The possible side effects of UVB phototherapy are the same as with natural sunlight: skin sunburn, premature ageing of the skin, and skin cancer. Skin sunburning is dosage dependent and controlled by the built-in timer in the phototherapy device used in conjunction with the recognized treatment protocols supplied in the SolRx User’s Manual Exposure Guideline Tables. Premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer are theoretical long-term risks, but when UVA is excluded, decades of use and several medical studies5 have shown these to be minor concerns, especially when compared to the risks of other treatment options. Indeed, UVB phototherapy is safe for kids and pregnant women6, and is compatible with most other psoriasis treatments, including biologics.
UVB-Narrowband in the patient’s home is effective because, although the devices used are typically smaller and have fewer bulbs than those at a phototherapy clinic, they still use the exact same part number of Philips UVB-NB bulbs, so it is only a matter of somewhat longer treatment times to achieve the same dose and the same results. Home UVB-NB treatment times per area of skin range from under a minute when treatments first start, to several minutes after a few weeks or months of consistent use.
A home phototherapy treatment typically begins with a shower or bath (which sheds dead skin that would otherwise block some of the UVB light, and removes any foreign material on the skin that might result in an adverse reaction), followed immediately by the UVB light treatment, and then if necessary the application of any topical creams, ointments, or moisturizers. During treatment, the patient must always wear the UV protective goggles supplied and, unless affected, males should cover both their penis and scrotum using a sock. Treatments are typically 3 to 5 times per week, with every second day being ideal for many patients. Significant clearing can often be achieved in 4 to 12 weeks, after which treatment times and frequency can be reduced and the condition maintained indefinitely, even for decades.
Versus phototherapy in a clinic, the convenience of taking treatments at home has many advantages, including great savings in time and travel, a more consistent treatment schedule (fewer missed treatments), privacy, and the ability to continue with “lose-dose” maintenance treatments after clearing is achieved, instead of being discharged by the clinic and letting psoriasis rebound. Solarc is a great believer in the benefits of ongoing low-dose UVB-NB phototherapy for skin disease control and general health.
Solarc Systems phototherapy product line consists of four SolRx “device families” of different sizes developed over the last 25 years. SolRx devices are almost always supplied as “UVB-Narrowband” using various sizes of Philips /01 311 nm fluorescent bulbs, which last 5 to 10 years for home phototherapy. To find the best device for you, please see our Selection Guide, give us a call at 866‑813‑3357, or come visit our manufacturing facility and showroom at 1515 Snow Valley Road in Springwater Township near Barrie, Ontario; which is just a few kilometres west of Highway 400. We will do our best to help you.
SolRx devices are of course also used by many phototherapy clinics, but Canada is a big country and to help as many people as possible our true passion is home phototherapy. We were founded in 1992 by a lifelong psoriasis sufferer who continues to use UVB home phototherapy to this day with continued, great success almost 40 years after his first UVB treatment in 1979, and with no adverse side effects or skin cancers.