SolRx UVB Home Phototherapy for Vitiligo

A naturally effective treatment for repigmentation

Your autoimmune system is betraying you.

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a non-contagious autoimmune disease for which there is no known cure. Vitiligo causes localized skin de-pigmentation resulting in starkly white irregular skin patches (lesions) to randomly appear within healthy darker skin, and it can affect any part of the body including the face, arms, legs, genitals and scalp. Vitiligo affects roughly 1% of the world’s population1 and occurs in all skin types and in all races. With vitiligo, it is believed that an overactive immune system improperly attacks the skin’s pigment producing cells called melanocytes and destroys their ability to produce melanin, the skin’s colorant and its natural protection from sunlight. Vitiligo does not produce pain or itching but without pigment the lesions may be at increased risk of skin cancer.

vitwh
vitilgo getic markers

Although the exact cause for vitiligo is unknown, most theories suggest a genetic predisposition2,3 component combined with external factors such as lifestyle and stress4. Indeed, vitiligo is usually triggered by a stressful event, such as a divorce, job loss, or strong negative impression. Vitiligo can deeply affect the patient’s self-esteem and quality of life, with the white spots often being more disturbing for the patient than for the people around them. In many cases the disease is self-perpetuating, as the vitiligo spots cause further patient stress and further disease progression. Those with darker skin may be more profoundly affected emotionally due to the greater visual contrast between the white patches and their healthy dark skin. In some cultures those with vitiligo are unfairly treated very harshly.

There are Two Types of Vitiligo:

Non-Segmental Vitiligo

Non-Segmental Vitiligo

Responds well to UVB-NB Phototherapy

Non-Segmental vitiligo accounts for about 90% of cases and affects both sides of the body somewhat symmetrically, with lesions of similar size and shape appearing on both left and right sides of the body. For example, if a spot develops on the left shoulder, a spot will also likely develop on the right shoulder. If the lesions are close enough to the center of the body, they will merge into a single large lesion. Non-segmental vitiligo usually continues to spread to other skin areas over the years. When repigmented, non-segmental vitiligo may reappear, especially for those under constant stress. Non-segmental vitiligo is somewhat easier to repigment than segmental vitiligo.

Segmental Vitiligo

Segmental Vitiligo

Responds well to UVB-NB Phototherapy

Segmental vitiligo accounts for about 10% of cases and affects only either the left or the right side of the body. Sometimes the hair originating in the lesions turns white as well. This type of vitiligo usually spreads quickly over 2 to 6 months and then stops progressing. Segmental vitiligo is relatively difficult to repigment, but if repigmentation can be achieved, it will likely never reappear.

What are the Treatment Options for Vitiligo?

 

Despite what some dare claim, there is no known cure for vitiligo. There are, however, several treatment options that can stop its progression and promote repigmentation, with full repigmentation possible for many patients. The most common treatment options are:

psoriasis medication

Topical Drugs

In many cases, the medical treatment of vitiligo starts with topical drugs; that is, immunosuppressant creams or ointments applied directly on “top” of the vitiligo lesions. The most common topical drugs for vitiligo include various strengths of steroids, and the topical calcineurin inhibitors (which are not specifically indicated for vitiligo, but are sometimes used under physician guidance). Often topical drugs start working well but then the skin’s response quickly fades in a process known as “tachyphylaxis”, which leads to ever-larger drug doses and ultimately to frustration for patients and doctors alike5. Furthermore, the topical drugs have potential side effects. For example, prolonged steroid use can cause skin atrophy (thinning of the skin), rosacea, and skin irritation. To improve results, topical drugs are sometimes used in conjunction with UVB-Narrowband phototherapy, but they should be applied only after the light treatment. An exception to this is pseudocatalase, which is applied to the skin first, and then activated using a low-dose of UVB-Narrowband. Pseudocatalase is a special topical cream that decreases hydrogen peroxide levels in the vitiligo lesions.

Cosmetics

A low-cost, non-medical solution for vitiligo is to simply mask the affected areas with cosmetics, but that requires daily work, is messy, and does not address the underlying immune system problem, allowing the vitiligo to spread further.

Zombie Boy - Model for Dermablend campaign
Solarc 311nm spectral curve

UVB-Narrowband Phototherapy

Considered worldwide as the gold standard7 for vitiligo treatment UVB-Narrowband (UVB-NB) phototherapy is a light therapy procedure in which the patient’s skin is exposed only to the wavelengths of ultraviolet light medically studied to be the most beneficial (around 311 nanometers using Philips /01 medical fluorescent lamps), and usually without any drugs.

UVB-NB Phototherapy has been used successfully in clinical settings for decades and its efficacy is well documented. The latest study, which was published on December 16, 2022, states ” Given the autoimmune nature of vitiligo, treatments that modulate the immune system and immune response can serve as an important therapeutic modality. Unfortunately, topical immune-modulating medications require daily applications, are ineffective in some patients, and may have adverse effects. Another limitation is cost, as the newest FDA-approved topical medication for vitiligo could cost thousands of dollars, if not covered by insurance. Therefore, phototherapy can serve an important role in the therapeutic armamentarium of vitiligo as it is safe, cost-effective, and can treat patients with large areas of disease.”

Follow this link to read the full study by Doctor N. Brownstown.

Photo-chemotherapy or PUVA

Back in the 1970’s a procedure known as PUVA6 was the most effective treatment available for vitiligo, and it is still used sometimes today. PUVA consists of two steps:

1) First photosensitizing the skin using a drug known generically as psoralen, which represents the “chemo” part of the procedure and also the “P” in PUVA. The psoralen can be taken orally in pill form, by soaking the skin in a psoralen bath, or by painting psoralen lotion onto only the vitiligo spots.

2) Once the psoralen has photosensitized the skin, which takes an hour or so, the skin is exposed to a known dose of UVA light (Philips /09), which represents the “photo” part of the procedure and also the “UVA” in PUVA.

Besides being messy and difficult to administer, PUVA has significant short-term and long-term side effects. The short-term side effects include dizziness, nausea, and the need to protect skin and eyes from ultraviolet exposure after treatment, until the psoralen wears off. The long-term side effects include a relatively high risk of skin cancer, so the total number of lifetime treatments is limited. PUVA should not be used for children.

Solarc UVA spectral curve

308 nm Excimer Laser Phototherapy

A close relative to Philips UVB-Narrowband with its 311 nm peak is the 308 nm excimer laser. These lasers have very high UVB light intensity and are useful for spot targeting small vitiligo lesions, but due to their size (typically a one inch square treatment area) they provide very little of the positive systemic effects compared to full-body UVB-Narrowband phototherapy. Excimer lasers are also very expensive and are found in only a few phototherapy clinics. UVB LEDs (light emitting diodes) are another emerging technology, but the cost-per-watt of UVB LEDs is still far more than fluorescent UVB lamps.

308nm laser
no bleaching

Chemical Skin Bleaching

The most radical and last-resort solution for vitiligo is permanent chemical skin depigmentation or “skin bleaching”. This solves the cosmetic problem but leaves the patient with very white skin and virtually no protection from light, forcing the skin to forevermore be protected using clothing and/or sunblock.

Home UVB Phototherapy News

This article appeared in the March edition of Derm World :

“Phototherapy really is a mainstay”, said Dr. Pandya.

Read the article below

What our customers are saying…

  • Avatar Eva Amos
    Received my 6 light Solarc System two weeks ago on the recommendation of my dermatologist for the treatment of vitiligo. I had been receiving light therapy treatments at the clinic but that was a 45 minute drive each way. After noticing an improvement … More at the clinic I decided to purchase my own in home system. The customer service I received from Solarc was outstanding, system was easy to install, easy to use. So pleased I now have the convenience of having my own system and don’t have that drive three times a week.
    ★★★★★ 3 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.
    ★★★★★ 4 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

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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Solarc Systems Inc. does not monitor or endorse any of the information found at these external sites. The links are provided merely as a convenience to users. Solarc Systems Inc. assumes no responsibility for the information of content available on any other website accessed by these links, nor does Solarc Systems Inc. endorse the material provided on such sites. The inclusion of links on this website does not necessarily imply any association with the organizations or administrators or authors responsible for those sites.