Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Alopecia Areata: Psoralen With Ultraviolet A Light (PUVA) Therapy
PUVA therapy combines a medicine (called a psoralen) and
treatment with ultraviolet A (UVA) light. The psoralen increases the skin's
sensitivity to UV light, including sunlight. The psoralen is taken either as a
pill or by putting it on the skin directly. Then the skin is exposed to UVA.
Treatments are done regularly for 4 to 6 months.
PUVA is used when
alopecia areata affects most of the scalp or areas of skin other than the
scalp. It may also be used when other treatments cannot be used or have not
Short-term side effects when using PUVA to treat psoriasis
Psoralens applied to the skin (topical) may help you avoid
some side effects of PUVA. Topical psoralens may be used for alopecia areata
that affects smaller areas of the skin. They may be especially helpful when
psoralens taken by mouth (oral) cause severe nausea.
psoralens, such as those given in bath water, are as effective as oral
psoralens. But if light treatments are given in a doctor's office, they may be
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Call First Nurse 24 Hours a Day for free health care advice, resources and referrals!
Ames: 515-239-6877In Iowa: 800-524-6877
Search health information online in our Mulimedia Health Library.
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Patient Privacy |
Net Learning for Employees |
MGMC PACS for Physicians
1111 Duff Avenue Ames, IA 50010 - 515-239-2011 - firstname.lastname@example.org
©2014 Mary Greeley Medical Center - All rights reserved.