PUVA is an older treatment method. It’s an acronym for “P”soralen and UVA. UVA is long wavelength ultraviolet and the upper layers of our skin are not affected significantly with UVA light as the long wavelengths penetrate quite deeply. To sensitize the skin a Psoralen is used either topically (rubbed on) or orally (swallow a pill or liquid). Psoralens taken internally can cause nausea, liver toxicity and other challenges. If you are prescribed PUVA then your doctor will do some blood tests to determine if liver toxicity could be a problem.
UVB Narrowband has several advantages over PUVA
- No Concurrent Drug Therapy such as Psoralen is needed.
- There much less risk of sunburn over UVB Broadband or PUVA
- Lower skin cancer risk
- No protective eyewear needed FOLLOWING exposure (Psoralens increase the eye’s sensitivity to UV and for 24 hours following treatment with PUVA
- Vastly reduced premature aging of the skin which is prevalent in PUVA.