Phototherapy is a type of medical treatment that involves exposure to fluorescent light bulbs or other sources of light like halogen lights, sunlight, and light emitting diodes (LEDs) to treat certain medical conditions.
Access to this service is done by a Dermatology referral from your GP.
Dr.H.Thomas - Lead Dermatology Doctor
Karen Leask - Lead Dermatology Nurse
Nikki Bichan - Phototherapy Nurse
Julie Edwards - Phototherapy Nurse
Megan Hourston - Phottherapy Nurse
Phototherapy Introduction Information
What is UVB?
UVB means Ultraviolet B. Particular UVB rays (‘narrowband UVB’) are produced by treatment lamps. These rays have anti-inflammation
effects on the skin. Although these rays are
included in sunlight, UVB treatment is usually more effective than sunlight because harmful and ineffective sunlight rays are missed out.
Why am I having UVB?
This treatment has been found to be particularly useful for many different skin conditions
including psoriasis and eczema and also to build up tolerance to natural ultraviolet light for people with light sensitive skin conditions.
What happens when I get there?
On your first visit a member of the phototherapy nursing staff will go through the nursing
documents used. They will show you the unit and will explain all the procedures to you.
Before you begin light treatment you will usually receive a small test dose, called a MED (Minimal Erythema Dose). A number of doses of ultraviolet light B will be shone on small circles on your back or arm. This takes about 25
minutes and the result will be read the next day (24hours later). This result will help decide what dose your light treatment should be started at.
Even if you have had UVB treatment in the past, a MED will normally be required because your skin’s sensitivity to UVB can change. The MED not only makes sure that you are treated at a safe UVB dose, but also makes sure you are started at a high enough dose for you. If a MED cannot be done, treatment has to be started at a very low dose, which may mean several extra treatments during your course of therapy.
How long will I have UVB treatment?
This varies from person to person, but an average course lasts eight weeks with individual treatments lasting up to a few minutes with the total visit taking up to half an hour. The staff will assess you at each visit. If required a doctor will see you. The usual days for treatment are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Before you start UVB treatment the doctor will check the medicines that you are taking to see if any are likely to affect the treatment you will receive. This will be done by the referring doctor and detailed in your referral form.
If your tablets (including anything you are taking over-the counter) are changed during UVB treatment, please let the nursing staff know before they start your next treatment. This is because some tablets can affect the way treatment works.