Narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy in children with moderate-to-severe eczema: a comparative cohort study.Br J Dermatol 2014; 170(1):150-6BJ
There is only retrospective evidence for the efficacy of narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) in children with eczema.
To measure the difference in means for objective scores [Six Area Six Sign Atopic Dermatitis score (SASSAD), percentage surface area] and quality-of-life scores, between patients treated with NB-UVB and unexposed cohorts at the end of treatment, and 3 and 6 months post-treatment.
Twenty-nine children aged 3-16 years for whom NB-UVB was indicated, were scored prospectively using SASSAD and percentage surface area involvement at baseline, at 12 weeks (end of treatment) and 3 and 6 months post-NB-UVB. Their scores were compared with those of unexposed children (n = 26) for whom NB-UVB phototherapy was indicated and offered, but who chose not to undertake treatment.
There was a 61% reduction in mean SASSAD score in the NB-UVB cohort compared with an increase of 6% in the unexposed cohort. Mean SASSAD score for the NB-UVB cohort at the end of treatment was 11.6 vs. 24.8 for the unexposed; difference in means -13.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) -18.7 to -7.7, P < 0.0001]. Mean surface area involvement at the end of treatment was 11% for the NB-UVB cohort vs. 36% for the unexposed cohort; difference in means -25% (95% CI -34% to -16%, P < 0.0001). Subjective and quality-of-life scores showed significant difference between cohorts at the end of treatment (P < 0.05). Objective scores remained significantly lower than in the unexposed cohort 3 and 6 months after treatment.
NB-UVB is clinically effective and improves quality of life in children with moderate-to-severe eczema. The effect is maintained for 6 months after treatment.