With UVB-Narrowband light therapy, typically the face and neck are the first areas to respond, followed closely by the rest of the body. The hands and feet are typically the most difficult parts of the body to repigment, especially if the vitiligo is well established. To have the best chance of repigmentation, vitiligo patients should begin vitiligo treatments as soon as possible.
After repigmentation has been achieved, some non-segmental vitiligo patients may have lesions reappear over the coming months or years. To help prevent this, patients should consider ongoing and ideally full-body UVB-Narrowband maintenance treatments at a reduced dose and frequency. Doing so helps to keep the immune system under control and protects the melanocytes from renewed attack, while making large amounts of Vitamin D naturally within the skin.
In practice, UVB-NB phototherapy is effective in hospital and dermatologist phototherapy clinics (of which there are about 1000 in USA, and 100 publically funded in Canada), and equally well in the patient’s home. Hundreds of medical studies have been published – a search on the USA Government’s respected PubMed website for “Narrowband UVB” will return more than 400 listings!
Home UVB-Narrowband phototherapy has proven effective because, even though the devices used are typically smaller and have fewer bulbs than those at the phototherapy clinic, home units use the exact same part numbers of Philips UVB-NB bulbs, so the only practical difference is somewhat longer treatment times to achieve the same dose and the same results. Compared to clinical phototherapy, the convenience of home treatments has many advantages, including great time and travel savings, easier treatment scheduling (fewer missed treatments), privacy, and the ability to continue maintenance treatments after repigmentation is achieved, instead of being discharged by the clinic and letting the vitiligo return. Solarc believes that ongoing UVB-Narrowband treatments are an excellent long-term solution for vitiligo control.