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AAD Releases New Guidelines for Treatment of Psoriasis with UV Therapy

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on November 3, 2009

42-15654497The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has released a new set of guidelines for the care and management of the treatment of psoriasis with ultraviolet (UV) light therapy, also known as phototherapy.

Many people suffering from psoriasis are prescribed prescription medications and light therapy treatments, and a recent article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology outlines the basic steps and general recommendations for physicians using light therapy to treat this common skin condition.

According to dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD, and president of the Academy of Dermatology, Over the years, phototherapy has been shown to effectively clear psoriasis, and it is a cost-effective therapy that generally does not suppress the body’s immune response like traditional and biologic systemic therapies. However, because this therapy delivers UV light to the skin (a known carcinogen), patients need to be closely monitored by their dermatologists for the potential risk of skin cancer.” (Source:

Psoriasis is easily recognized by thick, red and scaly patches that can become inflamed and even start to bleed on a regular basis. Almost 7 million men and women in the United States have to manage this skin condition, and it is a result of both genetic and environmental factors. UVB therapy is commonly used to treat psoriasis, and broadband UVB therapy has been used to treat psoriasis for over 75 years. People who undergo this type of treatment enjoy rapid clearing of the skin, fast healing and better remission rates, reports Dr. Pariser.

Photochemotherapy is another option for treating psoriasis, and makes use of photosensitizing compounds and topical or oral medication before exposure to UV light. This is an advanced treatment that has also been covered by the AAD’s recent report.

While there are some minor side effects of light therapy and the risk of burning, a skilled and experienced dermatologist will be able to deliver the treatment with minimal problems.


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