Oral psoralen plus UV-A (PUVA) therapy was originally developed for the treatment of vitiligo.1,2 With the introduction of potent UV-A irradiation sources between 1972 and 1974, UV-A irradiation following psoralen application was found to be a highly efficient therapy for proriasis.3-5 The acronym PUVA was created and the potential use of PUVA was investigated in a large spectrum of different inflammatory and neoplastic skin diseases.6-8 Psoralen plus UV-A has profoundly influenced the therapeutic concepts of dermatology, as demonstrated in the recent review by Honig et al.8 An alternative approach, psoralen bath plus UV-A therapy (PUVA bath therapy) that avoids the adverse effects associated with oral PUVA therapy has increasingly been used during recent years. Psoralen bath plus UV-A therapy is not simply a technical variant of photochemotherapy; it is obviously superior to oral PUVA, at least for some indications, and it has considerably enlarged the spectrum of diseases responsive to photochemotherapy.
Lüftl M, Degitz K, Plewig G, Röcken M. Psoralen Bath Plus UV-A TherapyPossibilities and Limitations. Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(12):1597-1603. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890480123023