The Vit Pro's choice of UV lamps
I shall start this week's post by asking you to indulge me for a moment while I tell you that the latest addition to Vitiligo Store is home UV phototherapy lamps. As you may already know, my aim in setting up this shopping site is to provide tried-and-tested products, all under one “roof”, that can help improve the health and quality of life for those of us living with #vitiligo. Years of trying different treatments and other vitiligo-friendly items myself, using the “hit and miss” method of research, left me wishing that there was one place I could go to put all the products that I have found to be 1) effective, 2) good quality and 3) value for money into my shopping cart in one go. Vitiligo Store is my attempt at creating such a place. The site is still very new and I have a long wish-list of future stock items I would like to add. But, so far, I have been adding products more or less in order of priority, based on my own experience of what has helped me the most over the past few years of repigmenting and keeping vitiligo at bay.
To recap, the first products to go onto the site were the nutritional supplements that triggered my recovery 5 years ago and that I still rely on today. Next I wanted to include the only topical treatment I have ever used that actually worked for me and that made good scientific sense. I have also discovered, and added, more great products along the way that can help protect against some of the triggers that are known to cause or worsen vitiligo (like Betaine supplements for low stomach acid and dermatological and protective clothing and bedding).
And now that the sunshine has all but disappeared for the winter (at least where I live!) it seems like a good time to look at options for those of us who want to continue to benefit from the #UV exposure we enjoyed during the summer, or else try #phototherapy in our own home for the first time. Natural sunlight was an integral part of my recovery during the summer months and the rate at which my vitiligo repigmented once I switched to narrowband UVB therapy over the winter increased significantly. So I would definitely consider UV devices to be an important addition to the site at this time of the year. However, please read on (or refer to the site) for some safety recommendations, because these devices do need to be used responsibly if no medical supervision is on hand.
As with all the products on Vitiligo Store, I have included additional information and some personal tips along with the individual product information you would expect to find, which I hope will be useful for anyone considering home phototherapy. I have also copied some of this information below...
Why are these products in Vitiligo Store?
UV phototherapy is one of the most widely used and effective treatments for vitiligo and can be used alone or in conjunction with topical, oral or nutritional therapies. The ideal way to obtain UV light therapy is under qualified medical supervision. But many people who might benefit from this do not have a local facility that offers phototherapy and, for many, the cost and time commitment required to undergo treatment at a hospital or clinic are prohibitive. Natural sun exposure can deliver some of the same benefits but the limitations of this option are obvious: few people enjoy a climate offering year-round sunshine; exposing one's body in public is not always practical or acceptable; and it is hard to judge the strength of the sun and the optimum, safe duration of exposure. Faced with these obstacles, some vitiligo sufferers mistakenly think that the answer is to use a commercial sunbed. Dermatologists strongly advise against this because of the dangers of sunburn and of developing skin cancer. Most importantly, commercial sunbeds are not designed for medical use and should be avoided, just as excessive natural sunbathing should be avoided. The best option for anyone who does not have access to medically supervised phototherapy for their vitiligo (or psoriasis, atopic eczema, etc.) is to use a high quality medical device at home and to adhere strictly to the safety and usage instructions supplied with it. By using one of the home UV devices available from Vitiligo Store in this responsible way, the quality, methodology and controlled application of UV therapy you can obtain will be comparable to the treatment you would receive from your medical provider, and a lot more convenient.
How does it work?
The success of UV phototherapy in general, and narrowband UVB in particular is well documented, making it one of the most widely used treatments for vitiligo, psoriasis and a number of other skin conditions. The medical bulbs in the UV device emit ultraviolet (UV) light at a very precise wavelength that stimulates skin cells. In response, the cells are apt to return to their normal state again, which can reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of the skin disease being treated.
Tips from The Vit Pro
A vitiligo blogger since 2011. My name is Caroline. I had vitiligo for nearly 50 years before finding an effective treatment. I created this blog to share my experiences with others affected by this skin condition.