Light Therapy: A Brighter Future with Psoriasis?

By

Laura Ramos Hegwer

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PHYSICIAN CONTRIBUTOR psoriasis-on-elbow

Expert Answers to Psoriasis Treatment FAQs

Dr. David Harvey, a dermatologist and surgeon, answers some common psoriasis questions.
man with hands in light therapy machine

Many people with psoriasis use light therapy to help clear up hard-to-treat patches of skin, as well as larger areas of the body affected by the condition. Light therapy, or phototherapy, is an option when topical treatments alone don’t work. People like it because it can clear up psoriasis for as long as six to 12 months.


Ultraviolet B

The standard light therapy devices use ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are also found in natural sunlight. When exposed to the skin, UVB rays slow the abnormally rapid turnover of skin cells that constitutes psoriasis.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, and they all come with risks and benefits. Ultimately, whether you treat with topical creams, light therapy, or medications, you and your doctor will decide the best treatment path together.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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