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Narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy in children
05.18.2023 | YouWeMed Healthy Store | YOUWEMED Health Blog

Narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy in children



Background: While narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy is a well-established treatment for a range of skin conditions in adults, there is little in the literature about its use in children and data regarding its long-term carcinogenic potential are lacking.

Aim: We undertook a retrospective review of the use of narrowband UVB phototherapy in a paediatric population attending two Glasgow Hospitals.

Methods: Phototherapy case notes for all children aged 16 years and under at time of treatment were reviewed at two hospital sites between 1996 and 2002.

Results: In total, 77 children had been treated (median age 12 years, range 4-16). The conditions treated most frequently were psoriasis (45%) and atopic eczema (32%). Other dermatoses treated included alopecia areata, acne, hydroa vacciniforme and polymorphic light eruption. Treatment courses for atopic conditions were longer than those required for psoriatic conditions: median number of treatments 24 for atopic eczema (range 3-46), and 17.5 for psoriasis (range 9-35). By the end of treatment, 68% of the atopic patients and 63% of the patients with psoriasis had cleared. The adverse event profile was similar to that in adults, with erythema, herpes simplex reactivation and PLE all recorded. Anxiety was a problem for five patients.

Conclusion: We conclude that narrowband UVB phototherapy is a useful and well-tolerated treatment for children with severe or intractable inflammatory skin disease, but concerns remain regarding long-term side-effects.