Generalized pruritus treated with narrowband UVB
Background Narrowband UVB phototherapy has been increasingly used in a variety of dermatological diseases. We planned to evaluate its efficacy in generalized pruritus in this prospective study. Methods Forty-six patients were included and then divided into two groups: group 1 and group 2 consisted of patients with uremic pruritus and "idiopathic pruritus", respectively. Phototherapy was given three times a week. Efficacy assessments were made by means of visual analog scale (VAS) and pruritus grading score. Results Thirty-five patients completed the treatment. Mean VAS decreased from 8.2 +/- 1.5 to 3.6 +/- 3 in group 1 and from 7.1 +/- 2.3 to 2.3 +/- 2.8 in group 2 (P < 0.0001). Mean percentage of change in VAS was 54.2% (95% CI 32.6-75.9) and 67.9% (95% CI 53.8-81.9) in group 1 and group 2, respectively. Mean number of treatments was 22 in both groups. Mean cumulative UVB dose was 24,540 mJ/cm(2) and 20,801 mJ/cm(2) in group 1 and group 2, respectively. Conclusion Narrowband UVB is an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with generalized pruritus.