Selective and Narrowband UVB Equally Effective for Psoriasis

Because narrowband exposure may pose greater cancer risk, selective broadband may be safer

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Selective broadband ultraviolet B (UVB) lamps appear to be as effective in their treatment of psoriasis as narrowband UVB lamps and may be less carcinogenic, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Sandra Kirke, of the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, and colleagues randomized 100 patients with plaque-type psoriasis to treatment with either selective broadband lamps (UV6) or narrowband lamps (TL-01).

It took a similar number of treatments to achieve clearance (28.4 for narrowband; 30.4 for selective broadband) and there was no significant difference in side effects, such as erythema. However, the narrowband UVB lamps were potentially 50 percent more carcinogenic than selective broadband lamps, based on the human photocarcinogenesis action spectrum.

Editorialist Jonathan Rees, M.D., of the University of Edinburgh, calls the study's analysis "reasonable," but adds, "I do not find this a decisive reason to favor UV6, but, on the other hand, nor do I believe that we will ever get clean long-term data on the hazards of UV in psoriasis without the confounding effects of personal sun exposure or systemic medication."

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