Palmoplantar psoriasis is an idiopathic disabling condition, often resistant to conventional therapies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of local narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) phototherapy and to compare it with local psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) paint in patients with palmoplantar psoriasis unresponsive to conventional therapies other than phototherapy. A cohort of 25 patients with palmoplantar psoriasis were included in this study, which was based on a left-to-right comparison pattern. The treatments were administered with local narrowband UVB irradiation on one side and local PUVA on the other side three times a week over 9 weeks. Clinical assessments were performed at baseline and every 3 weeks during the 9-week treatment. There was a statistically significant decrease in the mean clinical scores at the third, sixth and ninth week with both treatments. The difference in clinical response between the two treatment modalities was statistically significant at the end of the treatment period, with the percentage reduction in severity index scores with the PUVA-paint-treated side being 85.45% compared with 61.08% for the NB-UVB treated side (t = 5.379, P = 0.0001, Student's t-test for unpaired samples). Our results show that, although some clinical improvement was achieved with local NB-UVB phototherapy, the results were better with local PUVA, and such a treatment option may be reserved for patients with palmoplantar psoriasis who experience phototoxic reaction to psoralens.