How to use UVB Light Therapy Safely

by | Oct 27, 2022

If you suffer from a skin condition such as Psoriasis, Vitiligo, Pityriasis Rosea or Atopic Eczema, then you may have already heard of UVB Light Therapy.

UVB Light Therapy in simple terms is irradiation with shortwave ultraviolet radiation. The effect of UVB is like that of sun exposure, which means you must take precautions.

While it is a perfectly safe treatment for various skin conditions, there are a small number of risks associated, however, these can be mediated if you follow the guidance carefully.

In this blog we will explore exactly how you can use UVB Light Therapy safely to ensure you get the most out of your treatment.

Is UVB Light Therapy Suitable for me?

Like any treatment for skin conditions, not everyone will be suitable. It’s important to understand the benefits, risks and alternatives, all of which your dermatologist will discuss with you.

This will include an overview of your medical history, focusing on the following factors:

  • Any medications you take, including creams or ointments for your skin
  • Allergies to medications
  • History of eye conditions
  • Any conditions that affect other organs in your body e.g., kidney or liver
  • If you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant
  • Any allergy to the sun or have a health condition such as lupus
  • Your individual risk of skin cancer, for example family history.

Before undergoing any form of UVB Light Treatment it is important you speak to your dermatologist to determine if this is the best treatment for you.

Before Undergoing UVB Light Therapy

There are a few important things you must do prior to your light therapy treatment. This includes

  1. Limiting your exposure to ultraviolet light, covering your skin when outside and DO NOT use sunbeds.
  2. Avoid citrus fruits, carrots and other foods containing natural psoralen, as much as possible.
  3. Do not apply perfumed products including moisturiser, perfume or any other lotions.
  4. Make your dermatologist aware if you are on any new medications since your assessment.
  5. Avoid caffeine on days when you have treatment.
  6. Do not drink alcohol before a treatment session.
  7. Apply a broad spectrum suncream to face and hands before treatment.
  8. Do not wear jewellery during treatment.

Aftercare for UVB Light Therapy

One of the most important things to do following light therapy is to limit your sun exposure as much as possible. Cover up your arms and legs and do not sunbath or use sun beds. Apply suncream to any exposed areas including your face, neck and hands.

Possible Side-Effects

As there is with any treatment or medication, there are potential side-effects. Some of these are short-term including:

  • Mild sunburn
  • Itchy rash
  • Dry itchy skin
  • Cold sores
  • Blisters on the skin
  • Feeling sick

Typically, it is very similar to normal sun exposure, and that is why it’s important to firstly identify your suitability for the treatment, and secondly to follow all the guidance and instructions carefully.


For more help and advice on using UBV Light Therapy at home, contact Skin Matters Bristol, today.