ultraviolet therapy


Summary: The use of ultraviolet electromagnetic radiation in the treatment of disease, usually of the skin. This is the part of the sun's spectrum that causes sunburn and tanning. Ultraviolet A, used in PUVA, is closer to visible light and less damaging than Ultraviolet B, which is ionizing.

Top Publications

  1. Johnson Huang L, Suárez Fariñas M, Sullivan Whalen M, Gilleaudeau P, Krueger J, Lowes M. Effective narrow-band UVB radiation therapy suppresses the IL-23/IL-17 axis in normalized psoriasis plaques. J Invest Dermatol. 2010;130:2654-63 pubmed publisher
    ..JID JOURNAL CLUB ARTICLE: For questions, answers, and open discussion about this article, please go to http://www.nature.com/jid/journalclub. ..
  2. Lapolla W, Yentzer B, Bagel J, Halvorson C, Feldman S. A review of phototherapy protocols for psoriasis treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011;64:936-49 pubmed publisher
    ..Ultraviolet light is an effective, relatively safe modality that is a valuable tool in the treatment of psoriasis. NB-UVB phototherapy is considered the first-line treatment for extensive plaque type psoriasis. ..
  3. Koek M, Buskens E, van Weelden H, Steegmans P, Bruijnzeel Koomen C, Sigurdsson V. Home versus outpatient ultraviolet B phototherapy for mild to severe psoriasis: pragmatic multicentre randomised controlled non-inferiority trial (PLUTO study). BMJ. 2009;338:b1542 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, ultraviolet B phototherapy at home resulted in a lower burden of treatment and led to greater patients' satisfaction. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN83025173 and Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00150930. ..
  4. Maverakis E, Miyamura Y, Bowen M, Correa G, Ono Y, Goodarzi H. Light, including ultraviolet. J Autoimmun. 2010;34:J247-57 pubmed publisher
    ..Alternatively, photosensitizing molecules can damage cells by initiating sunburn-like phototoxic reactions. Herein we review all types of UV-induced skin reactions, especially those involving the immune system. ..
  5. Apa D, Pfeiffer E, Baz K, Kanik E, Inandioğlu P. Histopathological changes seen in mycosis fungoides patients after phototherapy. Am J Dermatopathol. 2010;32:276-80 pubmed publisher
  6. Snibson G. Collagen cross-linking: a new treatment paradigm in corneal disease - a review. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2010;38:141-53 pubmed publisher
    ..The aim of this review is to summarize the theoretical basis and risks of corneal collagen cross-linking, along with the available evidence for its use in keratoconus and other corneal disease states. ..
  7. Patel R, Clark L, Lebwohl M, Weinberg J. Treatments for psoriasis and the risk of malignancy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2009;60:1001-17 pubmed publisher
    ..Further long-term study is necessary to more precisely quantify the risks associated with biologic therapies. ..
  8. Weatherhead S, Farr P, Jamieson D, Hallinan J, Lloyd J, Wipat A, et al. Keratinocyte apoptosis in epidermal remodeling and clearance of psoriasis induced by UV radiation. J Invest Dermatol. 2011;131:1916-26 pubmed publisher
    ..Our human studies combined with a systems biology approach demonstrate that keratinocyte apoptosis is a key mechanism in psoriatic plaques clearance, providing the basis for future molecular investigation and therapeutic development. ..
  9. Lesiak A, Narbutt J, Pawlaczyk M, Sysa Jedrzejowska A, Krzyścin J. Vitamin D serum level changes in psoriatic patients treated with narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy are related to the season of the irradiation. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2011;27:304-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, outdoor solar radiation affects the patients over a much longer period, and artificial UV light is the main factor responsible for increase in 25(OH)D serum level over a 30-day period of cabinet therapy. ..

More Information


  1. Dai T, Vrahas M, Murray C, Hamblin M. Ultraviolet C irradiation: an alternative antimicrobial approach to localized infections?. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2012;10:185-95 pubmed publisher
    ..UVC should be used in a manner such that the side effects would be minimized and resistance of microorganisms to UVC would be avoided. ..
  2. Kreuter A, Gambichler T, Avermaete A, Jansen T, Hoffmann M, Hoffmann K, et al. Combined treatment with calcipotriol ointment and low-dose ultraviolet A1 phototherapy in childhood morphea. Pediatr Dermatol. 2001;18:241-5 pubmed
    ..Further controlled studies are necessary to investigate whether this combined therapy is superior to UVA1 phototherapy alone. ..
  3. Lee E, Koo J, Berger T. UVB phototherapy and skin cancer risk: a review of the literature. Int J Dermatol. 2005;44:355-60 pubmed
    ..The evidence suggests that UVB phototherapy remains a very safe treatment modality. ..
  4. Kreuter A, von Kobyletzki G, Happe M, Herde M, Breuckmann F, Stucker M, et al. [Ultraviolet-A1 (UVA1) phototherapy in lichen sclerosus et atrophicus]. Hautarzt. 2001;52:878-81 pubmed
    ..UVA1 phototherapy seems to be a new and effective treatment for LSA with optimal patients' acceptance due to the absence of systemic side effects. UVA1 should be therefore considered as therapeutic option for LSA. ..
  5. Barbagallo J, Spann C, Tutrone W, Weinberg J. Narrowband UVB phototherapy for the treatment of psoriasis: a review and update. Cutis. 2001;68:345-7 pubmed
    ..It is clearly more effective than broadband UVB, safer than PUVA, and well tolerated by patients when taken at suberythemogenic doses. Narrowband UVB represents an important new therapy for psoriasis. ..
  6. Pasic A, Ceović R, Lipozencic J, Husar K, Susić S, Skerlev M, et al. Phototherapy in pediatric patients. Pediatr Dermatol. 2003;20:71-7 pubmed
    ..None of the patients exhibited any early phototherapy side effects. We conclude that phototherapy and PUVA bath are valuable and safe therapeutic options for selected children who do not respond to other treatments. ..
  7. Yentzer B, Yelverton C, Pearce D, Camacho F, Makhzoumi Z, Clark A, et al. Adherence to acitretin and home narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy in patients with psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;59:577-81 pubmed publisher
    ..Side effects of treatment were well tolerated in this small group and did not affect use of the treatment. Home phototherapy with acitretin may be an appropriate option for some patients with extensive psoriasis. ..
  8. Sawada H, Isogai Z, Morita A. Altered decorin expression of systemic sclerosis by UVA1 (340-400 nm) phototherapy: immunohistochemical analysis of 3 cases. BMC Dermatol. 2003;3:2 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that decreased and normalized levels of accumulated decorin may relate to the efficacy of sclerotic lesions in UVA1 phototherapy. ..
  9. Massey A, Xu Y, Karran P. Photoactivation of DNA thiobases as a potential novel therapeutic option. Curr Biol. 2001;11:1142-6 pubmed
    ..Thiobase/UVA treatment may offer a novel therapeutic approach for the clinical management of nonmalignant conditions like psoriasis or for superficial tumors that are accessible to phototherapy. ..
  10. Gruss C, von Kobyletzki G, Behrens Williams S, Lininger J, Reuther T, Kerscher M, et al. Effects of low dose ultraviolet A-1 phototherapy on morphea. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2001;17:149-55 pubmed
    ..Because of its safety and efficacy, low dose UVA-1 phototherapy appears to be the treatment modality of choice. ..
  11. Breuckmann F, Pieck C, Kreuter A, Bacharach Buhles M, Mannherz H, Altmeyer P, et al. Opposing effects of UVA1 phototherapy on the expression of bcl-2 and p53 in atopic dermatitis. Arch Dermatol Res. 2001;293:178-83 pubmed
    ..In summary, medium-dose UVA1 irradiation led to a marked modulation of the expression of p53 and bcl-2, and this plays a key role in regulating UVA1-induced apoptosis. ..
  12. Camacho N, Sanchez J, Martin R, Gonzalez J, Sanchez J. Medium-dose UVA1 phototherapy in localized scleroderma and its effect in CD34-positive dendritic cells. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001;45:697-9 pubmed
    ..Medium-dose UVA1 therapy is effective in the treatment of localized morphea. Effectiveness is associated with an increase in the number of CD34+ dendritic cells in the dermis. ..
  13. Herzinger T, Degitz K, Plewig G, Rocken M. Treatment of small plaque parapsoriasis with narrow-band (311 nm) ultraviolet B: a retrospective study. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2005;30:379-81 pubmed
    ..Therefore, NB-UVB is an effective, comparably safe and convenient alternative to psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy or other treatment modalities in the suppression of SPP. ..
  14. De Rie M, Enomoto D, de Vries H, Bos J. Evaluation of medium-dose UVA1 phototherapy in localized scleroderma with the cutometer and fast Fourier transform method. Dermatology. 2003;207:298-301 pubmed
    ..After 12 weeks, improvement of skin sclerosis can be detected by skin score and cutometer measurements but not by the fast Fourier transform method. ..
  15. Smith G, Wolf C, Deeni Y, Dawe R, Evans A, Comrie M, et al. Cutaneous expression of cytochrome P450 CYP2S1: individuality in regulation by therapeutic agents for psoriasis and other skin diseases. Lancet. 2003;361:1336-43 pubmed
  16. Morita A, Kobayashi K, Isomura I, Tsuji T, Krutmann J. Ultraviolet A1 (340-400 nm) phototherapy for scleroderma in systemic sclerosis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000;43:670-4 pubmed
    ..These studies indicate that UVA1 phototherapy is effective for patients with systemic sclerosis. ..
  17. Tanew A, Radakovic Fijan S, Schemper M, HOnigsmann H. Narrowband UV-B phototherapy vs photochemotherapy in the treatment of chronic plaque-type psoriasis: a paired comparison study. Arch Dermatol. 1999;135:519-24 pubmed
    ..Treatment with PUVA, on the other hand, remains the mainstay for patients with high PASI scores who do not respond or whose psoriasis cannot be controlled adequately by narrowband UV-B. ..
  18. von Kobyletzki G, Heine O, Stephan H, Pieck C, Stucker M, Hoffmann K, et al. UVA1 irradiation induces deoxyribonuclease dependent apoptosis in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in vivo. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2000;16:271-7 pubmed
  19. De Rie M, de Hoop D, Jonsson L, Bakkers E, Sørensen M. Pharmacoeconomic evaluation of calcipotriol (Daivonex/Dovonex) and UVB phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis: a Markov model for The Netherlands. Dermatology. 2001;202:38-43 pubmed
    ..Essential beneficial effects for patients are less inconvenience, less risk of developing photoaging of the skin and less exposure to potentially carcinogenic radiations. ..
  20. Ständer H, Schiller M, Schwarz T. UVA1 therapy for sclerodermic graft-versus-host disease of the skin. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46:799-800 pubmed
  21. Trehan M, Taylor C. Medium-dose 308-nm excimer laser for the treatment of psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;47:701-8 pubmed
    ..This innovative UV device allows specific targeting of affected sites without needless exposure of unaffected skin. ..
  22. Gokdemir G, Barutcuoglu B, Sakiz D, Koslu A. Narrowband UVB phototherapy for early-stage mycosis fungoides: evaluation of clinical and histopathological changes. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006;20:804-9 pubmed
    ..NB-UVB therapy for patients with early-stage MF is an effective and safe treatment with the effect lasting for months. We suggest that clinical clearance correlates with histological improvement except for patients in the plaque stage. ..
  23. Leaute Labreze C, Saillour F, Chene G, Cazenave C, Luxey Bellocq M, Sanciaume C, et al. Saline spa water or combined water and UV-B for psoriasis vs conventional UV-B: lessons from the Salies de Béarn randomized study. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137:1035-9 pubmed
    ..Saline spa water alone had a minor therapeutic effect in psoriasis, and the beneficial effect of bathing to enhance phototherapy was not demonstrated. ..
  24. Fisher G, Kang S. Phototherapy for scleroderma: biologic rationale, results, and promise. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2002;14:723-6 pubmed
    ..Accumulating evidence indicates that UVA irradiation offers a genuine opportunity to ameliorate localized scleroderma and the cutaneous manifestations of systemic sclerosis. ..
  25. Martins S, Combs J, Noguera G, Camacho W, Wittmann P, Walther R, et al. Antimicrobial efficacy of riboflavin/UVA combination (365 nm) in vitro for bacterial and fungal isolates: a potential new treatment for infectious keratitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008;49:3402-8 pubmed publisher
    ..17). CA did not show any GIZ after treatment. Riboflavin/UVA was effective against SA, SE, PA, MRSA, MDRPA, and DRSP, but was ineffective on CA and has the potential for use in treatment of microbial keratitis in the future. ..
  26. Naldi L, Griffiths C. Traditional therapies in the management of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis: an assessment of the benefits and risks. Br J Dermatol. 2005;152:597-615 pubmed
    ..This review summarizes the benefits and risks of traditional, nonbiological therapies for moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. ..
  27. Koek M, Buskens E, Bruijnzeel Koomen C, Sigurdsson V. Home ultraviolet B phototherapy for psoriasis: discrepancy between literature, guidelines, general opinions and actual use. Results of a literature review, a web search, and a questionnaire among dermatologists. Br J Dermatol. 2006;154:701-11 pubmed
    ..Personal and nonevidence-based opinions on this therapy are widespread while randomized clinical studies have thus far not been conducted. ..
  28. Das S, Lloyd J, Walshaw D, Diffey B, Farr P. Response of psoriasis to sunbed treatment: comparison of conventional ultraviolet A lamps with new higher ultraviolet B-emitting lamps. Br J Dermatol. 2002;147:966-72 pubmed
    ..The risk of non-melanoma skin cancer from different patterns of exposure to Cleo Natural lamps can be estimated using established numerical models. ..
  29. Brazzelli V, Antoninetti M, Palazzini S, Prestinari F, Borroni G. Narrow-band ultraviolet therapy in early-stage mycosis fungoides: study on 20 patients. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007;23:229-33 pubmed
    ..In the follow-up period, relapse occurred after a mean period of 8 months (range 3-17 months), and then therapy was restarted. This study provides evidence that NB-UVB might be an efficient option for stage IA and IB MF patients. ..
  30. Breuckmann F, von Kobyletzki G, Avermaete A, Pieck C, Kreuter A, Brockmeyer N, et al. Mononuclear cells in atopic dermatitis in vivo: immunomodulation of the cutaneous infiltrate by medium-dose UVA1 phototherapy. Eur J Med Res. 2002;7:315-22 pubmed
    ..The immunomodulation of the cutaneous infiltrate is associated with a depletion of cytotoxic agents, the defective IgE overproduction and the aberrant presence of T lymphocytes combined with the pathological cytokine pattern. ..
  31. Kreuter A, Breuckmann F, Uhle A, Brockmeyer N, Von Kobyletzki G, Freitag M, et al. Low-dose UVA1 phototherapy in systemic sclerosis: effects on acrosclerosis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;50:740-7 pubmed
    ..Low-dose UVA1 phototherapy is a capable treatment option for acrosclerosis. Its beneficial effect may be mediated by the induction of collagenases and a reduction of collagen deposition and cellular infiltration. ..
  32. Dittmar H, Pflieger D, Schopf E, Simon J. [UVA1 phototherapy. Pilot study of dose finding in acute exacerbated atopic dermatitis]. Hautarzt. 2001;52:423-7 pubmed
    ..No side effects were observed. This study suggests that both the "high dose" and the "medium dose" regimens are effective in the treatment of patients with acutely exacerbated atopic dermatitis. ..
  33. Bianchi B, Campolmi P, Mavilia L, Danesi A, Rossi R, Cappugi P. Monochromatic excimer light (308 nm): an immunohistochemical study of cutaneous T cells and apoptosis-related molecules in psoriasis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2003;17:408-13 pubmed
  34. Cameron H, Dawe R, Yule S, Murphy J, Ibbotson S, Ferguson J. A randomized, observer-blinded trial of twice vs. three times weekly narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy for chronic plaque psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 2002;147:973-8 pubmed
    ..Three times weekly NB-UVB clears psoriasis significantly faster than twice weekly treatment, and therefore is preferable for most patients. ..
  35. Köllner K, Wimmershoff M, Hintz C, Landthaler M, Hohenleutner U. Comparison of the 308-nm excimer laser and a 308-nm excimer lamp with 311-nm narrowband ultraviolet B in the treatment of psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 2005;152:750-4 pubmed
  36. Dawe R. Ultraviolet A1 phototherapy. Br J Dermatol. 2003;148:626-37 pubmed
    ..However, much more research is needed to confirm its efficacy for many of its potential indications, and to determine when and how it should be used. ..
  37. Gerber W, Arheilger B, Ha T, Hermann J, Ockenfels H. Ultraviolet B 308-nm excimer laser treatment of psoriasis: a new phototherapeutic approach. Br J Dermatol. 2003;149:1250-8 pubmed
    ..We propose that light therapy sparing uninvolved skin will become predominant in the future. ..
  38. Weischer M, Blum A, Eberhard F, Rocken M, Berneburg M. No evidence for increased skin cancer risk in psoriasis patients treated with broadband or narrowband UVB phototherapy: a first retrospective study. Acta Derm Venereol. 2004;84:370-4 pubmed
    ..The tumour occurred within the same year that phototherapy was initiated. Thus, the present study does not provide evidence for an increased skin cancer risk for patients treated with either broadband or narrowband UVB phototherapy ..
  39. Hartman M, Prins M, Swinkels O, Severens J, de Boo T, Van Der Wilt G, et al. Cost-effectiveness analysis of a psoriasis care instruction programme with dithranol compared with UVB phototherapy and inpatient dithranol treatment. Br J Dermatol. 2002;147:538-44 pubmed
    ..Considering the higher costs, short contact treatment is not a first choice treatment when compared with UVB. ..
  40. Yelverton C, Yentzer B, Clark A, Pearce D, Balkrishnan R, Camacho F, et al. Home narrowband UV-B phototherapy in combination with low-dose acitretin in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144:1224-5 pubmed publisher
  41. Polderman M, le Cessie S, Huizinga T, Pavel S. Efficacy of UVA-1 cold light as an adjuvant therapy for systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004;43:1402-4 pubmed
    ..UVA-1 therapy appears to be a useful adjuvant treatment modality for patients suffering from moderately active SLE. Its effect could possibly be explained by reduction of B-cell function or apoptosis of plasma cells. ..
  42. Kreuter A, Gambichler T, Avermaete A, Happe M, Bacharach Buhles M, Hoffmann K, et al. Low-dose ultraviolet A1 phototherapy for extragenital lichen sclerosus: results of a preliminary study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46:251-5 pubmed
    ..Analogous to the treatment results in localized scleroderma, low-dose UVA1 phototherapy seems to be an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for extragenital LS. ..
  43. Feldman S, Mellen B, Housman T, Fitzpatrick R, Geronemus R, Friedman P, et al. Efficacy of the 308-nm excimer laser for treatment of psoriasis: results of a multicenter study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002;46:900-6 pubmed
    ..It requires fewer patient visits than conventional phototherapy, and, unlike those treatments, the laser targets only the affected areas of the skin, sparing the surrounding uninvolved skin. ..
  44. Kirke S, Lowder S, Lloyd J, Diffey B, Matthews J, Farr P. A randomized comparison of selective broadband UVB and narrowband UVB in the treatment of psoriasis. J Invest Dermatol. 2007;127:1641-6 pubmed
    ..As these two lamp types appear to be of similar efficacy, phototherapy using a selective broadband source may be a safer option than use of narrowband UVB. ..
  45. Pavel S. Light therapy (with UVA-1) for SLE patients: is it a good or bad idea?. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2006;45:653-5 pubmed
  46. Ibbotson S, Bilsland D, Cox N, Dawe R, Diffey B, Edwards C, et al. An update and guidance on narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy: a British Photodermatology Group Workshop Report. Br J Dermatol. 2004;151:283-97 pubmed
  47. Polderman M, Huizinga T, le Cessie S, Pavel S. UVA-1 cold light treatment of SLE: a double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2001;60:112-5 pubmed
    ..Low dose UVA-1 cold light treatment was strongly suggestive of lowering disease activity in this double blind placebo controlled study, and no side effects occurred. ..
  48. Aydogan K, Karadogan S, Tunali S, Adim S, Ozcelik T. Narrowband UVB phototherapy for small plaque parapsoriasis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006;20:573-7 pubmed
    ..Further larger studies with longer follow-up periods are necessary to determine the proper clinical response and long-term complications of NB-UVB therapy in this disease. ..
  49. Iseli H, Thiel M, Hafezi F, Kampmeier J, Seiler T. Ultraviolet A/riboflavin corneal cross-linking for infectious keratitis associated with corneal melts. Cornea. 2008;27:590-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Emergency keratoplasty was not necessary in any of the 5 cases presented. CXL is a promising option for treating patients with therapy-refractory infectious keratitis to avoid emergency keratoplasty. ..
  50. El Mofty M, Mostafa W, Esmat S, Youssef R, Bousseila M, Nagi N, et al. Suggested mechanisms of action of UVA phototherapy in morphea: a molecular study. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2004;20:93-100 pubmed
    ..Concerning the use of 10 or 20 J/cm(2)/session those effects are dose dependent, but the clinical response does not significantly differ. ..
  51. McLoone P, Man I, Yule S, Fluitman A, van Loveren H, Norval M, et al. Whole-body UVB (TL-01) or UVA-1 irradiation does not alter the levels of immunomodulatory cytokines in the serum of human volunteers. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2004;20:76-80 pubmed
    ..It seems unlikely that a modulation in these circulating cytokines assessed in this study accounts for systemic UV-induced immunosuppression in human subjects. ..
  52. Menon Y, McCarthy K, McGrath H. Reversal of brain dysfunction with UV-A1 irradiation in a patient with systemic lupus. Lupus. 2003;12:479-82 pubmed
    ..Also of interest is that the UV-A1 irradiation, for the first time, ameliorated discoid lupus rashes, presumably due to a systemic action, as the lesions were for the first time covered during therapy. ..
  53. Koek M, Buskens E, Steegmans P, van Weelden H, Bruijnzeel Koomen C, Sigurdsson V. UVB phototherapy in an outpatient setting or at home: a pragmatic randomised single-blind trial designed to settle the discussion. The PLUTO study. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2006;6:39 pubmed
    ..Current controlled trials/Nederlands Trial register: ISRCTN83025173. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00150930. ..