Q. I have cutaneous lupus. Lately, I've heard people discussing UVA1 phototherapy as a potential option. I'm interested in this treatment option. But because I'm photosensitive, I'm skeptical as to how this would really help me.
A. Here is the consensus statement from the newly-formed North American Rheumatologic Dermatology Society (NARDS) on the issue of UVA1 therapy for lupus.
http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarti ... &zoneid=76
"There is some published evidence based on a relatively small number of patients studied that supports the use of UVA1 phototherapy for some of the skin lesions of lupus. However, there is also published evidence that raises the concern that UVA1 irradiation might induce or aggravate abnormal skin changes in lupus patients. The specific dose and wavelength spectrum of UVA1 radiation delivered to the skin of a patient during phototherapy might be critically important as to whether UVA1 phototherapy might help or worsen lupus skin disease. Therefore, we believe that UVA1 phototherapy is at this time considered by most clinicians and investigators to be experimental and in need of further scientifically valid study. We fully support further systematic research on the clinical value of this type of photobiologic treatment in lupus. In addition to its effects on lupus skin disease, more valid research is needed on the effects of UVA1 phototherapy on the systemic manifestations of lupus. A primary mission of the North American Rheumatologic Dermatology Society is to foster and facilitate such research."