Joint Phototherapy Guidelines Week 5: Broadband UVB Overview, Risks and Recommendations

Recently, the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation released guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with phototherapy. Over the next few weeks, we’ll examine the recommendations and share information about the significance for your practice and patients.

Week 1: Treating with Narrow Band UVB

Week 2: Home Narrow Band UVB

Week 3: Combination Therapy with Narrow Band UVB

Week 4: Risks of Narrow Band UVB

Week 5: Broadband UVB Overview, Risks & Recommendations

Week 6: PUVA Overview, Risks & Recommendations

Week 7: Summary

Broadband UVB Overview:

This type of phototherapy is older than the often-utilized Narrow Band UVB.  The spectrum range for wavelength emission is between 270 and 390 nanometers.  This is a much larger range than Narrow Band UVB which could expose patients to potentially harmful UVB rays.

However, Broadband UVB is considered “an effective treatment for generalized plaque psoriasis, and it can be used as a monotherapy.”

Broadband UVB Risks and Recommendations:

According to the joint guidelines, the risks of treating with Broadband UVB phototherapy are very similar to those associated with Narrow Band UVB.  Although it is considered safe and well tolerated, there are recommendations to enhance safety during treatment. These may include:

  • Genital shielding
  • Use of UV blocking eye protection
  • Caution in prescribing BB-UVB for patients with an increased risk of skin cancer

Overall, Narrow Band UVB is recommended over Broadband UVB monotherapy for patients who have generalized plaque psoriasis. However, “where NB-UVB is unavailable, broadband UVB phototherapy is recommended for use as a monotherapy.” For a full overview of all Narrow Band and Broadband UVB recommendations, please refer to the guidelines recently released by the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Next week’s blog post will provide an overview, risks and recommendations for treating with PUVA.