Vitiligo is an acquired skin disorder that is characterized by patchy areas of skin depigmentation which can be found anywhere in the body.
Some patches may occupy a small area of the face or can be seen in higher than 30% of the body’s surface area.
The condition may not be a fatal but it is equally troublesome due to its effect on the quality of life you live. But with UVB phototherapy for vitiligo, you now have a chance to change your life.
UVB phototherapy is one of the different management strategies used by dermatologists to help stimulate the skin’s melanocytes to produce pigment so that the skin may be able to have an even skin tone.
This type of therapy may be used in conjunction with corticosteroids or other topical treatments, but it has consistently produced useful results on its own.
The advantages of having UVB Phototherapy for vitiligo include:
1. Effective skin re-pigmentation using the spectrum of UVB light which ranges around 280-315 nanometer.
In this level of light wavelength, the inactivated melanocytes or skin pigment cells are then stimulated to produce color in areas without pigment.
2. Studies have shown that among different treatments used in vitiligo, a number of those undergoing phototherapy report that the skin has a more even tone and color matching as compared to other modes of management.
3. It can be done in the doctor’s office or at home depending upon the extent of your skin lesions or patches.
Usually, if the skin areas affected are large and in multiple sites, the doctor may recommend having regular weekly sessions with you which may last for a year or so.
The results usually show around 30 or more sessions, and you will be glad about the changes afterward.
Handheld devices are available, and they are convenient as you do not have to visit your dermatologist regularly.
Handheld devices are prescribed by your doctor if there is only a small surface of skin depigmentation as it can only cover small areas of the body.
4. This management is safe for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.
5. Dermatologists and studies highly recommend it has shown that it is effective in curing this autoimmune skin disease.
The disadvantages of UVB phototherapy are few and very minor which include:
1. You may experience itching or pruritus and dry skin shortly after undergoing sessions, but these are transient and be dealt with easily.
2. Burns may occur when using handheld devices, especially when applied to long. You must be very careful to follow the orders of the doctor so you can avoid such kind of side effect.
3. There is also a risk of developing a tan after treatments with the full-length panel in your doctor’s office.
The disadvantages are very tolerable, and it has been shown to produce significant clinical results.
You must be aware that average age for vitiligo to manifest is at 20 years and this skin disorder affects 0.5-2% of the world’s population.
For those who do not want to use phototherapy, there are also other natural treatment options available.