NBUVB Light/Grenz Ray Therapy

Narrowband UVB Light Therapy

Skin Disorder Treatment | Portland OR | Vancouver WAUltraviolet light B (UVB) therapy is a minimally invasive procedure used to effectively treat a number of skin disorders. UVB phototherapy traditionally referred to broadband UVB, which employs light from a range across the UVB spectrum.  This can improve the skin’s appearance, but it also exposes the skin to the wavelengths that cause sunburn and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

Narrowband UVB is a newer treatment option than broadband UVB. It involves a more specific range of UV wavelengths that are mainly therapeutic, with very little exposure to the damaging wavelengths of light.  It can often clear symptoms faster and provide longer remission periods. It also involves fewer treatment sessions. Since the results of narrowband UVB have been proven over the last few years, this treatment is now considered the best form of therapy for several conditions.

What Skin Disorders Can Narrowband UVB Treat?

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that involves a rapid production of skin cells that build up on the surface of the skin and form scales, patches and other unwanted symptoms. This condition develops as a result of an autoimmune disorder, in which skin cells replace themselves every three to four days rather than every 30 days, creating a buildup of cells. Narrowband UVB therapy works to interrupt the abnormal cycle that has caused an increased production of skin cells in order to prevent future symptoms from appearing.

Eczema is a group of common skin conditions that affects up to one out of every ten people at some point in their lives.  Patients with eczema usually have itchy skin and red rashes on the skin that most often occur during "flare-ups."  Narrowband UVB therapy is effective in treating symptoms of eczema by exposing the skin to controlled amounts of light. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with medication to provide the longest-lasting relief from eczema symptoms.

Vitiligo is a skin condition in which pigment cells are destroyed and white patches of skin appear on different parts of the body. Hair growing in these areas may turn white as well. Vitiligo can affect any area of the skin, but is most common on the face, lips, hands, arms, legs and genital areas.  Narrowband UVB treatment can be used to stimulate pigment cells within the skin to produce more melanin and return the skin to its natural color as well as stop new patches from forming.

Grenz Ray Therapy

Grenz ray therapy is a treatment for skin disorders.  Grenz rays are actually a form of electromagnetic radiation that have been recognized for their therapeutic value since the 1930s. Developed by a German scientist named Gustav Bucky, Grenz rays are sometimes referred to as Bucky Rays.  They fell out of favor with many dermatologists for a period of time when other types of treatments including certain topical creams and oral medications became available.  However, more recently, there has been a resurgence in the use of Grenz rays as their value is recognized in the treatment of a range of skin disorders.

The wavelength of Grenz rays falls between that of ultraviolet rays and X-rays.  They may be used as a stand-alone treatment for certain conditions or in conjunction with other types of therapy to maximize their efficacy.  Grenz ray therapy can be beneficial in resolving a wide variety of skin issues that were not responsive to other forms of therapy.

Grenz ray therapy is very effective in reducing skin inflammation.  Grenz ray therapy can be a successful treatment modality for conditions including eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, keratoses, mycosis fungoides, lichen simplex chronicus and more.  This technique can promote the healing of lesions, diminish swelling and decrease the itchiness that results from many of these skin disorders.

It is also a relatively safe form of treatment.  Grenz rays do not penetrate deeply within the dermis; the only absorption that occurs is within the outer two millimeters of the skin.  Therefore, while they are a form of radiation, they carry little risk as long as the recommended dosages are not exceeded and all standard radiation safety measures are employed.  In addition, Grenz rays do not damage the skin as some topical remedies, such as cortisone cream, may do over time.  Grenz rays are often combined in a therapeutic regimen with topical steroids.  In many cases, used together they promote a rapid healing of skin problems and offer a longer period of remission than either treatment alone.  This can also reduce the reliance on each form of treatment.