Steven Feldman, MD, PhD, is a professor of pathology and dermatology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Q: Sun helps my psoriasis, but Im worried that too much will cause skin cancer. What do you recommend?
A: Sun exposure (or other forms of ultraviolet light) is one of the best treatments for psoriasis. But this treatment does come with a modest increased risk of skin cancer. Most skin cancers occur where people get lots of sunthe face and handsso if those areas dont have psoriasis, they can be covered.
It take a lot of light for other parts of the body to catch up with the face in terms of total UV exposure, so UV treatments tend to be very safe. The key thing is to balance risk and benefit. If the psoriasis is extensive, ultraviolet light treatment is one of the safest options.