In what ways does phototherapy help treat psoriasis?
Phototherapy is a common treatment for psoriasis; certain UV rays penetrate the skin and suppress the immune system, which attacks skin cells and causes symptoms. Watch dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, explain how this psoriasis treatment works.
Phototherapy is an age-old treatment for psoriasis. [MUSIC PLAYING]
People used to notice that when they went out into the sun or they went to the Dead Sea in Israel, they would get perfect skin.
And the idea here is that the UV rays from the sun can penetrate the skin and actually suppress
the immune system, which means turn down your own body's inflammatory system.
Psoriasis is considered to be your own body's immune system attacking your own skin.
So it's called autoimmune. The sunlight isn't so great, though, for your skin, right?
We know we can get a risk of skin cancer. So phototherapy is a way of taking a narrow band of that broad-spectrum UV
light called narrow-band UVB. And that is metered for you. It's given to you in very, very small dosages.
So you should never get a sunburn. And you really should try not even to get a suntan after phototherapy.
And that will help you target just the areas that you need. However, phototherapy has its risks as well.
So definitely do it under the guidance of a dermatologist. [AUDIO LOGO]
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