If you have psoriasis, and you are thinking about possible treatments for this disease, you will be interested in this article. The method that will be discussed in this article is called phototherapy for psoriasis , and it belongs to one of the most effective options for the hardware treatment of chronic inflammatory skin diseases. There is an accepted classification of psoriatic disease, which takes into account all types and varieties of psoriasis. The phototherapy method is most often used to treat exudative, psoriasis vulgaris, as well as the palmar-plantar type of the disease. Phototherapy treatment can be used in combination with other therapies to achieve the most effective results.
The essence of the technique
Phototherapy, as a method of treating psoriasis, appeared in Russia quite recently. This is due to the fact that the equipment for carrying out the procedures is quite expensive, but today many clinics successfully cope with the task of purchasing the necessary devices. Today, phototherapy for psoriasis is a method of treatment that is used universally and quite successfully.
If a doctor prescribes apparatus therapy for you in the treatment program, then you will need to undergo a course of 24 procedures. On average, 3 procedures are carried out weekly, but sometimes their number is reduced, depending on which device and with what equipment the therapy is carried out. The number of phototherapy treatments also depends on the severity of the psoriasis, that is, on the size and depth of the psoriatic plaques. The duration of one procedure is from 20 to 40 minutes.
The equipment for the procedures is different. In some cases, a booth with mirrored walls is used. Inside the booth, special devices generate ultraviolet waves of a certain length and intensity, which affect the affected skin areas of a patient with psoriasis. If psoriasis has struck the scalp, then the device for phototherapy treatment looks like a small comb and can be used even at home. If psoriatic plaques are small and localized in certain areas of the body, then the irradiation procedure is carried out with a mobile device. The choice of equipment is determined for each patient individually, depending on the type and degree of development of psoriasis.
Types of phototherapy
There are several types of phototherapy. These are PUVA therapy, narrow band light therapy and selective phototherapy. Significant differences between these techniques are that the devices used in therapy induce ultraviolet radiation of different intensity and wavelength.
As an additional element of treatment when undergoing PUVA therapy, the patient is prescribed photosensitizers, drugs that promote better absorption of ultraviolet doses by the skin.
Selective phototherapy, although used in the treatment of skin diseases, is not the best option for psoriasis, since it does not always lead to positive results.
The principle of narrow-band phototherapy is based on the surface effect of ultraviolet rays on the epidermis. In this case, the deep layers of the skin are not affected, therefore this type of apparatus therapy is most suitable for the treatment of psoriatic disease.
Phototherapy for psoriasis is a treatment method that has both positive and negative sides. The negative effects of the procedure are conventionally divided into early and late (or late). Early effects manifest themselves directly during the procedure. You may notice itching, increased dryness of the skin, redness of those areas that have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Long-term effects are those side effects of the procedure that you will feel a little later. Long-term effects include photoaging and persistent pigmented changes in the skin.