Psoriasis is a common skin disease that causes skin cells to build up too quickly on the surface. The extra cells form patches of skin. Some of these are silvery, thick scales while others are red, dry and itchy spots that can also be painful. The condition is chronic and persistent with periods of remission alternating with periods in which the disease worsens.
There are various treatments for psoriasis, and most of them aim at slowing down the skin cells’ growth. One such treatment is phototherapy or light therapy in which ultraviolet rays are used to slow down the skin cells’ growth. The phototherapy light can come from several different sources: lasers, artificial lamps or UVA and UVB.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy is an effective way to manage psoriasis. Ultraviolet light therapy treatments involve exposure to UVB light throughout a structured treatment schedule. We will with you to determine the most effective treatment schedule based on your needs. We may also recommend combining UVB therapy with another treatment.
PUVA (Psoralen plus Ultraviolet A)
PUVA is another combination therapy that is sometimes called “photochemotherapy.” The patient takes a drug called Psoralen, which makes the skin more light sensitive. Psoralen can be either taken by mouth or as a cream smeared on the skin. The patient then lies under a lamp emitting UVA rays.
PUVA is effective for treating severe psoriasis quickly and its effects last a long time.
PUVA also slows down excessive skin cell growth, which can clear up the symptoms of psoriasis for periods of time. The most responsive to PUVA are stable plaque psoriasis, psoriasis on the hands and feet, and guttate psoriasis
Lasers produce highly focused beams of light, which have the benefit of not affecting healthy skin. The lasers therefore affect only the psoriasis patches. That means lasers cause fewer side effects and are less likely to cause skin cancer than are other types of light therapy.
One kind, the excimer laser, emits high-energy UVB rays. According to research, this treatment method works more quickly than other forms of light therapy.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you’re struggling with psoriasis and are looking for a way to manage your symptoms, Dermatology Associates can help. We offer different treatments and our experienced medical team will work with you to determine the most effective plan for your needs. At Dermatology Associates, our patients are our top priority and we aim to provide comfortable, safe, and effective treatments for a variety of skin conditions. Contact Dermatology Associates today to schedule your consultation.