Phototherapy: for psoriasis or for spa treatment? We bet you often get confused with this term, as the majority of people do. Little do they know that Phototherapy is in fact that special method used to exploit the beneficial factors from the sun in greater valuable ways. It is thus very imperative to actually distinguish and understand the different types of Phototherapy treatment that exist today, as well as the various circumstances in which they can be used for.
The power of the sun
The sun has always been considered to be a major source of energy and for many religions, it is even considered to be divine owing to its numerous beneficial characteristics. And this is exactly what we are trying to bring to you; the power of the sun.
The sun consists of both the Ultra-Violet Light A (UVA) and Ultra-Violet light B (UVB). Exposure to these types of Ultra Violet rays in sunlight or simulated artificial light (phototherapy) triggers a slowdown in the skin cells turnover and in turn, decrease the extent of scaling and inflammation. On a daily basis, brief exposure time to the sunlight may actually prove to help a lot with psoriasis. Though, such sunlight exposure for extended periods and high intensity may contrarily deteriorate the symptoms and lead to skin damage. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the sunlight regimen correctly before opting for this method of treatment for your psoriasis and vitiligo.
What is phototherapy
Light therapy or Phototherapy is the use of specific type of light rays that are emitted from specific units so as to be able to treat an individual’s skin conditions for psoriasis, vitiligo or other disorders. These specific types of light rays are called Ultraviolet (UV) light rays that are emitted in a specific wavelength so as to alter the abnormal skin cells so that they behave and replicate regenerate at a regular and normal pace. During the phototherapy treatment, your skin is exposed to these UV light rays which are usually emitted from a phototherapy unit.
Phototherapy makes use of either UV-A (340-400 nm) radiation source commonly known as the PUVA Therapy, or the UV-B Broadband (280-365 nm) or the UV-B Narrowband (3111 nm) radiation source during the treatment.
The narrowband UV-B light one of the most popular and favourite owing its harmless, simple and very effective characteristics, as well as its proven medical success rate of about 80% among sufferers of skin conditions, especially Psoriasis. All these sources of radiation vary depending on the different type of phototherapy device. These Phototherapy treatment units consist of various sizes and range from lightweight handheld devices for small areas of treatment to more heavy and professional ones for larger body areas or full body treatment. The narrowband UVB phototherapy treatment is usually administered two to three times per week until a change in the skin condition is visible.
The broadband UVB phototherapy, on the other hand, is very helpful to treat single patches, widespread psoriasis and psoriasis that has been proven to resist topical treatments. Given the correct and controlled doses, the UVB phototherapy has been proven to be very effective in the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis symptoms.
How is phototherapy relevant to you?
There is no such thing as a cure to Psoriasis and Vitiligo, but no one said that you cannot live without any stress or issues related to it. This is exactly how Phototherapy comes into play.
Phototherapy is considered as one of the safest, most effective, painless and most convenient type of treatment of various skin conditions, especially Psoriasis and Vitiligo. It is hence an important instrument with an ever-growing importance and awareness in the dermatology sector as well as among sufferers of skin conditions. The number of skin conditions that can be treated with Phototherapy keeps increasing day by day. This is hence your best chance at solving your skin issues!
Phototherapy can be used as a monotherapy or as a combination of other treatments such as health supplements, healthy living diets and other topical products, so as to produce faster and more effective results. Apart from being very efficient, phototherapy treatments are very cost-effective in the long run as well as safe to use. In addition, it is a very helpful treatment for users who cannot use other methods to treat their skin conditions, such as systemic medications. Phototherapy also does not involve any kind of side effects, except for occasional rare and mild skin sensitiveness.
Phototherapy treatment periods are usually very short and very effective as from the first week itself, depending on the severity of the skin condition. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before opting for the phototherapy treatment, especially for large and more professional units, so as to know and understand the appropriate time and dosage perfect for you.
Are there any side effects?
As most modes of treatment, the UVB phototherapy should be used in the correct doses and for the right amount of time. However, some negligible side effects may include itchiness, redness or dry skin, which can easily be reduced by using a good moisturiser.
UV Phototherapy and You
Phototherapy brings about many benefits for its users, for example, the person does not have to move to hospitals or clinics and can carry out the process comfortably and conveniently at home itself. Moreover, numerous units of varying sizes and weights have been specially designed so as to facilitate such home treatment. Also, it does not include any time-consuming process and can hence, easily fit in your busy schedule and daily routine tasks.
Uses of phototherapy
Phototherapy has been found to be useful in the treatment of several diseases and conditions:
- Phototherapy for Treatment of Psoriasis and Vitiligo with incredible success rates.
- Phototherapy for treatment of other skin conditions such as acne, neurodermatitis, various eczemas, and even compensate for vitamin D deficiency.
- Phototherapy for mood and sleep disorders (e.g.SAD)
- Phototherapy for hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice
- Phototherapy for skin pre-cancer stages or superficial types of skin cancer
- Phototherapy for prevention or rehabilitation
(Photo source: The Independent, 22 July 2019)