Narrowband UVB Phototherapy For Psoriasis

UV-series_Flat_no-logo-1_edited-11Psoriasis can be an extremely difficult disease to live with, and is known for causing serious emotional stress. Characterized by itchy and tender thick, scaly plaques on the skin, psoriasis has been found to have profound effects on the quality of life patients lead. “Thankfully, a number of treatments are available for this condition,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “Matching the patient with the most effective therapy is always the goal.”

“We’ve know for a long time that psoriasis patients are able gain relief when they expose their skin to sunlight,” notes Dr. Adam Mamelak, board-certified dermatologist who practices at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. While effective, this approach also comes with the dangers of excessive sun exposure.

“Dermatologists, with the help of photo-biologists and physicists, have taken advantage of these observations and have developed a very specialized light-based therapy that has been shown to be highly effective in treating and clearing psoriasis,” says Dr. Mamelak.

Phototherapy utilizes specific ultraviolet light wavelengths that are effective in decreasing inflammation in the skin.”The use of phototherapy has developed tremendously over the past years,” explains Dr. Hanson. “We are now at the point where we have narrowed down the light wavelengths that we use to the exact spectrum that can clear psoriasis plaques and lesions from the skin.”

The 311 nm wavelength utilized in ‘Narrow Band’ UVB phototherapy can slow the rapid cell growth that causes psoriatic plaque build-up. This treatment is safe and allows the delivery of therapeutic light wavelengths to broad skin areas – perfect for patients with widespread disease or with numerous skin lesions that makes application of topical therapies too cumbersome. Dr. Mamelak and Dr. Hanson utilize NBUVB therapy to treat patients at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas.

Patients initially receive phototherapy treatments 2-3 times a week. Once clear, the frequency of treatments is decreased so patients only come in for maintenance sessions. Prior to starting, your physician will create an individualized treatment plan and patients will have their skin evaluated after each session to ensure effectiveness.

Phototherapy can be used to treat different types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis and guttate psoriasis.

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  • Daniel A. Carrasco, MD

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