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Narrow Band Uvb Light For Psoriasis

Is It Time To Get A New Uv Light Therapy For Psoriasis


Youre looking for a new uv light therapy for psoriasis. What do you think? Its difficult to predict future price changes. If there are no signs of production slowing, it can be worth buying now to enjoy your investment sooner. But if output is declining and prices are predicted to rise, you might want to wait until the buzz has died down before making a choice.

Does Light Therapy Help Reduce Psoriasis Symptoms

UV light therapy approaches such as UVB phototherapy and psoralen plus ultraviolet A can effectively reduce psoriasis symptoms. But the treatment involves quite a lot of effort because you need several sessions per week. Repeated and long-term light therapy can also increase the risk of skin cancer.

Psoriasis can often be effectively treated with a good skincare routine and medication applied to the affected areas of skin. But this doesnt always help enough in moderate and severe psoriasis. UV light therapy is then considered. This treatment, also known as phototherapy, can be used on its own or in combination with topical medication or tablets. It involves exposing the affected areas of skin to ultraviolet light . UV light reduces inflammation and slows the production of skin cells.

The treatment is usually given three times a week in a dermatology practice or hospital. It takes place in special cabins with fluorescent lamps that emit UV light of a certain wavelength. There are also lamps that can be used to treat individual parts of your body, such as your head, hands or feet.

Tanning beds can’t be used for light therapy because they dont allow you to control the exact spectrum and dose of light you are exposed to.

What Are The Side Effects Of Puva

The phototherapist will carefully explain all of the possible side effects of phototherapy before a course begins. The most common immediate side effect of PUVA phototherapy is a mild sunburn reaction. This may be more likely if the individual has been using other medications or herbal supplements which can cause sensitivity to light, so it is important to tell the phototherapist of anything being taken. This sunburn reaction is usually not serious, and the phototherapist will adjust the dose of the next treatment or postpone treatments until the redness has settled. Some people report some itchiness in the early stages of treatment, but this should soon settle. People on tablet PUVA may feel a little sick after taking the tablets. This maybe only a mild inconvenience but if it is intolerable, an alternative tablet is available and may help. Taking the tablets will sensitise the eyes to UVA and exposure to the sun may increase the risk of cataract formation, so eyes must be protected from sunlight or other sources of UVA for 12 hours or until night-time. After taking the tablets, patients should wear sunglasses or other UV protective eyewear, or avoid exposure to sunlight altogether.

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What Is Light Therapy For Psoriasis

For millennia, people have been trying to find better ways to clear up psoriasis, and currently, there are a range of powerful drugs on the market that have proven helpful. But one relatively low-tech treatment thats actually been around for over 100 years may be just as effective as the fancy biologic drugs when used by the right patients. Light therapy uses controlled and directed beams of certain bandwidths of light to penetrate the plaques and reduce the inflammation, which helps the body clear the plaques.

People being treated for psoriasis with light therapy may recognize the equipment as being similar to that of a tanning booth. Dr. Joel M. Gelfand, professor of dermatology and epidemiology and director of the psoriasis and phototherapy treatment center at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, says in many cases, patients will go to their dermatologists office three times a week and step into a machine that encircles them with ultraviolet light bulbs.

When these bulbs are turned on for the right length of time, they can cause big improvements in symptoms. This is because light therapy for psoriasis down regulates the immunological response in the skin, Gelfand says. This means that it slows the proliferation of cells and the inflammatory response in the skin.

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Types Of Uv Light Treatment

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UV light treatment comes in three forms with Narrow Band Ultraviolet B Light being the most common these days. NB-UVB systems try to produce a narrow band of light only in the ranges that are effective in treating psoriasis.

NB-UVB is also preferred because it causes side effects in fewer people, is easier to use, and has a wider range of uses in treating skin conditions.

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What To Excepts From Home Uvb Phototherapy

Once you and your physician agreethat you would benefit from home UVB phototherapy, you will receive aprescription for the purchase of the necessary equipment. Some insurance companiesmay cover the cost, and most equipment vendors will help you in working withyour insurance company to purchase the equipment.

Even though you will be doing thetreatment at home, you will still need to follow your physicians instructionsand keep regular follow-up check-ups.

Youll also want to combine theUVB treatment with the continued use of your physician-recommended systemicand/or topical agents, although you need to be aware that some of thesemedications may increase photosensitivity, burning, and/or shorten anyremission. However, combining systemic agents with UVB may dramaticallyincrease the effectiveness such agents, allowing for a reduction in medicationdose.

It is common for psoriasis totemporarily worse with the start of UVB treatment before eventually improving.Your skin may itch and become red following use of the device. If youexperience such irritation, you may need to reduce the amount of UVB beingadministered. You may also experience a temporary flare even with low doses ofUVB however the good news is that those reactions usually go away withcontinued psoriasis UV treatment.

What Are The Side Effects Of Uvb Treatment

The most common immediate side effect of UVB phototherapy is a mild sunburn reaction. This maybe more likely if the person being treated has been using other medications or herbal supplements which can cause sensitivity to light. It is, therefore, important, before starting any course of any treatment, to inform the healthcare professional or doctor of any products being taken. This sunburn reaction is usually not serious and the phototherapist will adjust the dose of the next treatment or postpone treatments until the redness has settled. Some people report itchiness in the early stages of treatment, but this should soon settle.

The long-term effects of phototherapy include increased ageing of the skin and an increased risk of certain skin cancers. In the 30+ years of the medical use of narrowband UVB phototherapy, increased skin cancer has not been reported. UVB causes very little photoageing. Nevertheless, if someone has had 500 or more UVB treatments it is recommended that the risks and benefits of further UVB are re-evaluated and their skin checked for signs of skin cancer.

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Challenges To Light Future Research Directions

Although light therapy is effective for psoriasis, there are serious, serious roadblocks, Katz stressed, including both financial and time commitment barriers.

The reimbursement for light therapy is moderately low and patients are expected to come in for therapy two to three times per week for at least 8 to 12 weeks, according to Katz. Also, insurers may not always cover a visit and a light treatment on the same day. Many offices do not offer either narrowband or excimer laser because its not economically feasible, she added.

As a dermatologist, you need to be able to afford to offer light to patients, she told Healio. You have to dedicate part of your real estate to a light box and you have to dedicate your staff to light therapy. You have them assisting and delivering light. You need people who are properly certified and trained, you need to be able to offer light to enough patients to pay for that real estate.

However, Katz also said that the overall cost of phototherapy is much less than the cost of any of the biologics.

Economic research is needed that show these challenges, Katz said.

I would love to see economic studies that essentially force the hand of perhaps the insurers to restructure the way in which they cover this very valuable and safe treatment for patients, she said. Were talking about great cost savings to everyone. That really is a concern.

Does Light Therapy Increase The Risk Of Skin Cancer

Narrow band UVB light for Vitiligo | 311 NM | Psoriasis Treatment at Home

Regular exposure to UV light increases the risk of skin cancer. There is some that PUVA therapy with psoralen tablets in particular increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. The higher the dose of radiation used and the more light therapy sessions you have, the greater the risk. The risk is also higher in people who have a fair complexion, people who have had skin cancer in the past, and people who are taking medication to suppress their immune system such as azathioprine, ciclosporin or methotrexate.

Narrow band UVB phototherapy is probably associated with a lower risk of skin cancer than PUVA therapy using psoralen tablets. But this isn’t yet known for sure because there are hardly any studies on the risk of skin cancer caused by UVB radiation. There is also a lack of good research on the risk of skin cancer associated with PUVA therapy using psoralen that is added to a bath or applied directly to the skin.

To limit the risk of skin cancer, people are advised not to have more than 150 sessions of PUVA therapy using psoralen tablets in their lifetime. A “UV diary” can help you keep track of the number of sessions and type of light therapy you have had, as well as the radiation dose used.

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General Facts On Uvb Sun Lamp Psoriasis Treatment

The epidermis of the human skin has the ability to absorb light of certain wavelengths. This peculiarity is found to be extremely useful when treating skin disease. A newer type of UVB, called narrowband UVB, emits the part of the ultraviolet light spectrum band that is most helpful for psoriasis.The UVB psoriasis lamp uses that feature and affects the skin on the cellular level. It emits light from the very part of ultraviolet spectrum that stops the diseased cells growth.

Broadband UVB treatment has been cancelled in most clinics because narrowband is a lot more effective. It is also easy to use, so anyone can cure psoriasis at home with just one device.

Risks Associated With Phototherapy

AAD and NPF describe phototherapy as a safe and well-tolerated intervention, as long as safeguards and cautions are implemented. Among the safeguards:

  • Genital shielding is recommended in all patients during phototherapy sessions.
  • Eye protection with goggles is recommended during treatment sessions to reduce the potential risk of harm to the eyes, including inflammation of the cornea and corneal burns.
  • Studies have not found a direct correlation between phototherapy and an increased risk of skin cancer but AAD and NPF guidelines suggests physicians should use caution in prescribing phototherapy for patients with a history of melanoma, multiple nonmelanoma skin cancers, arsenic intake, or exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Women of childbearing age receiving phototherapy should take folate supplements.

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Utilization Of Narrow Band Ultraviolet B Light Therapy And Etanercept For The Treatment Of Psoriasis

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : May 17, 2005Last Update Posted : May 24, 2013
Condition or disease
Device: NB-UVBDrug: EtanereptDrug: Etanercept Phase 4
Layout table for study information

Study Type :
Official Title: A Multicenter, Open-Label, Pilot Trial to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Safety of ENBREL in Combination With Narrowband UVB Phototherapy for the Treatment of Psoriasis
Study Start Date :
Three times a week for 12 weeksOther Name: Phototherapy50 mg subcutaneously twice weekly for 12 weeksOther Name: Enbrel50 mg subcutaneously twice weekly for 12 weeksOther Name: Enbrel
  • Proportion of subjects achieving Psoriasis Area Severity Area 75 at Week 12
  • Time to PASI 75 responses
  • Proportion of subjects achieving PASI 90 at Week 12
  • Improvement in PASI at Week 12
  • Improvement in body surface area involved with psoriasis at Week 12
  • Improvement in physician global assesssment of psoriasis, including an assessment of the proportion of subjects achieving clear or almost clear status at Week 12
  • Improvement in patient global assesssment of psoriasis at Week 12
  • Improvement in Dermatology Life Quality Index at Week 12
  • Which Type Of Light Is Best

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    There are two types of light therapy for psoriasis. UV light therapy can be accomplished with either UVA or UVB light waves. UVA lights penetrate deep under the skin, and it can be hard for the skin to absorb and utilize the light. When your doctor uses UVA light for therapy, you will also need to take a drug called psoralen, which helps your body to absorb the light and to experience its effects on the psoriatic plaques. UVB light can also be utilized for the treatment of psoriasis. The wavelength is well controlled and is usually applied in a measure of 311, 312 or 313 nanometers. The very specific wavelength only impacts the top layers of the skin and helps to target psoriasis while limiting the side effects of UV exposure.

    The type of light treatment that your doctor recommends for you will be based on many factors. Because UVA light therapy is a more invasive treatment, it is typically reserved for individuals whose quality of life and health are most impacted by their psoriatic plaques. Additionally, your skin type and overall health will be considered. If you have fair skin that is easily susceptible to skin damage, or already have risk factors that would complicate your treatment with either of the ultraviolet lights or the psoralen, your doctor will use that information to inform your treatment plan.

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    How Effective Are The Different Types Of Light Therapy

    Light therapy is often an effective treatment for psoriasis: It is estimated that the symptoms improve noticeably or go away completely for a while in 50 to 90 out of 100 people.

    It is currently thought that PUVA using psoralen tablets is more effective than narrow band UVB phototherapy. But side effects are also more common and the associated risk of skin cancer may be greater. So it is a good idea to talk to your doctor and carefully weigh the pros and cons of PUVA therapy using psoralen tablets.

    PUVA therapy using psoralen added to a bath has also been shown to relieve psoriasis symptoms more effectively than UVB phototherapy alone. And light therapy combined with bathing in a solution of common salt or Dead Sea salt appears to be more effective than UV light therapy without bathing, but it is less effective than PUVA therapy using psoralen added to a bath. PUVA therapy using psoralen tablets, PUVA therapy using a psoralen bath solution, and light therapy combined with bathing in a salt solution all share one common disadvantage: the effort involved.

    What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of Narrowband Uvb

    Narrow-band UVB can result in burning, just like sunlight and broadband UVB. Frequent emollients should be applied to burned skin, and if recommended by the therapist, topical steroids. It sometimes provokes polymorphous light eruption.

    Long term exposure to ultraviolet radiation ultimately causes skin ageing and skin cancers. In theory, less UV exposure occurs because the patient is only exposed to therapeutic wavelengths. Although the risk from narrow-band UVB is unknown, research to date suggests it is no more risky than broadband UVB and probably less risky than photochemotherapy .

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    Traditional Treatment Cautions Narrow Band Uvb Light Therapy For Psoriasis

    You make an appointment to see your doctor because your psoriasis is flaring. He takes a look and then whips out his prescription pad to order one of the following:

    . A prescription strength topical treatment

    . phototherapy

    . oral and injection therapy

    . over the counter drugs

    Any of these treatments may work fine to relieve your symptoms and make you feel better for now. The trouble with conventional treatment methods is that they rarely work to cure the underlying cause of this skin condition and that can leave you suffering repeat attacks. Still it is important to know what helps are available, and how they may help or hurt your chance of treatment success.

    Topical Ointments Narrow Band Uvb Light Therapy for Psoriasis

    Topical ointments are used at the first sign of psoriasis. If caught early enough they can sometimes stave off a full-blown attack. Unfortunately, most people report becoming immune to them when used often, which makes them useless for long term use. Still, using the occasional cream or gel can help relieve some of your symptoms. Steroids

    Both topical and internal steroids can be prescribed to help ease psoriasis swelling inflammation and itching. Immunomodulators

    An immune suppressing drug that was originally used to help transplant patients beat organ rejection, Cyclosporine helps to inhibit T lymphocyte production so that scaly plaque is unable to grow on the surface of the skin.

    Oral Retinoid Narrow Band Uvb Light Therapy for Psoriasis

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