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When is light therapy used to treat psoriasis?

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Sunlight can ease psoriasis lesions in many people. For difficult-to-treat cases of psoriasis, many doctors recommend light therapy. One of the most effective treatments is PUVA (the drug psoralen combined with ultraviolet A, or UVA, light). But it’s not used much anymore because it can make you more likely to get skin cancer, even decades after you stop the therapy.

Some doctors may prescribe ultraviolet B light (UVB) treatment using a light box alone or with other therapies such as coal tar. A more targeted ultraviolet light treatment, called narrow-band UVB therapy, is less potentially cancerous than PUVA and works almost as well.

SOURCES:

FDA. “FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira.” Kurd, S.K. , April 2008. National Cancer Institute: "Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Turmeric." National Psoriasis Foundation: "Complementary approaches: natural elements." "Over-the-counter (OTC) Topicals." University of Maryland Medical Center: "Psoriasis -- Treatment." University of Michigan Health System: "Psoriasis Topic Overview." University of Maryland Medical Center: "Aloe." University of Michigan Health System: "Psoriasis."  







Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on June 25, 2019

SOURCES:

FDA. “FDA approves Amjevita, a biosimilar to Humira.” Kurd, S.K. , April 2008. National Cancer Institute: "Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Turmeric." National Psoriasis Foundation: "Complementary approaches: natural elements." "Over-the-counter (OTC) Topicals." University of Maryland Medical Center: "Psoriasis -- Treatment." University of Michigan Health System: "Psoriasis Topic Overview." University of Maryland Medical Center: "Aloe." University of Michigan Health System: "Psoriasis."  







Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on June 25, 2019

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When are oral drugs used to treat psoriasis?

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