Handheld UVB Units

Home NB-UVB phototherapy is recommended for certain people as an alternative to in-office NB-UVB phototherapy. It can be used for mild, moderate, or severe disease.

 

What is home phototherapy?

The use of light or other forms of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation in treatment is known as phototherapy. A medical instrument often referred to as a phototherapy unit produces the light or radiation.

The most popular medical lamps used in phototherapy units generate a limited range of ultraviolet (UV) light that decreases or eliminates, at least temporarily, a variety of skin disorders.

Home phototherapy is a non-drug approach for the self-treatment of skin problems in the privacy and convenience of the patient’s own home. A skilled physician should control and monitor phototherapy. However, because of the risk of adverse reactions, not all dermatologists agree to supervise home phototherapy.

Treatment can be applied to the entire body’s skin or to specific areas.

Home phototherapy devices

Home phototherapy systems range from hand-held and table-top devices for treating small regions of afflicted skin to cabinet or “walk-in” units for treating the entire body.

Well-known companies providing home phototherapy units include Daavlin, UVABiotek (Hudson Falls, NY, USA), Solarc Systems Inc (Ontario, Canada) and National Body Corp (Ohio, USA). These companies provide full-body wrap around and single panel systems, plus hand/foot units.

Online, unregulated home phototherapy equipment is being sold. Their efficacy and safety are uncertain

Benefits of home phototherapy

  • The patient’s dosage is managed via home equipment, which also prohibits illegal usage.
  • Software for dosimetry control by physicians is included.
  • Precise targeting reduces the amount of skin exposed to unaffected areas and allows for more regulated and quicker treatment.
  • Is cost-effective
  • There are options for narrowband UVB, broadband UVB, and UVA radiation.
  • Treatment periods are cut in half with high-output bulbs.
  • Patient interface is simple to use.
  • Patients of every body type, skin color, or size can be accommodated.
  • Trips to the phototherapy clinic are no longer necessary.
  • It’s easier to stick to a treatment schedule, which means fewer missed appointments and better outcomes.
  • Allows patients to go from the shower or bath straight to the lights. This increases the treatment’s efficacy.
  • Many health insurance policies in the United States cover the cost of purchasing a device.

 

How frequently are treatments administered?

Vitiligo

Vitiligo treatments are normally administered twice a week, never on consecutive days to avoid scorching the white skin. Treatments are usually completed in a short amount of time.

How long does it take to get results?

This is dependent on the skin condition

The success of vitiligo therapy is determined after 16 weeks or at least 30 treatments. If repigmentation is observed, the treatment can be continued for several months, but it should be stopped if improvement slows.

Is a physician’s approval necessary for a home light therapy unit?

Phototherapy light systems used to treat psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, and other light-responsive disorders may not be marketed to or by anyone without a valid prescription from a doctor, just like any other FDA-regulated medication or procedure.

Safety of home phototherapy

UV radiation harms the skin and can cause significant burns, therefore home phototherapy is potentially dangerous (like sunburn). Excessive UV exposure can cause long-term skin ageing and skin cancers such as melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) (BCC).

Fair-skinned people with Fitzpatrick skin types 1 and 2 are more prone to burn than darker-skinned people with Fitzpatrick skin types 4, 5, or 6. People who take photosensitizing medications, such as common antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, are more likely to burn. Before you begin treatment, tell your doctor about all of your prescription and over-the-counter medications, and consult with your doctor if you begin a new medication while having home phototherapy.

If dose is strictly monitored, home therapy can be safe. One study found that red skin (erythema) was reported by 36% of participants, blisters were reported by 1%, itch was recorded by 8%, and dryness was reported by 8%. (1 percent ).

Safety features in newer home phototherapy units include:

  • To prevent unauthorized use, there includes a key-locked ON/OFF switch.

  • A built-in controlled prescription timer (CPT) that ensures the equipment can only be used for a specified number of treatments between office visits as prescribed by the doctor

  • In the case of a malfunction, the unit is disabled via a fail-safe feature.

Such innovations make home phototherapy an appropriate option for many patients. Response to treatment and adverse events must be monitored carefully by your doctor.

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