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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Answer

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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