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Phototherapy is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light to slow the rapid growth of new skin cells and to decrease inflammation. This is helpful in treating psoriasis, which causes inflammation and the rapid growth of skin cells.
There are different types of UV light therapy.
Sometimes UV therapy is used with other psoriasis medicines.
During phototherapy, you may stand in a booth that contains light tubes that give off UV light. Or you may have treatment with a smaller device if you have psoriasis in a limited area. Treatment is usually several times a week at first. Once your psoriasis is doing better, you may have it less often. Sometimes people may be able to do the treatment at home.
To keep yourself safe, carefully follow all of your doctor's instructions, such as protecting your eyes by wearing UV-blocking goggles during treatments.
After treatment, the skin is usually red or pink. Your skin may also be tender or itchy. Or you may feel stinging or burning. Some people get dark spots on the skin. This is more common in people with darker skin.
Phototherapy is an effective treatment option without the side effects that can happen with pills or other medicines. It may be used when psoriasis covers a lot of your skin. Or it may be used when medicines you put on the skin aren't working well. Sometimes it's used along with other treatments.
Phototherapy can be an effective treatment for psoriasis. It can be used by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Risks of phototherapy include:
Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Amy McMichael MD - Dermatology
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