What is the efficacy of phototherapy in the treatment of polymorphous light eruption (PMLE)?

Updated: Jan 22, 2020
  • Author: Saud A Alobaida, MBBS, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Owing to the tendency of patients to experience hardening, phototherapy with UVA1, narrowband UVB, psoralen plus UVA (PUVA), or broadband UVB can harden the skin against the development of PMLE. A case of PMLE that failed UVA1 therapy has been reported [41] ; a woman aged 37 years developed a recalcitrant PMLE that lasted 5 weeks after completion of UVA1 phototherapy. Treatment given at the beginning of spring for several weeks may prevent flare-ups throughout the summer. PUVA was found to be superior to UVB in several studies, controlling the outbreaks in 90% of patients. [50] In another study of 25 patients with severe PMLE, narrowband UVB (311 nm) was found to be an equally effective alternative to PUVA. [51] Oral prednisone may be useful in conjunction with phototherapy to avoid eruption during therapy. Barolet and Boucher report on the use of light-emitting diode nonthermal therapy as a prophylactic measure for PMLE. [51]

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