Psoriasis Light Treatment

					Psoriasis Light Treatment

Affecting around 3% of the population, psoriasis is a skin disorder that is
characterised by red scaly patches of skin. Psoriasis light treatment is often
used to generally good effect in people diagnosed with the condition,
although it is often not the first course of action a doctor would take.
Several factors can determine how a doctor will decide on what treatment
is the most suitable for a specific patient, as there is no one size fits all
solution to the problem of psoriasis.

In many cases, the use of topical treatments applied directly to the skin are
the natural first option to explore when combating psoriasis. Light
treatment is often considered a secondary option, should the topical
treatments not prove to be effective. The exception to this is when a patient
has a large proportion of their skin affected by psoriasis, which would
make the application of topical treatments not only impractical, but also
expensive.

In a person suffering with psoriasis, the problem can be traced to their
immune system. A type of white blood cell called T-cells, which are
normally used to fight off infection and disease, are instead used in the
production of skin cells. This results in a far greater number of new skin
cells being created than is normally needed, and it is the accumulation of
these excess skin cells that cluster on the surface of the skin that we
recognise as psoriasis. Eventually these skin cells will die and flake off,
which gives psoriasis its scaly appearance.

                   Light therapy for psoriasis has been proven to be
                   effective against most types of the condition. Exposure
                   to UV light has the effect of causing the T-cells that
                   have become active in the production of skin cells to
                   die, and so gradually the accumulated excess skin cells
                   will become reduced as they themselves die and flake
                   off. It has long been noted that cases of psoriasis are less
common in places with a warm tropical climate, and that when a person
suffering from psoriasis visits such a place on vacation they will often
notice some improvement. This has led to the development of psoriasis
light treatment using special UV lamps, carried out under medical
supervision.
Although sunlight, or ultraviolet light, has a spectrum covering many
different wavelengths, the two we are most concerned about are UVA and
UVB. It has been discovered that exposure to UVB light alone is the most
effective in the treatment of psoriasis. A course of UVB light therapy for
psoriasis will involve the patient attending a clinic or physicians office
where the UVB lamp is located, and their affected areas of skin being
exposed to the UVB light under strict medical supervision.

Psoriasis light treatment using a UVB lamp is considered a safe and
effective method of dealing with the problem. Whilst originally only broad
band UVB lamps were available, narrow band UVB treatment is gaining in
popularity. The main difference is that narrow band UVB uses a smaller
range of ultraviolet light, and initial results suggest that it works faster at
reducing the visible signs of psoriasis. Whichever type of UVB therapy
that is in use, it is necessary for the patient to visit their doctor for several
sessions a week, and for a period of several months before treatment can
be concluded.

For many folk who would rather self administer their own treatment, they
might be tempted to presume they can get the same results as medically
supervised UVB treatment by using a sunbed at their local salon. However,
most sunbeds in commercial use at high street salons only emit UVA light,
which on its own is entirely useless as a form of psoriasis light treatment.
It is possible to buy UVB therapy equipment similar to that used by your
doctor for your home. However, you would normally require a prescription
form your doctor to be permitted to buy such equipment, as well as be
given full training on how to use it safely.

Whilst UVA light in itself is not effective in the treatment of psoriasis,
when combined with certain medication it is often used for more serious or
stubborn cases of the disease. The medication is question, psoralen, can be
administered as both a topical application or taken orally in tablet form.
Psoralen has a light-sensitizing effect on the skin, allowing the UVA light
to penetrate the skin more deeply. Known as PUVA treatment, the
combined use of psoralen and aggressive UVA light exposure does come
with the baggage of more serious side effects than UVB light therapy for
psoriasis. Whilst in the short term patients may experience some degree of
nausea, the long term implications can mean an increased risk of skin
cancer and premature ageing of the skin.

Considering there is no guaranteed cure for the condition, psoriasis light
treatment using UVB light therapy is one of the safest and most effective
ways of dealing with it. Once treatment has concluded and the visible
signs of psoriasis gone, regular check ups are required to monitor your
condition. Maintenance sessions of light therapy every couple of weeks or
so are often required to ensure the psoriasis does not resurface, and to
extend a period of remission. Unfortunately, failing to continue with
regular maintenance sessions does often result in the re-emergence of the
disease.

To read about what psoriasis treatments are available over the counter,
please visit the following webpage:

http://psoriasisfreeforlife.info/over-the-counter-psoriasis-treatment/

Author:

Dominic Greene.

				
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Description: An article about how light therapy treatment has been used with some success in the treatment of psoriasis.