Phototherapy is based on the treatment of skin diseases using ultraviolet radiation.

Phototherapy has been used in the treatment of different inflammatory dermatological illnesses for at least 50 years (psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, etc.)strong> and neoplastic diseases (fungoid mycosis), though over 3,000 years ago, the Egyptians already used the sun to treat skin diseases.

Narrow band UVB phototherapy is one of the latest advances in the treatment of vitiligo and other types of cutaneous depigmentation, thanks to its lack of unwanted side-effects.

This type of phototherapy may also be administered at the patient’s home, avoiding the need to travel to the medical centre or hospital. For optimum results, a combined use of phototherapy and pigmentation regulators is recommended (Meladul), both topical and oral.

According to a report by the Association of Psoriasis Patients (Acción Psoriasis) and the Association of Vitiligo Patients (Aspavit) on home-applied phototherapy with ultraviolet (UV), “it is very important that the person applying the treatment carefully notes down the number of eradication sessions, when they were applied and the dose applied in each session. This information is vital for the dermatologist, who is monitoring the treatment created for you, in order to perform suitable follow-up”.

“The majority of home-applied phototherapies, according to the report, emit ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength of 311 nanometres. This wavelength is in the field of UVB light, and is very close to the limit of ultraviolet A (UVA). This makes it very effective in treating psoriasis and vitiligo, and produces less burns as the wavelength is far from the 280 to 300 nm wavelengths responsible for sunburns. For this reason, these narrow band ultraviolet B lamps are effective for therapeutic use”.

Phototherapy doses

The radiation dose per session depends on the skin type (photo-type) of each patient, and should be supervised by a dermatologist. The Abedul home-use phototherapy lamp has a timer, guaranteeing precise exposure time.

These are some recommendations to take into account when administering home-applied phototherapy:

    • Protect healthy skin with a solar filter.
    • Do not apply the treatment more than once a day.
    • Do not sunbathe while undergoing UVB lamp treatment.
    • The average minimum dose of erythema should be calculated.

To calculate the correct lamp application time, the following table should be used, which specifies the radiation dose in J/cm2 depending on the skin photo-type (link to information about the photo-types) of each patient.

Skin type Initial dose
Radiation time
Dose increase
Maximum dose
I 0,2 0:29 0,05 2
II 0,2 0:29 0,05 2
III 0,3 0:43 0,10 3
IV 0,3 0:43 0,10 3
V 0,4 0:57 0,15 5
VI 0,4 0:57 0,15 5
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