Phototherapy

  • ›  Treatments
  • ›  Medical/Surgical Treatments
  • ›  Phototherapy

If you have psoriasis that has not responded to topical medications alone or have lesions that are too extensive for topical treatment, phototherapy is an option for you. During the phototherapy treatment, your skin or just the lesions are exposed to ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet B (UVB) Phototherapy is highly effective in patients who have moderate to severe psoriasis and thin plaques. A patient usually receives between 2 and 5 treatments per week. During treatment, the skin is exposed to UVB, which is generated from a special lamp or laser. To enhance penetration of UVB rays, an emollient is usually applied before exposure. UVB phototherapy may be combined with another psoriasis therapy.

How it works

Ultraviolet (UV) light induces biologic reactions in the skin’s cells that decrease the number of skin cells that grow too quickly and kills T cells in the skin, which can resulting the clearing of psoriatic lesions.

Advantages:

  • Highly effective
  • Few side effects

Disadvantages:

  • Requires 2 – 3 weekly visits to the office until lesions clear
  • May require follow-up treatments once lesions clear
  • Long-term treatment may increase risk of developing skin cancer