Psoriasis is a chronic persistent skin condition that disrupts the natural cycle of skin cell production. This results to patches of rough, dry and often itchy skin. These dry patches of skin can be painful and sometimes even devastating, especially if the sufferer has arthritis. There is no cure for psoriasis, but some medicines like topical creams can be used to alleviate some pains and itchiness. If these topical creams are not effective to you, your health care provider might suggest phototherapy or light therapy. Ultraviolet rays are produced by the sun that is invisible to our naked eyes, but it can dramatically slow the growth of skin cells and it can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. Here is how to use phototherapy for psoriasis.
Tip #1: Know more about psoriasis.
This disease can either be mild or severe, and a nuisance for most people. About 1/3 of psoriasis sufferers are also afflicted with a disabling form of arthritis, or also known as psoriatic arthritis. No one yet has discovered what causes psoriasis although some researchers believe that psoriasis is caused by an abnormality of the immune system and that it may be genetic. There is no cure yet for this type of disease, there are four broad categories of treatments available for the symptoms of psoriasis. These treatments are biologic injections, oral treatment, topical treatments, and phototherapy.
Tip #2: Know how to do the treatment.
The light therapy or more popularly known as phototherapy can be done by psoriasis sufferers as long as they are equipped with the proper tools. It can also be done in the doctor’s office, under the supervision of a trained technician. In the phototherapy treatment, the patient’s skin cells are exposed to ultraviolet light. The exposure will kill some of the exposed skin cells and allows the affected skin cells to get dry and slough off to make way for the new skin cells to produce. Most of the psoriasis patient, especially those who suffered only mild cases find that small amounts of sunlight on the affected area can provide enough relief from symptoms.
Tip #3: Know what makes the treatment work for psoriasis.
The UVB therapy works by exposing the affected area with ultraviolet B light waves. With the modern medical equipment that we have today, doctors can now dictate or determine the wavelength of the UVB rays to produce the best result for patients. While the UVA phototherapy works by exposing the affected area with ultraviolet light. UVA phototherapy is frequently administered with a combination or oral or topical dose of psoralen. This helps to make the skin sensitive to light. But between the two, UVB is often preferable because of the lesser side effect. The decision should always be finalized by a trained physician. They know what is best for the patient.
Like any other medicines and treatments for every disease, phototherapy has also its own side effects. A patient may feel mild nausea, swelling, and temporary flare-up of skin irritation. To alleviate some of the symptoms such as itchiness, an anti-itch medications, oatmeal baths, and oral antihistamines can help. But the best way to naturally relieve the symptoms is to get under the sun. Just make sure not to expose yourself too much and get baked at the beach.