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     Phototherapy > Daavlin Whole Body UVA

Daavlin Whole Body UVA

What is PUVA therapy?

PUVA therapy involves the ingestion of a drug called as Psoralen 1.5 to 2 hours prior to exposure to UVA light. The dose of psoralen taken is held constant and is determined by your weight. The interval between taking the drug and being exposed to light is also held constant because peak levels of psoralen are usually reached in the skin between 1 to 2 hours after ingestion.

The variable in PUVA therapy is the dose of UVA light you are given. The initial dose is low and may be determined by your past history of sunburning and suntanning, or by testing your response to PUVA. The dose of UVA light is gradually increased in subsequent treatments as your tolerance to the treatment increases.

The dose of UVA light delivered during PUVA therapy is measured in joules per square centimeter (a measure of energy) and is translated into a given number of minutes of treatment. Treatments are required two to four times each week until your skin disease has cleared. Less frequent treatment is necessary to maintain a clear state.

How is PUVA treatment administered?

The Patient is made to stand in the DAAVLIN Whole Body Chamber where he will be surrounded by light bulbs that deliver special UVA light. The patient will be unclothed or partially clothed (depending on the size of the area to be treated) and made to wear wear UVA protective goggles, which will be provided by the attendant. Male genitalia must be shielded unless the area is being treated for psoriasis. Treatment time may last from a few seconds to over 10 minutes and may vary from one treatment to the next.

Which are the diseases where PUVA therapy can help?

Many disease can be vastly helped by PUVA therapy. The commonest diseases where PUVA therapy is very useful are

  1. Vitiligo
  2. Psoriasis
  3. Atopic dermatitis
  4. Parapsoriasis

Other conditions which show good improvement with phototherapy are

  1. Alopecia areata
  2. Pityriasis rosea
  3. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)
  4. Polymorphous light eruption & other photodermatoses
  5. Lichen planus
  6. Generalised pruritus
  7. Pityriasis lichenoides
Are there any adverse effects with PUVA phototherapy?

PUVA treatment is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation. It is also avoided in children below 12 years of age.

The most common short-term side effects of PUVA are nausea, itching and redness of the skin. Drinking milk or ginger ale, taking ginger supplements or eating while taking oral psoralen may prevent nausea.

Other potential adverse effects include-


Redness and burning (and occasionally blistering) of the skin may occur as with any form of sunlight. If this occurs it is usually similar to a mild sunburn reaction.

Premature Skin Ageing

The risk of premature ageing of the skin is also associated with exposure to sunlight. The risk is initially small but increases with prolonged and repeated courses of narrowband phototherapy.

Skin Cancer

There is a theoretical risk of developing skin cancers after prolonged use of UV therapy However these risks are thought to be low. This risk increases after 200 treatments. It is important that should you have had phototherapy treatments elsewhere that you inform the phototherapy staff.

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