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Is sunlight a form of phototherapy for plaque psoriasis?

Dr. Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Practitioner

Both UVB and UVA (ultraviolet light A) rays are found in sunlight. However, studies show that UVB light works best to treat plaque psoriasis. You can use the UVB light from the sun in the same way as you benefit from UVB light in phototherapy treatments.

Try five to 10 minutes of noontime sun daily to treat your psoriasis. You can bump  this time up to 30 minutes if your skin does not burn. To benefit most from the UVB light from the sun, make sure all the affected areas on your skin get equal exposure. You need to apply sunscreen, as normally, on the unaffected parts of your skin.

It may take a few weeks to see improvement with the UVB light from the sun. Be sure to avoid sunburn and over exposure. Ask your doctor which medications may make you skin sun sensitive, and use caution.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.