Narrow-band ultraviolet B (TL-01) phototherapy is an effective and safe treatment option for patients with severe seborrhoeic dermatitis

Authors

  • D. Pirkhammer,

    1. Division of Immunology, Allergy and Infectious Diseases and
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  • A. Seeber,

  • H. Hönigsmann,

    1. Division of Special and Environmental Dermatology,
      Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
      Department of Dermatology, Donauspital, Vienna, Austria
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  • A. Tanew

    1. Division of Special and Environmental Dermatology,
      Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna Medical School, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
      Department of Dermatology, Donauspital, Vienna, Austria
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Dr Detlev Pirkhammer. E-mail: Detlev.Pirkhammer@akh-wien.ac.at

Abstract

Background Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common papulosquamous dermatosis affecting 2–10% of the adult population. Current treatment options are limited and not always satisfactory.

Objectives We aimed to investigate the efficacy of narrow-band ultraviolet (UV) B (TL-01) phototherapy as an alternative treatment for seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Methods Eighteen patients with severe disease were enrolled in an open prospective study. Treatment was given three times weekly until complete clearing or to a maximum of 8 weeks. A clinical score assessing erythema, scaling, infiltration and pruritus was performed at baseline and every 2 weeks thereafter. Additionally, the patients were asked to rate the intensity of pruritus on a visual analogue scale. After completion of the study the patients were followed up to determine the median time interval until recurrence.

Results All patients responded favourably to treatment, with six showing complete clearance and 12 marked improvement. The median clinical score decreased from 7·5 (range 4–8) at baseline to 0·5 (range 0–3) after 8 weeks of treatment (P = 0·005). The median pruritus score decreased from 4·5 (range 0–8) at baseline to 0 (range 0–3) at week 8 (P = 0·008). Relapses occurred in all patients after a median of 21 days (range 12–40). No side-effects of treatment were observed except occasional episodes of a moderate erythemal response.

Conclusions Narrow-band UVB phototherapy appears to be a very effective and safe treatment option for patients with severe seborrhoeic dermatitis.

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