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  • Aug 09, 2018

NBUVB Photo Therapy for Vitiligo

Information, Dosing, Procedure, & Safety Precautions


Narrow Band Ultra Violet B Therapy is an proven and highly effective form of radiation that has the potential to provide positive outcomes in several skin diseases including vitiligo and psoriasis, which are otherwise a tough challenge both for the patients as well as healthcare service providers


NBUVB Protocol fir Vitiligo

Salient Points

Number of sittings required per week: 3

Duration of Treatment: 6 Months + (variable depending on several factors)

Unsuitable patients:    Pregnancy,


Certain cancers, and

Diseases that worsen in response to UV light

Safety in Children: Relatively safe if the child uses protective eyeglasses

Dietary and Drug precautions:

Citrus fruits,





Self-monitoring is possible with support in the initial period of treatment

Can be safely combined with other types of treatments for vitiligo

Cleaning the area before radiation is preferably with soap and water at room temperature followed by drying in air.

Radiation has no bad effect on hairy areas nor does it cause any hair loss.


NBUVB does not affect brain or any of its functions

Protective sunglasses: These must be worn by the subject, the attendant, as well as the operator or anyone who is present in the room where the procedure is being carried out.

Special precaution in males: Genitals should not receive radiation

The areas not to be thus treated, like surrounding skin, must be protected with a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF applied 20 minutes before the actual timing of exposure to radiation.

The eyes can be treated and the use of protective sunglasses is mandatory.

Distance of radiation unit from skin lesions: This should be between 8 inches to 12 inches

Dose: Expose the area to be treated for 30 seconds and watch out for the presence or absence of pinkish redness and its duration including the redness that persists until the next day.

Ideal Dose: An ideal dose of radiation will produce mild pinkish erythema that lasts more than a day and is without any symptoms like itching, burning, or blister formation.

In case of a suboptimal response is achieved then increase exposure time by 20% on each successive sitting till an optimal result is obtained.

An excessive dose causes discomfort, itching, burning, or blistering. In such a case, stop the treatment till the excessive response subsides and then begin with half of the original dose and gradually build it up by 10% on each successive sitting to reach optimal response

When an optimal dose has been achieved, maintain it at the same level for three to four sittings, and then increase it by 10% every three to four sittings.

Currently, there are no safety limits for maximum safe duration in vitiligo in adult patient. However, in children, the maximum duration allowed is 12 months.




You are permitted to share, distribute, print, or reproduce this article for private use with proper citation of the source. The article is a part of our service to fellow human beings as a means of health education and awareness enhancement to minimize dependence on healthcare


Dr Vinay Kumar

Senior Consultant Dermatologist



+91-93 199 299 00



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