noun[mass noun] Chemistry
A compound present in certain plants which is used in perfumery and (in combination with ultraviolet light) to treat psoriasis and other skin disorders.
- A tricyclic lactone; chemical formula: C11H6O3
- To control itching, you may be given cholestyramine, cyproheptadine, cimetidine, or psoralen plus ultraviolet light treatment.
- Many other agents have been used to treat alopecia areata, including minoxidil, psoralen plus ultraviolet A, and anthralin (Anthra-Derm), but success rates vary.
- There are concerns about the possible risk of autoimmune diseases in psoralen plus ultraviolet A light treated patients.
1930s: from modern Latin Psoralea (former genus name), from Greek psōraleos 'itchy' (from psōra 'itch') + the suffix -en (compare with -ene).
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