Many doctors recommend light therapy for psoriasis and many other skin problems. If you have psoriasis, you may want to consider it. Here is an explanation about how it works.
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy or phototherapy is a type of treatment that is often used for photo-responsive skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema. Light therapy for psoriasis uses a special device that emits narrow band UVB light.
While the UV light in direct sunlight can be dangerous and cause skin cancer, narrow band UVB light is different. This specific type of UV light can be used to treat psoriasis with minimum risk for your skin.
During light therapy, the patient is exposed to UVB light. The amount of light depends on how severe the patient’s psoriasis is. How dark or light your complexion is will also determine how much UVB light you will receive.
Benefits for Psoriasis Patients
Psoriasis cannot be completely cured. However, doctors use phototherapy for psoriasis because it manages many symptoms of the condition. Phototherapy can reduce itchiness and skin inflammation. It also slows down the rate of growth of skin cells.
Furthermore, light therapy increases the production of vitamin D for skin health. It is also considered the most effective and low-risk way to treat psoriasis. Even children and pregnant women can receive phototherapy treatment with minimum risks.
Side Effects of Light Therapy
While phototherapy is considered one of the safest treatments, side effects may still occur. Always check with your doctor first to make sure that light therapy is suitable for you.
Phototherapy is not recommended for people who take certain types of medications that make them very sensitive to light. This includes several types of antibiotics. The added sensitivity to light means even narrow band UVB light may be dangerous.
If you also have certain health conditions such as lupus or skin cancer risks, you should not try light therapy. Such conditions make your skin extremely sensitive to UV light.
Precautions for Phototherapy
● Ask your doctor
You should ask if phototherapy is safe for you and does not trigger risks of skin cancer. You can also check the cost of the treatment with your doctor.
● Be patient
Phototherapy may require up to three doctor’s visits per week. Moreover, the results will only show after some time.
Light therapy for psoriasis can cause dry skin, so always moisturize especially before therapy.