Psoriasis Treatment Phototherapy
Ultraviolet B (UVB) is a very effective treatment, especially when used in combination with topical treatment. UVB is typically given 3 to 5 times per week. Tar preparations and skin lubricants enhance its effectiveness. Side effects are burning, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. Narrow-band form is more effective than broad-band UVB but less widely available.
Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A (PUVA) is given three times per week until the skin is clear of plaques, and then it is tapered off. Patients take an oral photosensitizing psoralen 1.5 to 2 hours prior to exposure. Indications are for symptomatic control of severe, recalcitrant, disabling, plaque psoriasis.
Side effects include gastrointestinal intolerance of drug, sunburning, photo-damaged skin, cataracts, and increased skin cancer risk.