Mild psoriasis is almost always responsive to the good skin care and topical medications and moisturizers. However, severe psoriasis is sometimes challenging and demands consideration of stronger course of treatment. In such cases, UV light therapy is the treatment of choice, with or without application of topical medicament. It decreases the symptoms severity by reducing size, itchiness, growth of skin cells and inflammation process. Any affected part or the whole body can be exposed to UV light lamps placed in special cabins; however, gentle areas (eyes, genitals) need to be protected before treatment. Patients usually undergo 3-5 light therapy exposure per week for consecutive 2-3 months with the average remission time 3-12 months.
Narrow band UV photo-therapy (311 – 313 nm) is most commonly practiced in derma clinics as it poses less harm to normal skin cells. It tends to clear the skin and lasts for almost 6-7 months. It is also highly effective against acute guttate psoriasis with high rate of patient satisfaction. Another type of phototherapy is known as balneophototherapy in which a patient is exposed to UV light during bath or sometimes, after taking bath. Laser UVB is a targeted technique used for patients which have psoriasis involving less than 5% of the body. The latest phototherapy is “Psoralen plus UVA –PUVA” which involves the use of oral/topical medicine “Psoralen” along with UVA light exposure. It is considered that the Psoralen increase the susceptibility of cells to the UVA therapy. UVA has a long wavelength and goes to deeper levels of the skin unlike UVB rays which has a short wavelength and remains concise to the upper layer of cells only. Dermatologists also suggest patients to do follow-up treatment at home by exposing the affected part using small hand-held light boxes to reduce any flare-up symptom after the treatment.
Every patient cannot be considered ideal for light therapies as many factors play crucial role including the patient skin type, overall health, quality of life and most importantly how much the body is affected. There is no permanent cure for psoriasis but with the proper skin care routine and treatment, the quality of life can be improved. At Rao Dermatology, skin experts offer all types of photo-therapies including regular skin examination. We are here to listen, examine and cure…Book your appointment now.