Light therapy for psoriasis is proven to be an effective method of treatment. Psoriasis is a disease that causes red, scaly patches which appear raised on the skin typically on the scalp, knees and elbows. This bothersome skin condition is an immune-mediated disease that can be associated with other serious health conditions such as depression, heart disease and diabetes. You should see your doctor if you develop a persistent rash that is not helped with over the counter medication.
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, although we do know that it is a disease caused by the immune system. Genetics are also a known factor in the development of psoriasis. In people with psoriasis the skin cells grow abnormally fast which leads to the buildup of skin lesions. Both women and men develop psoriasis at the same rate with something usually triggering a flare up. Psoriasis can develop at any age although usually shows first signs within the age range of 15 to 35.
Psoriasis is diagnosed by a dermatologist or other medical provider after an examination. Your doctor may conduct a biopsy of the affected skin under a microscope, which will present as inflamed and thicker than normal skin and eczema. While conventional treatments provide some relief to patients, phototherapy lamps are providing relief with proven results.
Light Therapy for Psoriasis Treats Different Types
Light therapy for psoriasis on effective the varying types of this skin condition. You should learn which type of psoriasis you have to help determine the best treatment. Your doctor can prescribe the best course of action, which may include phototherapy with a specialty UV lamp. The five types of psoriasis include:
Plaque Psoriasis – this is the most common type of this skin condition with red patches of raised skin that are often painful and itchy, showing most commonly on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp.
Guttate Psoriasis – this form of psoriasis usually first appears in childhood or as a young adult as small, dot-like lesions and may be triggered by a strep infection. After plaque psoriasis, this is the second most common type.
Inverse Psoriasis – this type of psoriasis appears in folds of the body such as the groin, armpit and behind the knee appearing as smooth, shiny skin.
Pustular Psoriasis – this type appears as white pustules or blisters surrounded by skin. The pus consists of white blood cells and is not contagious. This appears mostly on the feet and hands but may appear anywhere on the body.
Erythrodermic Psoriasis – this is a severe type of psoriasis leading to fiery red skin spread out over most of the body, leading to the skin coming off in sheets and causing severe pain and itching. It is the rarest of the of types with only 3 percent of people suffering with psoriasis having this type. It typically appears on patients with unstable plaque psoriasis. This form can be life threatening during a flare up and patients should seek medical attention immediately.
Light Therapy for Psoriasis Treatment
Phototherapy with UV lamps to treat psoriasis expose the skin to UV light under medical supervision on a consistent basis. A UV lamp for psoriasis is not the same thing as using a tanning bed, in fact it can be quite harmful and make symptoms worse as the wavelength of UVA and UVB are not the same as in a specially designed phototherapy lamp.
There are different types of light therapy to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, which include:
- Ultraviolet light B (UVB)
- Psoralen + UVA (PUVA)
UVB Phototherapy for Psoriasis
UVB is present in natural sunlight and proven to be an effective treatment for psoriasis. UVB treatment is administered either at home under a doctor’s direction or in a medical setting. If administering light therapy for psoriasis from home, it is critical to follow your physician’s orders and maintain follow up visits. UVB wavelengths penetrate the skin in either a broad band or narrow band. Narrow band UVB releases a narrower, or smaller, range of UV light.
Your doctor can help to determine which type of UVB wavelength would be best for your skin. Patients may experience initial irritation which should lessen with continued exposure. UVB may be combined with systematic agents or topical medications to increase the effectiveness. UVB phototherapy may administered in various way which include small lamp units for localized treatment to feet, hands or specific areas or a full body unit.
The proper type of UVB lamp must be used for effective treatment without causing damage and irritation to the skin.
Both UVA and UVB are found in natural sunlight, although UVB works best to treat psoriasis. If attempting to improve psoriasis with natural sunlight therapy, short bursts of exposure are recommended for 5 to 10 minutes at noon daily. All areas should receive equal exposure and sunscreen should be worn to prevent damage and worsening of conditions. Patients should continue to see their doctor to check for improvement or damage from the sun. Improvement in symptoms may be seen in several weeks. Patients taking medication to enhance light sensitivity such as Psoralen should avoid prolonged exposure to the sun unless under a doctor’s care.
Psoralen with UVA (PUVA)
UVA is present in natural sunlight along with UVB, although UVA is generally not as effective in treating psoriasis without the use of a mediation to enhance light sensitivity. Psoralen is administered by a doctor either orally or topically and helps to slow down the excessive growth of skin cells which helps to clear symptoms. PUVA treatment is most effective on plaque psoriasis in stable condition, guttate psoriasis and symptoms appearing on the feet and hands.
LightSources Offers UV Phototherapy Lamps for Psoriasis
LightSources is a leading global supplier of UV lamps and lighting solutions to a wide range of industries and applications. We offer decades of experience and lighting engineers with in-depth understanding of UV technology. LightSources and our valued European partner, LightTech, are committed to continual research and development to deliver first to market, patented products which outperform the competition with effectiveness, long lasting high performance and cost saving energy efficiencies.
We understand the technology that goes into every UV lamp offering custom designed lamps with specific wavelengths derived from custom blend phosphors. LightSources assists OEMs and manufacturers with developing proprietary products to increase their own brand awareness. When you need lamps or lighting solutions for any purpose, including phototherapy lamps to treat various conditions, contact the lighting specialists at LightSources.
The LightSources Group consists of the leading high-tech lamp developers in the world. We offer high quality lamp products which deliver maximum cost savings with long lasting performance. Contact us today to speak with an engineer about our specially designed UV lamps enhancing light therapy for psoriasis.