The Cutting Edge: Challenges in Medical and Surgical Therapies
May 16, 2011

Narrowband UV-B Phototherapy for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris During Pregnancy

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Copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2011

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(5):537-539. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.96

The treatment of acne during pregnancy is a challenge because of the potential teratogenic effects. Medications currently deemed safe during pregnancy are largely unsatisfactory in treating acne. Narrowband (NB) UV-B phototherapy is a safe option for treatment of psoriasis during pregnancy. We report the successful use of NB UV-B for the treatment of acne in a pregnant patient.

A 29-year-old woman visited the office for evaluation of new-onset acne, which developed after she became pregnant. She was 5 months pregnant at the time of presentation to the clinic and reported experiencing the skin condition for 4 months (Figure 1). The patient was healthy, with no clinically significant medical history, and did not report previous acne. She had no medication allergies and was taking only prenatal vitamins. On physical examination, she had inflammatory papules and pustules on the face and neck and inflammatory nodules, papules, and pustules on the trunk. Previous therapies included over-the-counter acne regimens and prescription 2% erythromycin lotion, both of which did not improve her skin.

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