Ultraviolet Radiation Lamps for the Phototherapy of Psoriasis

  • B. L. Diffey


The first treatment of psoriasis with a source of artificial ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is credited to Sardemann(1) who used a carbon arc lamp of the type developed by Finsen at around the turn of the century. These lamps were unpopular in clinical practice because of their noise, odour and sparks(2), and were superseded by the development of the medium-pressure mercury arc lamp. In the 1960s, a variety of metal halides was added to mercury lamps to improve the emission in certain regions of the ultraviolet and visible spectra(3). Fluorescent lamps were developed in the late 1940s and, since then, a variety of phosphor and envelope materials have been used to produce lamps with different emissions in the ultraviolet region. Today there exists a wide range of different types of lamps which are used for the phototherapy of psoriasis. This chapter will review the physical characteristics of lamps and photoirradiation systems used for so-called UV-B phototherapy of psoriasis. It will not cover sources emitting primarily UV-A radiation which are used in conjunction with photosensitising agents (psoralens) to treat psoriasis.


Ultraviolet Radiation Fluorescent Lamp Metal Halide Lamp Ultraviolet Lamp Spectral Power Distribution 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. L. Diffey
    • 1
  1. 1.Regional Medical Physics DepartmentDryburn HospitalDurhamUK

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