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What should I know about narrowband ultraviolet B therapy?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Narrowband ultraviolet B therapy is a treatment that dermatologists use to treat certain skin disorders. Ultraviolet light is a form of invisible radiation. The sun and tanning beds emit ultraviolet light. Overexposure to ultraviolet light is unhealthy, but in controlled doses it has been used to treat certain medical conditions.

Receiving treatment with narrowband ultraviolet B therapy involves exposing affected skin to a panel of lights. These lights give off a specific type of ultraviolet radiation that is absorbed by the skin. Dermatologists may use narrowband ultraviolet B therapy to treat alopecia areata (a disorder that causes hair loss) and skin disorders such as psoriasis and vitiligo (which causes loss of skin pigment or color).
Narrowband ultraviolet B therapy is a promising new form of treatment for vitiligo. Because the range of the UV light can be focused, and because it doesn't require the drug psoralen to work, it is an attractive option for many people with vitiligo. You can ask your dermatologist if his or her office makes this treatment available.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.