PUVA light therapy
We are the Island’s only provider of PUVA, an evidence-based treatment that combines the use of a drug called Psoralen (P) with the exposure of the skin to long wave ultra-violet light (UVA).
The treatment can be highly effective for skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo.
We also offer private treatment for clients who would like to be seen at their earliest convenience, or have needs that are not currently met by the NHS.
Your appointment will be with one of our skilled medical professionals. The team is led by Dr Amy Poyner. Clients having this treatment on a private basis will be seen by Rebecca Gautier, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Dermatology. You can find out more about our staff’s credentials here
Yes, if we agree that PUVA is suitable for your needs, then we would be pleased to treat you through the NHS.
Yes, if you would like treatment on the NHS. This is not necessary for private treatment.
Your consultant will discuss the treatment with you and your state of health. Please bring any medication with you – and it may be helpful to write down any significant dates (eg when you first developed symptoms). We will not have access to your NHS medical notes. You will be given the medication, Psoralen, to make your skin very sensitive to UV light. This is usually taken as tablets, although occasionally a gel may be applied. Around two hours later, you will be asked to stand in a special cabinet containing florescent light tubes. You will wear goggles to protect your eyes. Your skin will then be exposed to light. This could be for under a minute to start with. The length of treatment usually builds up over a course of treatment.
During and after the treatment, you may feel a bit itchy. You will be asked to avoid direct sunlight for the next day, as your skin will be at a greater risk of burning. We recommend applying a simple moisturiser (eg coconut oil) twice a day, to help your skin to stay supple and comfortable. The treatment makes also your eyes very sensitive to light, so when you leave us, you will need to wear protective sunglasses for at least 24 hours (look for glasses with UV400 rating).
You may feel a bit nauseous for a couple of weeks. If you feel sick, it can help to cut out alcohol, perfumes and cosmetics. Please talk to us if symptoms are severe and not manageable. You will also need to be careful in the sun and wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Your skin will probably look tanned but it will be vulnerable to burning for up to a month after treatment. Other short term side effects can include cold sores, blistering, soreness, and worsening of symptoms. Longer term side effects can include an increased risk of skin cancer, and damage to your cataracts if suitable eye protection is not worn during treatment (that’s why all our clients wear protective goggles).
Possibly – please get in touch to discuss your policy.
Yes, it’s likely that we will recommend a course of treatment – you may need up to 30 sessions. You will need to commit to finishing the course so that you experience maximum benefits.
This treatment is used for psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, polymorphic light eruption (a rash that occurs after exposure to the sun) and mycosis fungoides (a form of lymphoma).
This wouldn’t be appropriate if you’ve had skin cancer, if you have lupus, if you can’t stand up for 10 minutes, or if you’re taking immunosuppressant drugs such as cyclosporine.
We are registered to offer consultations and treatment to children aged 12 and over. You will need a letter of referral from your GP or Paediatrician if your child is under the age of 12.
Yes, if medication is required, we will provide you with a prescription that will be recognised by pharmacists (most creams are available on the NHS).