If you have plaque psoriasis, there are various options to minimize symptoms such as itching, inflammation, and scaling. Many people treat the chronic skin condition with topical products such as corticosteroid steroids, aloe vera, and oat extracts, as well as limited sunlight exposure. If sunlight has helped your symptoms, consider phototherapy for more extensive treatment. Also known as ultraviolet light therapy, phototherapy exposes affected skin to UV rays under professional supervision. Learn more about this innovative therapy as part of your journey to managing psoriasis.
What is Phototherapy?
This treatment uses UVA and UVB rays to help clear scaly, red patches of skin, with UVA ray treatment requiring psoralen to work. Psoralen is a plant-derived chemical applied to the skin or administered orally before UVA treatment. Known as PUVA treatment, it slows skin cell growth to temporarily clear symptoms.
UVB phototherapy comes in many options that release varying amounts of ultraviolet light. Like PUVA therapy, the treatment penetrates flesh to temporarily slow the growth of skin cells. The main difference between UVB and UVA therapies is that the former treatment halts skin cell growth by damaging their DNA, while the latter locks skin cell DNA to stop them from dividing at an accelerated pace.
How Does It Treat Psoriasis?
Psoriasis causes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times their normal rate, resulting in scaly, red patches. Phototherapy uses controlled ultraviolet light to treat psoriasis, among other skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
This treatment is most effective when it’s administered multiple times over a set period. How often you require light therapy depends on the severity of your condition, as well as your overall health. It may be combined with other psoriasis treatments; however, your dermatologist will provide recommendations so you do not exacerbate your symptoms. Ongoing phototherapy treatment schedules are generally the most effective way to manage psoriasis symptoms.
Schedule a phototherapy consultation with Lauren A. Daman, M.D., P.C. to determine what is best for your psoriasis. Based in Hartford, CT, this dermatologist and skin surgeon treats a wide variety of skin issues including spider and varicose veins, scarring, and psoriasis, in addition to providing anti-aging treatments such as Botox® and microdermabrasion. Call (860) 246-3533 to make an appointment or visit the dermatologist online for more about her innovative services.