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How can I safely get the ultraviolet light my skin needs?

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You definitely don’t go running off to the tanning booth -- there are safer ways to get your psoriasis-easing ultraviolet rays.

The medical use of light rays to treat psoriasis is known as phototherapy. A variety of options exist, which can be done in a doctor’s office, psoriasis clinic, or even the comfort of your home.

The form of light known as ultraviolet light B (UVB) seems to be the most beneficial for treating psoriasis. Your doctor may prescribe a certain amount of UVB exposure depending on your symptoms. If your doctor does choose this form of light therapy for your psoriasis, ask whether you should consider purchasing a home UVB unit.

Other phototherapy options for psoriasis treatment include the use of ultraviolet light A (UVA) in conjunction with special medications that respond to these light rays. This is rarely used, however, because it can cause skin cancer.

Of all things, a tropical locale could be just what the doctor ordered to ease your psoriasis symptoms. The beneficial effects of a sunny vacation in the middle of winter could help ease psoriasis symptoms for a few months.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "PsoriasisNet."

National Psoriasis Foundation.

Mark Lebwohl, MD, professor and chairman of dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University.

Melissa Magliocco, MD, assistant professor of medicine and acting chief, division of clinical pharmacology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

WebMD Medical Reference: “7 Psoriasis Triggers.”

WebMD Medical News: “Smoking May Make Psoriasis Worse.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on November 28, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "PsoriasisNet."

National Psoriasis Foundation.

Mark Lebwohl, MD, professor and chairman of dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University.

Melissa Magliocco, MD, assistant professor of medicine and acting chief, division of clinical pharmacology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

WebMD Medical Reference: “7 Psoriasis Triggers.”

WebMD Medical News: “Smoking May Make Psoriasis Worse.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on November 28, 2017

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Will eating more and drinking more alcohol in the fall and winter months affect my psoriasis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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