Background: Seborrhoeic dermatitis is a common papulosquamous dermatosis affecting 2-10% of the adult population. Current treatment options are limited and not always satisfactory. Objectives We aimed to investigate the efficacy of narrow-band ultraviolet (UV) B (TL-01) phototherapy as an alternative treatment for seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Methods: Eighteen patients with severe disease were enrolled in an open prospective study. Treatment was given three times weekly until complete clearing or to a maximum of 8 weeks. A clinical score assessing erythema, scaling, infiltration and pruritus was performed at baseline and every 2 weeks thereafter. Additionally, the patients were asked to rate the intensity of pruritus on a visual analogue scale. After completion of the study the patients were followed up to determine the median time interval until recurrence.
Results: All patients responded favourably to treatment, with six showing complete clearance and 12 marked improvement. The median clinical score decreased from 7.5 (range 4-8) at baseline to 0.5 (range 0-3) after 8 weeks of treatment (P = 0.005). The median pruritus score decreased from 4.5 (range 0-8) at baseline to 0 (range 0-3) at week 8 (P = 0.008). Relapses occurred in all patients after a median of 21 days (range 12-40). No side-effects of treatment were observed except occasional episodes of a moderate erythemal response.
Conclusions: Narrow-band UVB phototherapy appears to be a very effective and safe treatment option for patients with severe seborrhoeic dermatitis.