Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Psoriasis Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Ultraviolet light and psoriasis

Ultraviolet B (UVB)

UVB light is more effective than UVA light for treating psoriasis.

  • Exposure times start at 30 to 60 seconds and are gradually increased until light causes the skin to turn red. When the skin no longer turns red after this much exposure, the time is increased.
  • Treatments are given daily or several times a week.
  • UVB light is used alone, with tar products (Goeckerman treatment), or with anthralin applied to the skin (Ingram regimen).

Ultraviolet A (UVA)

UVA penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB.

Recommended Related to Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that produces raised, reddish, and often scaly patches. It can appear as one or multiple patches on the scalp, affect the entire scalp, and spread beyond the scalp to the forehead, back of the neck, or behind the ears. Scalp psoriasis is not contagious. Like other types of psoriasis, its exact cause is unknown. But it's believed to result from an abnormality of the immune system that causes skin cells to grow too quickly and build up as patches. You may...

Read the Scalp Psoriasis article > >

  • Treatment with UVA typically takes 20 minutes per session.
  • UVA light used with psoralen drugs is called PUVA. With PUVA, the treatment time is greatly reduced, from 20 minutes to about 2 minutes.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Alexander H. Murray, MD, FRCPC - Dermatology
Last Revised January 6, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 06, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Top Psoriasis Treatments To Try At Home
Article
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Slideshow
 
Beware Miracle Diets For Psoriasis
Article
Psoriasis Laser Therapy
Video
 
10 Questions About Psoriasis To Ask Your Doctor
Article
psoriasis on elbow
Article
 
Psoriasis (Moderate to Severe)
Article
Psoriatic Arthritis Do You Know The Symptoms
Article