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Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2019 Mar 1. doi: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_751_17. [Epub ahead of print]

Ultraviolet-A1 phototherapy in Asian skin: A review of 159 cases in Singapore.

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National Skin Centre, Singapore.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.



Ultraviolet-A1 phototherapy has been used to treat many inflammatory dermatoses.


To determine the efficacy and safety of ultraviolet-A1 phototherapy in Asian skin.

Materials and Methods:

We performed a review of records of patients undergoing ultraviolet-A1 phototherapy at our dermatology unit in Singapore from January 2007 to January 2011. Their electronic medical records were reviewed and a standardized questionnaire was filled up for data collection and tabulation. Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the difference in response between various groups for each characteristic. P value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


Our study comprised of 159 patients, of which 103 were patients with hand and foot eczema, 21 with atopic dermatitis, 17 with scleroderma and the remaining with miscellaneous dermatoses. Of these patients, 47.6% of patients with hand and feet eczema had good response after 10 sessions, which increased to 75% after 20 sessions and to 84.6% after 30 sessions. After 10 sessions, 47.6% of patients with atopic dermatitis had good response, which increased to 66.7% after 20 sessions. After 30 sessions, all the three remaining patients with atopic dermatitis experienced good response. For patients with scleroderma, only 11.8 and 10% had good response after 10 and 20 sessions, respectively, which increased to 40% after 30 sessions.


Limitations of our study include its retrospective design and, consequently, the lack of standardized treatment protocol, as well as subjective assessment in terms of clinical improvement.


Ultraviolet-A1 phototherapy appears to be efficacious for the treatment of hand and foot eczema as well as atopic dermatitis. However, in patients with scleroderma, the response was partial and needed a longer duration of treatment.


Atopic; eczema; scleroderma; ultraviolet A

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