Addressing the Question: Phototherapy and the Risk of Skin Cancer

  • John Koo
  • Mio Nakamura
Part of the Clinical Cases in Dermatology book series (CLIDADE)


Given that UVA and UVB from natural sunlight are known to be carcinogenic to the skin, the main safety question for dermatologists and patients alike is the risk of skin malignancy of phototherapy. UVB phototherapy appears not to have any increased risk of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. There is evidence of an increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer with more than 250 treatments of PUVA in fair-skinned Caucasian individuals. The risk of genital skin cancers with UVB and PUVA are unclear, and therefore, genital shielding should be routinely practiced.


Skin Cancer Natural Sunlight Skin Malignancy Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Chronic Plaque Psoriasis 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Koo
    • 1
  • Mio Nakamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Psoriasis and Skin Treatment Center, Department of DermatologyUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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