UVee Therapy Systems

UVee Solarium

For Treatment of Dermatological Disorders like Psoriasis and Vitiligo
PUVA and TL-01 narrowband UVB

For Tanning Studio & Home

UVB Phototherapy

What is UVB?

Present in natural sunlight, ultraviolet light B (UVB) is an effective treatment for psoriasis. UVB penetrates the skin and slows the abnormally rapid growth of skin cells associated with psoriasis. UVB treatment involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular schedule, either under a doctor's direction in a medical setting or with a home unit purchased with a doctor's prescription.

Although the cabin is equipped with UVA/UVB tubes or UVB tubes only, It is still called a PUVA cabin.

There are two types of UVB treatment, broad band and narrow band. Broad-band UVB is more commonly used in the United States; however, narrow-band UVB is similar in many ways and is becoming more widely used. The major difference between broad-band and narrow-band UVB is that narrow-band UVB units emit a more specific range of UV wavelengths.

Several studies indicate that narrow-band UVB clears psoriasis faster and produces longer remissions than broad-band UVB. Narrow-band UVB may be effective with fewer treatments per week than broad-band UVB. The use of narrow-band UVB increases as doctors and patients learn more about its effectiveness and safety and as the equipment becomes less expensive.

How is UVB administered?

The patient stands in a PUVA cabin with UVB lamps, or an enclosure containing one or more columns of lamps. A person undresses to expose all affected areas to the ultraviolet light. Some doctors have small units for treating localized areas such as the palms and soles.

A patient generally will receive treatments three times per week. It takes an average of 30 treatments to reach maximum improvement of psoriasis lesions.

The first exposure to the light is usually quite short, lasting as little as a few seconds. Exposure time depends on the person's skin type and the intensity of the light emitted from the bulbs. People with lighter skin start with shorter exposure times than people with darker skin.

Normally, treatment times are gradually increased until clearing occurs, unless the last session produced itching and/or skin tenderness. Because administering UVB light is not an exact science, each person's reaction to the light is not completely predictable. Subsequent sessions of UVB are adjusted according to a person's individual response.

UVB requires a significant time commitment. People get the best results when they keep scheduled appointments and follow treatment directions carefully.

A doctor may require a patient to do one or more of the following before UVB treatments begin:
  • Inform the medical staff of medications used, topically or internally;
  • Soak in warm water for 30 minutes to remove psoriasis scales;
  • Protect certain areas of skin (for example, the backs of hands, neck, lips, nipples and dark, pigmented areas of the breasts) with sunscreen;
  • Cover uninvolved areas of the body, such as the face, with paper, cloth or sunscreen to shield from unwanted light exposure;
  • Apply topical coal tar preparations to the lesions at night and wash them off in the morning before a UVB treatment.
Any other topical application left on the skin may block some or all of the UVB light and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. This is especially true for salicylic acid and thick, white moisturizers. It is important for you to talk to your doctor about all moisturizers and topical medications that you are using to receive the maximum benefit from phototherapy treatment.

Once the skin clears, the treatments can be stopped. They should be resumed as the lesions begin to reappear. Sometimes UVB is continued on a maintenance basis.

Studies show that UVB maintenance can increase remission time. Most people need about eight maintenance treatments per month to prolong clearance, but it is different for every person.

If psoriasis lesions return, an individual may return to three treatments per week. Sometimes a person is rotated to a different psoriasis treatment. This rotation gives the skin a break from UVB, minimizing long-term exposure and possible side effects.

What is a UVB cabin?

Although the term PUVA is technically not applicable for UVB treatment because no Psoralen are used and the UVA light is replaced by UVB. It is common for patients to receive UVA as well as UVB radiation during the same treatment. The amount of joules for each wavelength is programmed and lamps will start and stop when the dose is reached.

Therefore, in everyday use, PUVA cabin or PUVA therapy is used to refer to a cabin or treatment with UVA as well as UVB light.

A PUVA cabin can be compared with a sun booth (a vertical tanning bed) equipped with special UVA and/or UVB tubes. Compared to a sun booth, there are a few differences with a PUVA cabin.
  • Treatments are mostly programmed in Joules in stead of time (seconds)
  • The tubes in the cabin emit a specific wavelength of light to optimize treatment
  • The use of UVB tubes must always be done under supervision of a dermatologist
  • Sensors inside the cabin measures the strength of the tubes and recalculate treatment time accordingly

How effective is UVB?

Studies for response rates to Narrow Band-UVB shows that more than 55% of the patients had a complete response, 30% had a partial response and only 15% of the patients had no response at all. To get these results, patients need to be treated according a tight treatment schedule during several weeks. Overall it can be said that NB-UVB has an effectiveness of 85% and is a useful, safe, and easily administered way for treating psoriasis.

What are the side effects of UVB?

During treatment, psoriasis may worsen temporarily before improving. The skin may itch and become red because of exposure to the UVB light. The amount of UVB administered may need to be reduced to avoid further irritation. Occasionally, temporary flares occur even with non-burning doses of UVB. These reactions may resolve with continued UVB treatment.

Certain medications, herbal supplements and topical ingredients can cause sensitivity to light; it is important to tell your doctor about all medications, treatments and supplements you are taking. Patients should avoid exposure to natural sunlight on UVB treatment days. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can cause a serious burn.

Skin cancer
UVB is an established carcinogen (cancer-causing substance or agent) in humans. However, there is no direct evidence of increased risk of skin cancer from UVB treatment for psoriasis. It is important to have a doctor examine your skin periodically. Skin cancers generally can be removed easily if detected early.

Some doctors recommend the use of sunscreen on uninvolved skin as a means of minimizing exposure to UVB. The face, for example, is exposed to a great deal of natural sunlight. If there is no psoriasis on the face, a person should avoid UVB exposure there.

Who is a candidate for UVB?

UVB treatment can be used by adults and children, and will be effective in treating psoriasis for at least two-thirds of patients who meet these criteria:
  • Thin plaques (decreased scale build up)
  • Moderate to severe disease (involving more than 3 percent of the skin)
  • Responsive to natural sunlight

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