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UVB

The chronic skin disorder of Vitiligo destroys the pigment or color making cells in the skin, called melanocytes, and may also affect the mucous membranes (such as the tissue inside the mouth and nose) and the eye. As a result, smooth, milky white or light pink patches in the middle of normally pigmented skin appear. The hair may also turn white/grey that grows in areas affected by Vitiligo and on the scalp. There are many treatments available for Vitiligo nowadays and one of the most successful ones out of them is UVB.

Narrowband UVB is now seen as the gold standard of treatment for Vitiligo covering more than 20% of the body. Narrowband UVB (NB) uses the portion of the UVB spectrum from 311-312 nm. This region has been determined to help stimulate pigment cells to produce melanocytes in less time than it takes to burn the skin. Any kind of light therapy has a suppressive effect on the immune system, so it can possibly stop new areas from forming as well. NB can be done in the doctor's office with a full-body cabinet or, with a doctor's prescription, from home using a full-length panel or a handheld device. The handhelds are very convenient for small areas of vitiligo but are too tedious and cumbersome to use for larger percentages as they cover a very small area at a time. NB is sometimes used in combination with other topical treatments, but is effective for many on its own. NB can be used on children old enough to stand still and keep goggles on. Results are often seen beginning between 30 and 60 treatments, and treatment is usually given 3 times a week. Potential side effects of NB include burning if used for too long. If using a full-body panel or box, the normal skin may tan, increasing the contrast. Only full sized body units provide the immune suppression needed for stabilization that may halt further pigment loss, as the handheld units only treat isolated areas. Eye protection is worn during treatment to protect the eyes, but isn't necessary once the treatment is over.

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