Date Added: 13/04/2010

Date Updated: 13/04/2010

Home ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy for the treatment of severe psoriasis

Specialties: Immunology & allergy - Skin disease, burns and wound care

Technology Type: Devices - Programmes - Setting

Stage of development: Other

Stage of EAA: Assessment Complete

Description, patients and keywords:
Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is a common, well established treatment for psoriasis and has an estimated success rate approaching 80 per cent (Yelverton et al 2006). Psoriasis responds to treatment with UVB due to the inflammatory nature of the disease, with UVB capable of inhibiting immunity in a localised, rather than systemic manner. UVB can induce immunosuppression by affecting the action of skin-associated lymphoid tissue and can suppress contact or delayed-type hypersensitivity. Apoptosis of immune competent cells may be induced by high doses of UVB (Stein et al 2008).

Home UVB therapy units such as the one manufactured by Waldmann GmbH & Co KG, appear to be large and cumbersome but are light weight and have foldable sides which enable them to be stored in a small space (Figure 1). The dimensions of the unit closed are approximately 1880 (W) x 604 (H) x 135 mm (D) and open 1880 (W) x 882 (H) x 512 (D) mm. The unit weighs approximately 60 kg but is mobile on castors in all directions. The UVB-100 operates on a timer to ensure correct exposure time. Goggles should be used for protection of the eyes while undergoing treatment. Other smaller units are available but are specific in their use ie the UVB 236 unit may be used for the irradiation of the face, hands or soles of feet (Waldmann Group 2010).

The UVB 100 unit delivers radiation to only one side of the body at a time, so separate treatment is required for the front, back and each side of the body. This is more limited compared to UVB treatment delivered in a hospital environment which is capable of providing all round body radiation (Cameron et al 2002).

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