Background: Phototherapy is a mainstay in the treatment of psoriasis and other photoresponsive dermatoses and home phototherapy has broadened therapeutic options.
Purpose: To describe the history of home phototherapy, the technological advances in the safety and efficacy of the equipment available, and the associated issues of cost, convenience, adherence, and quality of life.
Methods: We conducted a literature review of home phototherapy, broad-band UVB, narrow-band UVB, and PUVA phototherapy using PUBMED. A Google search of home phototherapy equipment and technology was also undertaken.
Results: Technological advances in home phototherapy equipment have allowed for more treatment options and improvements in safety and efficacy. One randomized, controlled trial found results comparable to office-based phototherapy. Home phototherapy is convenient, cost-effective, and associated with better quality of life compared to outpatient phototherapy treatment. One trial found that adherence to home phototherapy regimens was better than to oral retinoids.
Conclusions: Home phototherapy is a well-tolerated, efficacious, economical and patient friendly therapeutic option. Advantages of home phototherapy include improved quality of life, greater convenience, lower cost, and less time lost from work and social activities. Dermatologists should strongly consider home phototherapy as a first-line treatment option for appropriately selected psoriasis patients.