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Spectral effects of UV on psoriasis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sophie Weatherhead, Professor Peter Farr, Professor Nick ReynoldsORCiD


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Ultraviolet B (UVB) is a highly effective, relatively safe, affordable and widely used therapeutic option for moderate psoriasis. Several types of UVB lamp are available to treat psoriasis, both broadband and narrowband, allowing a choice of spectral emission. However despite years of clinical use, the mechanism of action of UVB in clearing psoriasis remained incompletely understood. Moreover, there has been little insight into how the relative effectiveness of different UVB wavelengths linked to the mechanism of action, although it is known that the action spectrum for clearance of psoriasis differs from the action spectrum of erythema. This paper examines the existing literature from which our current treatments have evolved, and offers new insight into the use of keratinocyte apoptosis as a biomarker which may help to optimise UV treatment in the future. When combined with a systems biology approach, this potential biomarker may provide insight into which wavelengths of UV are the most effective in clearing psoriasis, allowing a more rational and potentially an individually tailored approach to optimising phototherapy for psoriasis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weatherhead SC, Farr PM, Reynolds NJ

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences

Year: 2013

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Pages: 47-53

Print publication date: 01/01/2013

ISSN (print): 1474-905X

ISSN (electronic): 1474-9092



DOI: 10.1039/c2pp25116g