Is Phototherapy the Ideal Treatment for your Psoriasis?
The redness and inflammation that occurs during a psoriasis flare-up can be both psychologically and physically uncomfortable. While research has uncovered the source of these symptoms: cellular buildup on the surface of the skin, a cure for the autoimmune condition has yet to be developed. Fortunately, however, numerous treatments exist, each with the potential to address abnormally behaving T-cells to minimize itching and pain. When symptoms are managed with the right therapy, quality of life can significantly improve.
At Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center, we consider the various factors involved in psoriasis in order to devise the most appropriate treatment protocol for each unique situation. In addition to patient age, the type of psoriasis, its location, and the severity of symptoms are all important aspects to the development of care. One treatment that has showed promising outcomes is phototherapy.
What is Phototherapy?
Phototherapy directly translates into light therapy. In managing the cells involved in psoriasis, it has been discovered that certain wavelengths of light calm over-activity. Phototherapy involves narrow-band UVB light, the same that are given off by the sun. In research studies, these wavelengths proved most effective against chronic plaque psoriasis.
Because UVB light is from the sun, there may be a misperception that tanning or spending hours outdoors would be a free alternative to professional dermatologic care. The issue is that the sun, as well as tanning beds, emit UVA and UVB rays. UVA radiation causes sunburn and increases the risk for skin cancer. Also, every person is different in the amount of time they can spend in the sun before sunburn occurs. In many cases, the time that can be spent outdoors is insufficient for UVB to do the necessary work on abnormal cells.
Phototherapy involves precise wavelengths of narrow-band UVB light. For this reason, treatment is effective and safe for all patients, even pregnant women and children. Our physicians have advanced training in dermatologic conditions including the various types of psoriasis. They create therapeutic treatment plans based on individual need, and only after a thorough discussion that includes the patient's concerns and expectations.
Learn how you can manage psoriasis. Call 610.594.6660 for an appointment at one of our three, conveniently-located offices.