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J Dermatolog Treat. 2010 Nov;21(6):326-30. doi: 10.3109/09546630903341986.

Broadband UVB revisited: is the narrowband UVB fad limiting our therapeutic options?

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University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, CA, USA.


Broadband ultraviolet B (BB-UVB) phototherapy has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of cutaneous disorders including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, uremic pruritus and idiopathic pruritus. In the last decade, there has been a rapidly escalating process of replacing BB-UVB phototherapy units with narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) equipment, as studies have demonstrated that NB-UVB (ranging from 311 mm to 312 nm) is more efficacious in the treatment of psoriasis. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize the efficacy of BB-UVB phototherapy in the treatment of uremic pruritus, idiopathic pruritus, eosinophilic folliculitis and other inflammatory pruritic conditions. Furthermore, as highlighted in this report, there is a small but significant proportion of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis patients who do not tolerate NB-UVB but demonstrate an excellent clinical response to BB-UVB. It is critical for dermatologists to recognize the role of BB-UVB as a complement to NB-UVB phototherapy for patients who cannot tolerate or experience an inadequate therapeutic response from NB-UVB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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