Narrow Band Ultraviolet Light Treatment (NBUVB)
Dr. Lyne Giroux will be responsible for your care while you are attending the clinic. She will have seen you prior to treatment and will see your for a follow up in three months, or if a problem arises. When discharged from the clinic, you will have another follow up and can get prescription refills. Dr. Giroux will have a record of your treatments.
September to June
Monday to Friday 8am to 4:45pm
July and August
Monday to Thursday 8am to 3:45pm
If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment please call the office at 705-669-0002 or send an email to [email protected].
You will need a housecoat, slippers and a pillowcase. Men will need to bring a sock. You can also bring lotion if you so desire, we encourage application after UV.
Much of the anticipated success of your treatment depends on your co-operation in carrying out your care at home and attending the clinic as scheduled.
NBUVB Ultraviolet Light
The light unit is a circular cabinet with 44 ultraviolet tubes. All are NBUVB bulbs and are the ones that will be used for your treatment.
Treatment frequency depends on what Dr. Giroux prescribes, usually 3-5 times per week. Possible complications of NBUVB phototherapy can include:
- Sunburn reaction
- Corneal burn if the eyes are unprotected
- Photoallergic dermatitis (including drug reaction)
- Freckling of the skin
- Aging of the skin
- Possible increase in risk of skin cancers.
- Additional unprotected sun exposure should be avoided on the days you receive NBUVB treatment. Sun block (SPF 30) should be used on any sun-exposed areas for the remainder of the day.
Treatment times are based on such factors as skin type, your history of response to the sun, and medications you might be taking, frequency of treatment, etc. This wavelength of ultraviolet light peaks 6-8 hours after exposure, therefore the nurse will question you as to your response to your last treatment prior to deciding on present treatment dose. We do like you pink, but we don’t want you sore. It is important to stand in the middle of the cabinet and that you are consistent in terms of exposure to different parts of your body. i.e. exposing underarms or the area under breasts.
You should always wear protective goggles to protect your eyes. The genital area of males should be covered.
As this is a treatment, we practice “SUN SENSE” and shield areas that do not require exposure, such as faces, buttocks, etc. It is important that this exposure be consistent, so you should wear the same type of underwear each time, wear your hair up or down, the same T-shirt and use the same sunscreen.
The output of the bulbs is less at either end. If you have extensive involvement of your lower legs, we may put you up on a stool to provide better exposure.
Always apply moisturizer following your treatment. (You may use your own moisturizer if your skin is sensitive to any of the ingredients in the moisturizer provided.)
It is known that the use of tar in combination with the UVB light is more effective than each one alone and that the lights work best with well-hydrated skin.
(If prescribed by Dr. Giroux): This routine may be done 2-3 hours during the evening, followed by a shower.
Apply Tar mixture as prescribed to all affected areas on skin except: face, underarms, private areas and any folds, such as under the breasts. This is best done when the skin is wet, such as after a bath or shower. It spreads better and helps seal in the moisture. Apply in the direction of hair growth. 10 per cent LCD can be spread liberally on skin without danger (see exceptions).
Plan to sleep in old, soft cotton pyjamas, well washed and well worn. It is probably a good idea to get out old or colored sheets.
Plan to wear the same outfit during the course of treatment and allow the material to become saturated with the ointment. That way, you are treating your skin, not your pyjamas. If you feel they need to be washed, just dip them rather than washing them thoroughly.
Shower or bathe according to your usual routine. Remember not to wear sunscreen on your body. If you usually wear sunscreen on your face, you need to do this consistently. If you forget, your face will burn with light treatment.
You can help to soften and lift the scale by applying most kinds of oil for a period of several hours (minimum two hours). This may or may not contain Salicylic Acid (10 per cent Sal Acid in mineral oil is very popular and effective). Olive oil works well. Many people find it easiest to do this at bedtime. If using at bedtime, either wear a shower cap to protect your pillow, or use a towel or plastic covering.
When using a medicated shampoo, you must leave it on for 5-10 minutes. It is recommended you change shampoos on a regular basis. Either have two and alternate, or each time you buy one, buy a different one. When your scalp is active, it is important to do this daily.
Do not rub vigorously while shampooing and do not force scale removal. Only remove what comes off easily with normal combing action.
Use only soft brushes. Keep the water cooler and, if using a blow dryer, use the cool setting.
You may use rinses and conditioners as desired and the only contraindication to permanents is if your scalp is irritated.
Choose a style that is easy to manage and does not pull the hair back tightly. Use of pins, barrettes, etc., can increase psoriasis due to pressure. A tight style may stimulate scratching.
Remember cold can aggravate psoriasis – so wear hats in cold weather. Apply prescription scalp medication if prescribed to help control itch.
Use of Cortisone products:
Cortisone products are cosmetically more acceptable to use than the tar preparations, however they can cause problems in the long term, such as:
- Thin the skin and make it very fragile.
- Cause stretch marks.
- Lose its effectiveness so that you’re basically using an expensive moisturize.
- When you stop using it, the condition may come back worse than before.
- Too much or too strong over too long a period of time can suppress the adrenal. cortex and make you more susceptible to conditions, such as diabetes and glaucoma.
To avoid complications, it is important to use the appropriate strength on the various body surfaces. The skin on the face, in the private area and areas where skin meets skin (such as under the breasts) is much thinner than other areas of the body. Therefore, you should use a mild product. Public areas, such as arms and legs, can tolerate a medium strength product. Strong products should only be used as prescribed by your dermatologist. Never use on face and folds.
Cortisones are basically meant for itch and inflammation. It is appropriate to use if indicated and prescribed by your dermatologist.
People with psoriasis lose more moisture through their skin than someone without psoriasis and they lose more when they are active than when they are not active. It is very important to replace the moisture.
Apply moisturizers at least once daily. Find something you like the feel of, smell of and price of and use it daily. Vaseline (petroleum jelly), olive oil and Crisco shortening are examples of inexpensive moisturizers.
If your skin is very sensitive, it might be best to use Glaxal/Derma Base, which is the foundation for many dermatological creams. It is most cost effective to ask the pharmacist for a pound jar. The best time to apply moisturizer is to damp skin. It spreads more easily and helps to seal in the moisture from your bath or shower.
You may find it helpful to increase the humidity in your home with the use of a humidifier.
Drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is a good health practice, but is especially helpful for your skin. It helps to moisturize your skin from the inside out.
We offer OHIP covered narrow band UVB and PUVA treatment for psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema.