Ultraviolet Light Therapy

Ultraviolet light A

TREATMENT

DIRECTIONS FOR USE

BENEFITS

SIDE EFFECTS*

PUVA is an acronym for “psoralen and UVA”

TREATMENT

  • Psoralen is a light-sensitizing agent

DIRECTIONS FOR USE

  • Psoralen is taken orally (by mouth) or is applied to the skin
  • The patient then exposes the affected skin to the UVA, typically standing in the lighting unit
  • Usually used in adults with moderate to severe cases of plaque or guttate psoriasis or psoriasis of the palms or soles
  • May be used alone or in combination with other therapies
  • PUVA may be conducted twice weekly for 4 to 15 weeks
  • Treatment should be discontinued upon clearance
  • Lifetime exposure should not exceed 200 sessions
  • Should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing

BENEFITS

  • In the presence of UVA, the psoralen slows down the rate of skin cell reproduction

Most common short-term side effects of oral PUVA are:

  • nausea, itching, redness of skin, higher risk of skin cancer, increased risk of cataracts if eyes are not protected for 12 to 24 hours after treatment, increased risk of freckling and skin aging if more than 150 PUVA treatments are received within 5 years

Ultraviolet light B

TREATMENT

DIRECTIONS FOR USE

BENEFITS

SIDE EFFECTS*

Exposes lesions to an artificial UVB light source

TREATMENT

DIRECTIONS FOR USE

  • Patient stands in a light box lined with UVB lamps, with affected areas of skin exposed, for a set amount of time
  • May be used when topical treatments have not been successful or there are numerous scattered patches of psoriasis
  • May be used alone or with topical treatments or systemics
  • Sessions are usually 2 to 3 times per week for 4 to 15 weeks

BENEFITS

  • UVB slows the growth of skin cells
  • Can be used by adults and children

Most common side effects include:

  • skin irritation, increased sensitivity to sun and it may increase risk of skin cancer


*Always speak to your doctor and read the product information before trying a new treatment. Please consult the Patient Information for each product for warnings, precautions and prescribing considerations. The lists above do not include an exhaustive list of side effects. Your healthcare professional can provide the complete list. Also, speak to your healthcare provider if side effects persist or are severe.