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Skin Burns

Serious skin burns from either UVA or sunlight (even through window glass) can result if recommended exposure schedule is exceeded and/or protective covering or sunscreens are not used. The blistering of the skin sometimes encountered after UV exposure generally heals without complication or scarring. (Farrington Daniels, Jr., M.D., personal communication). Suitable covering of the area of application or a topical sunblock should follow the therapeutic UVA exposure.


Animal Studies

Topical methoxsalen has been reported to be a potent photocarcinogen in certain strains of mice. (Pathak et al 1959)5.

Human Studies

None of our clinical investigators reported skin cancer as a complication of topical treatment for vitiligo. However, it is recommended that caution be exercised when the patient is fair-skinned, has a history of prior coal tar UV treatment, or has had ionizing radiation or taken arsenical compounds. Such patients who subsequently have oral psoralen – UVA treatment (PUVA) are at increased risk for developing skin cancer.

Concomitant Therapy

Special care should be exercised in treating patients who are receiving concomitant therapy (either topically or systemically) with known photosensitizing agents such as anthralin, coal tar or coal tar derivatives, griseofulvin, phenothiazines, nalidixic acid, halogenated salicylanilides (bacteriostatic soaps), sulfonamides, tetracyclines, thiazides and certain organic staining dyes such as methylene blue, toluidine blue, rose bengal, and methyl orange.


5. Pathak, M.A.; Daniels, F.; Hopkins, C.E.; Fitzpatrick, T.B.: Ultraviolet carcinogenesis in albino and pigmented mice receiving furocoumarins: psoralens and 8-methoxypsoralen, Nature, 183, pp. 728-730 (1959).


This product should be applied only in small well-defined lesions and preferably on lesions which can be protected by clothing or a sunscreen from subsequent exposure to radiant UVA. If this product is used to treat vitiligo of face or hands, be very emphatic when instructing patient to keep the treated areas protected from light by use of protective clothing or sunscreening agents. The area of application may be highly photosensitive for several days and may result in severe burn injury if exposed to additional UV or sunlight.


See WARNING Section.

Pregnancy Category C

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with topical methoxsalen. It is also not known whether methoxsalen can cause fetal harm when used topically on a pregnant woman or affect reproductive capacity. It is not known to what degree, if any, topical methoxsalen is absorbed systemically. Topical methoxsalen should be used in women only when clearly indicated.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether topical methoxsalen is absorbed or excreted in human milk. Caution is advised when topical methoxsalen is used in a nursing mother.

Pediatric Usage

Safety and effectiveness in children below the age of 12 years have not been established.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/5/2016


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