UVB and Psoriasis
Ultraviolet B (UVB) is light with a short wavelength that is absorbed in the skin's epidermis. An artificial source can be used to treat mild and moderate cases of psoriasis. After the patient has had several close-together treatments with UVB, and symptoms have improved somewhat, a maintenance treatment once a week may be all that is necessary.
Psoriasis treatment is usually based on:
- The severity of the disease
- Size of the areas involved
- Type of psoriasis
- Patient's response to initial psoriasis treatments.
Depending on these factors, options can include psoriasis medications applied to the skin (topical psoriasis treatment), light treatments (phototherapy), or medicines taken by mouth or injection.
(Click Psoriasis Medication for more information about topical and systemic treatment options for psoriasis.)
Natural ultraviolet light from the sun and controlled delivery of artificial ultraviolet (UV) light are used in light treatment for psoriasis. One option for controlled delivery of artificial UV light is UVB.
UVB is light with a short wavelength that is absorbed in the skin's epidermis. An artificial source can be used to treat mild and moderate psoriasis. Some physicians will start treating patients with UVB instead of topical agents. UVB phototherapy is separated into two different types: broadband and narrowband UVB.
A UVB phototherapy, called broadband UVB, can be used for a few small lesions, to treat widespread psoriasis, or for lesions that resist topical treatment. This type of light therapy for psoriasis is normally given in a doctor's office by using a light panel or light box. Some patients use UVB light boxes at home under a doctor's guidance.