You’ve always heard that plants love ultraviolet light. Well, as it turns out so does your skin, at least when it is affected by certain skin conditions or diseases. Drs. Matsuda and Sheu use narrowband ultraviolet band (UVB) light therapy to treat these various skin disorders.
What is narrowband UVB therapy?
Narrowband refers to the wavelength of UV radiation used for these treatments, which ranges from 311 to 312 nm. This contrasts with “broadband UVB,” which has been the conventional tool used in phototherapy. In those treatments, a broad range of light on the UVB spectrum is delivered onto the skin. Within this range are the therapeutic wavelengths that are beneficial for the treatment of skin disorders. But the problem is the wide spectrum. Broadband UVB also emits the much shorter wavelengths that can cause sunburn and skin redness.
At Matsuda, we use narrowband UVB lamps that emit a very small wavelength that is concentrated in the range that provides therapeutic relief for the skin. The range is limited and doesn’t cause any sunburn as a side effect. This makes our narrowband UVB treatments safer and more effective than typical broadband UVB treatments.
What can skin conditions be treated with narrowband UVB?
At Matsuda, we use narrowband UVB phototherapy to treat these skin conditions:
- Atopic eczema
- Polymorphous light eruption
- Early cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
- Lichen planus
How does a narrowband UVB treatment session go?
Patients receiving narrowband UVB treatment will have 1-3 sessions every week. The patient stands in the center of the equipment that contains fluorescent light tubes on the inside. The patient wears only his or her underwear, and the eyes are covered with protective goggles. The UVB light is turned on for a period ranging from a few seconds to minutes, depending on your unique situation. Your time receiving the light is carefully monitored.
Afterward, your skin may turn pinkish. This is called the minimal erythema dose. In the case of psoriasis treatment, the patches of scaly skin will gradually become thinner after about 5-10 sessions. The skin will clear in psoriasis treatments in 15-25 treatments.
Narrowband UVB treatments are just another way we stay on the cutting edge of technology at Matsuda. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, call us at 808-949-7568.