Treatment of erosive oral lichen planus with local ultraviolet B phototherapy

Riad Kassem*, Noam Yarom, Alon Scope, Meir Babaev, Henri Trau, Felix Pavlotzky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory disease that can significantly affect the patient's quality of life. Objective: We sought to demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of local ultraviolet (UV) B phototherapy in OLP. Methods: Patients with biopsy-confirmed erosive OLP recalcitrant to previous medical therapy were treated with the TheraLight UV 120-2 system (TheraLight Inc, Carlsbad, CA). Lesions were accessed directly using a flexible fiber guide. Local phototherapy was delivered 3 times a week, with gradual increase in UVB dose every other session. Affected oral mucosa was defined as the area showing erosions or symptomatic reticular lesions. Complete response was defined as reduction of at least 80% in the affected mucosal area, and partial response was defined as a reduction of 50% to 80% in the affected mucosal area. The primary end point was efficacy after 8 weeks of treatment. Results: Fourteen patients were included in the study. Nine achieved complete response and 5 partial response after 8 weeks. Ten patients were continued on maintenance therapy and were able to maintain their response for another 29 weeks. None of the patients showed any serious side effects from local UVB therapy. Limitations: The study was performed in a small series of patients at a single medical center. Further studies with larger patient samples are required to validate our findings. Conclusion: Local UVB phototherapy may be a promising treatment modality for erosive OLP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-766
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • maintenance treatment
  • oral lichen planus
  • oral lichen planus global assessment scale
  • phototherapy
  • psoralen plus ultraviolet A
  • targeted UVB


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