What is the role of Broadband UVB in the treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars?

Updated: May 29, 2020
  • Author: Brian Berman, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Broadband UVB (290-320 nm) at high doses (up to 320 mJ/cm2) has also been theorized to improve fibrosing skin conditions, including keloids, hypertrophic scars, scleroderma, acne keloidalis nuchae, old burn scars, and granuloma annulare, among other related conditions with altered dermal matrix, safely through collagenase-mediated removal of excess dermal collagen via activation of MMP-1 pathways in patients with increased skin pigmentation. [111]

High keloid incidence is found among individuals with high melanin content in their skin. Since melanin serves as a UVB light absorber, lack of UVB light penetration may play a role in keloid etiology. Wirohadidjojo et al evaluated the effect that UVB irradiation to monolayer keloid fibroblasts has on cell proliferation, collagen deposition, and TGF-beta1 production. Keloid fibroblasts were cultures and exposed to various dosages of UVB irradiation. Collagen depositions and TGF-beta1 production were measured. UVB 100 and 150 mJ/cm2 were able to suppress keloid fibroblast viabilities and collagen accumulation significantly (P< .01). Significant suppression of TGF-beta1 production required UVB irradiation of 150 mJ/cm2 (P< .01). UVB irradiation with a minimal dosage of 150 mJ/cm2 is possible therapy for keloid prevention and treatment. [112]

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