A male figure in a UV light therapy room.

Have You Considered Light Treatment?

There are a number of ways to manage psoriasis. It can be a long journey to find the best treatment that suits you. It's different for everyone, of course. One treatment option to consider is light therapy. This has proven effective for many different patients. Personally, I was on this treatment 25 years ago.

A look at different types

The primary aim of psoriasis treatment is to slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. Light therapy uses ultraviolet radiation to reduce the growth of skin cells in our bodies. There are different types of light therapy further that depend upon the type of light exposed. Ultraviolet B can be delivered as broadband UVB or narrowband UVB. 

Another form of light therapy is PUVA in which ultraviolet A. This is a light that is taken with a psoralen drug which is given before you take the treatment. It increases the effectiveness of the treatment. Those little green pills were so harsh on me. I was sick before every treatment back in the day.  My body was a hot mess at the time and my doctors couldn't find any clear skin.

Ultraviolet A is a light that can penetrate deeper into the skin as compared to ultraviolet B that covers the surface skin cells and this deeper penetration of PUVA seems to make a more effective treatment. Although PUVA is a promising treatment that results in 75% improvement, it has a greater risk of developing skin cancer.

It can be inconvenient

Another challenge in light therapy is the number of treatments. It's not just a one-and-done. In my experience, I had a mandatory 3 treatments a week. To be effective, I could not miss any treatments. This type of commitment can take a toll on you, especially if you have a job.

You need time to get to the appointment, undress, take the treatment, get dressed, and go back to work. Maintaining consistency is very important but can be a tough task.

Normally, light therapy does not have any side effects for most people. The most common side effect is a sunburn reaction. This reaction mostly occurs in people who are taking medication that causes sun sensitivity. If you are planning to get this light therapy, you should first let your doctor know the medication that you are using. You can have other side effects like drying of the skin, nausea, and vomiting.

Additional things to consider

There are several factors that need to be considered before going choosing light therapy as a treatment option. Factors that must be considered include the type of skin you have, any past medical condition, and medications that you may be currently taking.

Before going for light therapy, discuss all these factors with your doctor to know if it’s the right treatment for you. Think through your decision and advocate what’s best for you.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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