototherapy used to treat skin diseases. Narrowband refers to a specific wavelength of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, 311 to 312 nm, which is the most beneficial portion of natural sunlight for skin diseases.

Compared with broadband UVB:
  • Exposure times are shorter but of higher intensity
  • The course of treatment is shorter
  • It is more likely to clear the skin condition
  • Longer periods of remission occur before it reappears

What is Home Phototherapy?

Home phototherapy is simply a relatively safe and effective non-drug option for the self-treatment of skin disorders in the privacy and convenience of a patient's home, using a home phototherapy unit.

Benefits of home phototherapy
  • Cost-effective
  • High output lamps shorten treatment times
  • Easy to operate
  • Accommodates patients of any body type, skin colour or size
  • Eliminates time consuming trips to the phototherapy clinic
  • Makes it easier to keep to a treatment schedule – fewer missed visits and better results
  • Allows patients to go directly from the shower or bath to the lights. This improves the treatment’s effectiveness

Is Home Phototherapy safe?

Narrowband UVB phototherapy administered by you, at home is equally safe and equally effective as ultraviolet B phototherapy administered in an outpatient setting. Furthermore, Narrowband UVB phototherapy at home resulted in a lower burden of treatment and led to greater patients’ satisfaction.

Narrowband UVB can result in burning, just like sunlight and broadband UVB. Frequent emollients should be applied to burned skin.  Long term exposure to ultraviolet radiation ultimately causes skin ageing and skin cancers. Although the risk from narrow-band UVB is unknown, research to date suggests it is no riskier than broadband UVB and probably less risky than photochemotherapy (PUVA).

What is the treatment schedule?

Starting off with a 30-second exposure, you gradually increase the amount of time you expose your psoriasis to narrowband UVB. With most people, their patches of psoriasis start to become thinner after five to ten treatments. It usually takes between 15-30 treatments to clear. 

The treatment schedule is simple to follow

  1. Treat each area of psoriasis for 30 seconds
  2. Wait a minimum of 24 hours (or until any redness subsides)
  3. Increase the treatment time by 10% (or repeat last treatment)
  4. Treat each area again. Rinse and repeat!
We provide simple but complete instructions with our lamp to help you use the lamp effectively to clear your psoriasis or you can take a look below