Types Of Light Therapy Treatments That Might Help Your Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a bothersome skin condition because it makes you itch and it creates red patches on your skin that can be embarrassing. These red lesions tend to come and go. There might be certain triggers that cause your psoriasis to flare up, so avoiding them helps keep your skin condition under control. Psoriasis is generally treated with medication and light therapy. Here are some ways light therapy is used to treat this skin condition.
Frequent Exposure To Sunlight
Psoriasis is caused by rapid growth of the skin. Exposure to UV rays slows down this growth so you have fewer outbreaks. The easiest way to undergo light therapy is to expose your skin to sunlight frequently. However, exposure should be for a limited amount of time, especially if you take medications for your psoriasis too. Follow the advice of your physician for using sun exposure as a form of light therapy because too much exposure could make your condition worse or it could cause other problems with your skin.
Artificial UVB Exposure
UVB rays are used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis outbreaks. The rays can be applied to a single lesion or to a large area of the skin. You may need to have a few sessions each week until your skin clears and then maintenance treatments to keep the lesions away. The treatments are similar to using tanning equipment, but using tanning equipment at home or a salon is no substitution for medical UV treatments. Your skin should be monitored by your doctor to make sure the treatments are effective and that the UV exposure doesn't make your skin condition worse. You may be more sensitive to the sun when you undergo UV light therapy and your skin may become dry and sensitive.
UVB treatments can also be administered with a laser. The laser can be more precise with the treatments and avoid damaging nearby healthy skin. Laser treatments might even be more effective and require fewer treatment sessions to obtain results.
UVA treatments are another form of light therapy. The sun contains both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are more effective at treating psoriasis, but UVA rays can penetrate deeper. This makes UVA more suitable for more severe lesions. Sometimes the treatments are given in combination with medication that makes the UVA rays more effective. While these treatments can be effective at treating severe psoriasis, they can also have more side effects than UVB treatments.
Light therapy may be given alone or it might be used along with topical creams that help control itching and discomfort from the lesions. If you get good results with UVB light therapy, you might want to use a home device for the treatments. This is a more convenient option than going to your doctor several times a week for light therapy. You'll need a doctor like Henry D. McKinney M.D. to prescribe a home phototherapy unit, and you'll need to use it consistently in order to get the best results.