Narrow-band ultraviolet B is a useful and well-tolerated treatment for vitiligo

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Jun;44(6):999-1003. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2001.114752.


Background: The treatment of vitiligo remains a challenge.

Objective: The purpose of this article is to review our results and experience with narrow-band ultraviolet (UV) B phototherapy for vitiligo.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of our experience and results with patients with vitiligo who were treated with narrow-band UVB between November 1998 and November 1999. Narrow-band UVB phototherapy was given as monotherapy 3 times a week. The starting dose was 280 mJ/cm(2), with 15% dose increments at each subsequent treatment.

Results: Seven patients were able to be evaluated for the purposes of this analysis. Their ages ranged from 19 to 59 years (mean, 37.6 years). Three patients had Fitzpatrick skin phototype IV and V, and 4 had phototypes II and III. Five of the 7 patients achieved more than 75% repigmentation with a mean of 19 treatments; the mean duration of disease was 13 months. The remaining two patients had 50% and 40% repigmentation after 46 and 48 treatments, respectively. Their mean duration of disease was 132 months. Adverse effects were mild erythema and pruritus.

Conclusion: This treatment protocol resulted in rapid repigmentation in many patients, including those with skin phototypes IV and V. In accordance with previous studies, this report indicates that narrow-band UVB is a useful and well-tolerated therapy for vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phototherapy*
  • Pruritus / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Vitiligo / therapy*