SolRx UVB Home Phototherapy for Eczema / Atopic Dermatitis

A naturally effective, drug-free treatment for long-term relief of acute & chronic eczema /atopic dermatitis

Phototherapy for Eczema:

How Solarc Systems Can Help You Find Relief from Your Symptoms

What is Eczema?

Eczema is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It causes dry, itchy, red, and inflamed patches of skin that can be very uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Eczema can affect any part of the body, but it is most often seen on the face, neck, hands, and legs. Eczema is not contagious, but it can have a significant impact on your quality of life and self-esteem.

phototherapy for Eczema

Most types of eczema involve an immune system response and have no known cause2, but there is evidence that a compromised immune system plays an important role3,4,5. When threatened, the immune system’s white blood cells release substances that cause inflammation, burning sensations, and itchiness. With itch comes scratching, often sub-consciously at night, which worsens the condition in the so-called itch-scratch cycle resulting in sleeplessness, irritability, and ever-more patient stress. In severe cases, the skin will thicken, crack, bleed, and weep fluid; which can allow bacteria to enter and a secondary infection to develop. 

What are the Treatment Options?

Before you start any treatment for eczema, you should consult your physician for a proper diagnosis and the best course of action. Your physician’s advice is always more important than any information from Solarc or this webpage. Different types of eczema may require different treatments, so it is essential to know what kind of eczema you have.

psoriasis medication

Topicals

The treatment of eczema almost always begins with simple moisturizers to help the skin barrier heal, with oatmeal baths and lotions being successfully used for many decades. To reduce itch, sometimes topical antihistamines are used. For more severe cases, topical steroid drugs or the topical calcineurin inhibitors Protopic (tacrolimus) and Elidel (pimecrolimus) may be prescribed by your doctor. Topical drugs can be effective but may result in complications such as skin atrophy (skin thinning), rosacea, irritation, and tachyphylaxis (loss of effectiveness). These topical drugs can also be rather expensive, with a single tube costing up to $200 and sometimes a tube or two required every month for extensive eczema.

 

UVB Phototherapy for Eczema

Beyond topicals, the next treatment in line for many types of eczema is clinical or in-home UVB-Narrowband (UVB-NB) phototherapy, which within weeks of slowly building up treatment times can provide significant remission. Low-dose maintenance treatments can then be used to control the condition indefinitely and drug-free with practically no side effects. Plus there is the immense benefit of making large amounts of Vitamin D naturally in the skin, carried away by the skin’s tiny blood vessels for health benefits throughout the body.

In practice, UVB-Narrowband light therapy works well in professional phototherapy clinics (of which there are about 1000 in the USA and 100 publicly funded in Canada), and equally well in the patient’s home4,5. There are many medical studies on the subject – search for “Narrowband UVB” on the US Government’s respected PubMed website and you will find more than 400 entries!

 

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Oral pill

Systemic Immunosuppressants

For the unlucky few that do not respond to any of the standard therapies, a systemic immunosuppressant such as methotrexate and cyclosporine may have to be used temporarily to halt the itch-scratch cycle and allow the skin to heal. These drugs are taken internally, affect the entire body, and have significant side effects including increased risk of infection, nausea, and kidney / liver damage.

Some of the Many Types of Eczema, and How They Respond to Phototherapy:

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis

Responds well to UVB-NB Phototherapy

Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It is hereditary, typically starts early in life, and is often associated with allergies. It responds well to UVB-Narrowband light therapy, in-home or at the clinic.

Varicose Eczema

Varicose Eczema

Phototherapy is not recommended

This long-term rash is associated with varicose veins. It is normally treated with topical drugs and compression stockings. Phototherapy is not recommended.

Infantile Seborrheic Eczema

Infantile Seborrheic Eczema

Clinical phototherapy only

ISE affects infants and normally clears up within a couple of months. UV phototherapy is not recommended except for severe cases, and only under physician guidance in a phototherapy clinic.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)

Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)

Clinical PUVA phototherapy may be considered

As the name suggests, allergic contact dermatitis is caused by an allergen contacting the skin, with the body taking an immune system response, sometimes well after the initial contact. Common allergens include nickel as found in jewelry, latex as in latex gloves, and plants such as poison ivy. The primary treatment objective is to identify and eliminate the allergen, typically by using allergic patch testing. When other treatments such as topical steroids fail, clinical PUVA phototherapy may be considered.

Discoid or Nummular Dermatitis

Discoid or Nummular Dermatitis

Responds well to UVB-NB Phototherapy

This form of eczema has been associated with staphylococcus aureus infection and appears as roundish shapes scattered on the limbs. The plaques can become very itchy and lead to further complications. UVB-Narrowband phototherapy has proven to be effective in treating discoid eczema.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

May respond to UVB-NB Phototherapy

As the name suggests, irritant contact dermatitis is caused by a chemical or physical irritant contacting the skin, but without the body taking an immune system response. Common irritants include detergents, clothing friction, and frequently wet skin. The main treatment objective is to identify and eliminate the offending agent. In many cases, the patient also has the more common atopic dermatitis type of eczema, in which case they may benefit from UVB-Narrowband phototherapy.

Adult Seborrheic Eczema / Dermatitis

Adult Seborrheic Eczema / Dermatitis

Responds well to UVB-NB Phototherapy

This mild form of eczema is commonly referred to as dandruff, but it can spread beyond the scalp to other parts of the body such as the face, ears, and chest. UVB-Narrowband is a successful treatment protocol for patients who have a chronic or severe case that is not manageable using topical products6.

How Safe is Phototherapy for Eczema?

The Truth About UV Light and Cancer Risk

Solrx devices are safe to use and pose no risk of cancer, according to a recent report by Dr. John E. Harris and colleagues. The report is based on a 25-year study that followed 206 eczema patients who used UVB-NB phototherapy devices at home for an average of 6.6 years. The report compared them with 409 matched controls who did not use light therapy. The report found that phototherapy devices improved eczema symptoms and quality of life, and reduced the need for other medications. The report also found that phototherapy devices did not increase the risk of skin cancer, cataracts, or other side effects, compared to the control group. The report concluded that phototherapy devices are reliable and user-friendly and that light therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for eczema patients.

How Can UVB-Narrowband Phototherapy Help? 

If you have eczema, you can treat it at home with UVB-Narrowband phototherapy. This is a safe and effective method that uses the same Philips UVB-Narrowband bulbs as the clinic devices, but in a smaller and more convenient size. The only difference is that you may need to spend a little more time under the light to get the same dose and results.

To use phototherapy at home, you should follow these steps:

  • Take a bath or shower before the treatment to remove any dead skin or dirt that may block the UV light or cause irritation.
  • Put on the UV protective goggles that come with the device and cover your genitals with a sock if you are male and they are not affected by eczema.
  • Use the device’s timer and the eczema treatment protocol in the SolRx User’s Manual to set the right amount of time for each skin area. The goal is to get a slight pinkness of the skin within a day after the treatment, but not a sunburn. If you don’t get any pinkness, increase the time slightly for the next treatment two or three days later. If you get too much pinkness, decrease the time for the next treatment.
  • Apply any topical creams or moisturizers after the treatment as needed.
  • Repeat the treatment two or three times per week, never on consecutive days, until your eczema clears up. This may take from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on your condition. After that, you can reduce the frequency and time of the treatments to maintain your eczema.

Phototherapy at home has many benefits over phototherapy at the clinic, such as:

  • Saving time and money on travel
  • Having more flexibility and convenience
  • Enjoying more privacy and comfort
  • Being able to continue maintenance treatments after clearing up your eczema, instead of stopping them and risking a flare-up

The possible side effects of phototherapy are similar to those of natural sunlight: sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. However, these are rare and manageable if you use phototherapy correctly and follow the instructions. Phototherapy only uses UVB light, which is less harmful than UVA light. Phototherapy is also safe for children and pregnant women, and can be combined with most other eczema treatments.

Is UVB Phototherapy for Eczema Safe to Use All Year Round?

A study published in August 2022 from Vancouver (Incidence of skin cancers in patients with eczema treated with ultraviolet phototherapy) concludes that:

“Overall, other than for patients with a history of taking immunosuppressive therapy†, there was no increased risk of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or basal cell carcinoma in patients receiving ultraviolet phototherapy, including narrowband UVB, broadband UVB, and concurrent UVA plus broadband UVB, supporting this as a non-carcinogenic treatment for patients with atopic eczema.”

What our customers are saying…

  • Avatar Don Nixon
    Great product could not be more pleased.
    ★★★★★ 4 years ago
  • Avatar Libby Nixon
    This device was exactly what I needed, I have seen great results and the team couldn’t have been more knowledgeable or helpful!
    ★★★★★ 4 years ago
  • Avatar Andy and Debbie Leclerc
    Owning a SolRx E740 Master is the best. Receiving required UV treatments in the convenience of your home, 3 times per week, saves time driving, and waiting, while reducing the substantial risk of Covid or other bacteria. We are very pleased with our … More purchase and wish we purchased it years ago. It will pay for itself over time.
    ★★★★★ 3 years ago
  • Avatar Eric
    We have been using our 8 bulb vertical wall unit for several years. The results my wife has experienced have been a godsend to her MF diagnosis . She was diagnosed with mycosis fungoides ( form of cancer) which has caused her remarkable red spots over … More much of her body and it was freighting to us all. Initially and for the previous 5 years was diagnosed as eczema! that changes once she seen a proper dermatologist. These red blemishes left untreated could become tumours - we initially contacted Solarc about replicating hospital treatment at our home.....what we got from Solarc was more information and links to information the led us to better understand what we were dealing with - we cannot say enough good things about these people - the information provided also help us decide what equipment we needed and would be best - we reviewed all that was sent to us with our specialist assigned to my wife case. They fully endorsed our plan and reviewed all the specifications which added to our confidence - today we are happy to report that she is near free of any blemishes and stays that way with regular exposure to the light treatments - All i can say is that we are glad we picked up the phone and called Bruce and company at Solarc - these people are game changers and could not say enough good things.
    ★★★★★ 4 years ago
  • Avatar Andre Dao
    As a lifelong eczema sufferer, this is probably the first winter I've ever had where I haven't suffered from my skin, and I give major credit to my phototherapy lamp. The customer service with SolarC was also amazing - within the same day of … More reaching out to them, they responded to my request and even went beyond my expectations.I don't like to say this often, but starting phototherapy has arguably been life-changing and I couldn't be more grateful.
    ★★★★★ 3 years ago

Sollarc Building

Solarc Systems’ product line is made up of four SolRx “device families” of different sizes developed over the last 25 years by real phototherapy patients. Today’s devices are almost always supplied as “UVB-Narrowband” (UVB-NB) using different sizes of Philips 311 nm /01 fluorescent lamps, which for home phototherapy will typically last 5 to 10 years and often longer. For the treatment of some specific eczema types, most SolRx devices can alternatively be fitted with bulbs for special UV wavebands: UVB-Broadband, UVA bulbs for PUVA, and UVA-1.

To select the best SolRx device for you, please visit our Selection Guide, give us a phone call at 866‑813‑3357, or come visit our manufacturing plant and showroom at 1515 Snow Valley Road in Minesing (Springwater Township) near Barrie, Ontario; which is just a few kilometers west of Highway 400. We will do our best to help you.

E-Series

Patient using a SolRx E720 Master with 2 SolRx E720 Add-Ons

The SolRx E‑Series begins with a single Master 6-foot panel with 2, 4 or 6 bulbs that can be used by itself, or expanded with similar 2, 4, or 6 bulb Add‑On devices to build up to a multidirectional system that surrounds the patient for optimal full body UVB-NB light delivery.

Starting at CA$1595.00

500-Series

SolRx 550 3

The SolRx 500‑Series has the greatest light intensity of all Solarc devices. For spot treatments, it can be rotated to any direction when mounted on the yoke (shown), or for hand & foot treatments used with the removable hood (not shown). The immediate treatment area is 18″ x 13″.

CA$1395.00 to CA$1795.00

100-Series

100 series 1

The SolRx 100‑Series is a high-performance 2-bulb handheld device that can be placed directly on the skin. It is intended for spot targeting of small areas, including scalp psoriasis with the optional UV-Brush. All-aluminum wand with clear acrylic window. The immediate treatment area is 2.5″ x 5″ inches.

CA$945.00

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We Respond!

If you need a hardcopy of any information, we ask that you download it from our Download Center. If you are having trouble downloading, we would be pleased to mail you whatever you need.

Address: 1515 Snow Valley Road Minesing, ON, Canada  L9X 1K3

Toll-Free: 866-813-3357
Phone: 705-739-8279
Fax: 705-739-9684

Business Hours: 9 am-5 pm EST M-F

It is important that you discuss with your physician / healthcare professional the best choices for you; their advice always takes priority over any guidance provided by Solarc.
Disclaimer
The information and material contained on this website are for general information purposes only.

While effort is made to ensure that the information provided in this website is current and accurate, the trustees, officers, directors and employees of Solarc Systems Inc., as well as the authors and website administrators ofsolarcsystems.com and solarcsystems.ca will assume no responsibility for the accuracy and correctness of the information on this site or for any consequences of relying on it.

The information provided herein is not intended and does not represent medical advice to any person on any specific matter and should not be a substitute for the advice and/or treatment from a medical practitioner. You must consult your physician or a specialist dermatologist to obtain medical advice. Individuals or users who place reliance on the information contained in this site do so entirely at their own risk and no action or claim shall be brought against the authors, website administrators or any representatives of, or for, Solarc Systems Inc., for any consequences arising out of such reliance.

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