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May 1999

The Use of Narrowband UV-B (Tube Lamp) in the Management of Skin Disease

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(5):589-590. doi:10.1001/archderm.135.5.589

ANY NEW therapy will be received by the medical profession with cautious enthusiasm tempered by healthy skepticism. Only when objective evidence exists that satisfactorily answers the gauntlet of questions regarding indications, efficacy, comparison with existing treatments, method of use, and acute and chronic adverse effects will a new therapy be universally accepted. Where are we in this process with narrowband UV-B TL-01 phototherapy?

Broadband UV-B has long had a major role in the management of moderate-to-severe generalized psoriasis. Traditional electric discharge sources have been replaced by fluorescent phosphor lamps. Yet our knowledge of the optimum method of use and long-term effects is still incomplete. What is the reason for this? When one considers the resources required to register a new drug vs those needed for the development of a new lamp, significant differences exist. The responsibility for investigating a light source is left to the medical profession, but with a new drug, this is left to the pharmaceutical industry under the watchful eye of regulatory authorities.

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