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November 1984

UV-B: Unanswered Questions

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(11):1437-1439. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650470043009

The article by Anderson et al1 in this issue of the Archives provides a comprehensive and balanced overview of the current status of UV-B phototherapy for dermatologic diseases. This editorial discusses four areas for investigation that I believe See also p 1502. should receive high priority: (1) the effectiveness of topical tar preparations in UV-B phototherapy, (2) the role of maintenance UV-B treatment in prolonging psoriasis remissions, (3) the action spectrum for optimal psoriasis clearing, and (4) the safety of long-term UV-B therapy.

TAR  Since Goeckerman first established the effectiveness of UV-B phototherapy for treatment of psoriasis in the 1920s, many dermatologists have considered topical tar preparations to be an essential element of this treatment. As summarized in the review by Anderson et al,1 if tar use contributes substantially to the therapeutic effect of phototherapy, it is apparent that the mechanism of its therapeutic action is not simply