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I do occasionally make an effort to get some extra sunlight because of my psoriasis. It always helps for me, although I do know there is a small percentage of people with psoriasis who react negatively to sunlight.

Phototherapy is very useful for people with severe psoriasis and this is often administered in a dermatologist's office. Some people buy their own phototherapy units for home use, but require a prescription for this and often have to get their units reset after a prescribed number of uses to force the patient to get their skin rechecked by the dermatologist before continuing the potentially carcinogenic therapy.

Some will apply topicals like coal tar preparations to sensitize their skin to the phototherapy, but this should of course be done with great care at first until the correct dose is determined. (burning is NOT recommended and may cause a severe flare of Koebner reaction type psoriasis in reaction to the burn, so better to start very, very slowly)

Other items will also affect the potency of the phototherapy, such as eating celery, which also sensitizes the skin.

Their are prescription drugs that may be taken prior to phototherapy to increase sensitivity as well, such as the PABA used to make for PUVA therapy (the P in PUVA is the drug plus the UVA). Their are also specialized types of phototherapy units that dispense just UVA or UVB light, as well as narrow focused UV units and such.

Remember that ANY form of phototherapy can increase the incidence of skin cancers of any form (there are 3 forms). Therefore, anyone who is using phototherapy, whether from natural sunlight or from tanning salons or in a dermatologist's office should always be particularly careful to watch for the usual signs of a skin cancer. (changes in a mole, for example, or irregular edges in a mole, or different colors in a mole, any change in a mole, especially one about the size of a pencil eraser)

The above link will give a good overview of the potential damage that may result from phototherapy from any source and is written for the lay person. The author is a well-respected practicing dermatologist and a friend of mine. He calls tanning booths "tanning coffins". :)

Best regards,

PS: for more information on phototherapy for psoriasis, see the National Psoriasis Foundation ( )
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