How does phototherapy work in treating psoriasis?

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Phototherapy involves the use of ultraviolet light to treat skin diseases. This can be used to treat a number of skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo.

In psoriasis, narrow-band ultraviolet B (NBUVB) light is most commonly used to treat psoriasis. NBUVB suppresses the immune cells and activity in the skin. Psoriasis is due to increased immune activity in the skin, which drives the inflammation and hyper-proliferation of the skin. By suppressing the skin immune response, psoriasis can be controlled.

Side effects of phototherapy can be divided into acute or chronic side effects. The acute side effects include the risk of tanning and sunburn. Chronic side effects include skin ageing and skin cancer. Overall, phototherapy is a fairly safe and effective treatment option for psoriasis.

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