Relieving Symptoms of Psoriasis With Light Therapy

Psoriasis can cause red and scaly rashes on the skin. If you have psoriasis, there hope. Light therapy can reduce inflammatio

About 8 million Americans have psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that can make skin red, thick, and scaly. It’s not contagious, but it can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing for the men, women, and children who have it.

Unfortunately, psoriasis has no cure. Topical creams and ointments can treat mild psoriasis, but if yours is more severe, topical treatments may not be enough.

That’s where light therapy comes in. Light therapy, which uses controlled ultraviolet (UV) light to treat affected skin, can relieve symptoms of psoriasis without damaging surrounding skin.

Oswald Mikell, MD, is a psoriasis specialist at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry. He regularly recommends light therapy with the XTRAC® system to treat psoriasis.

Signs of psoriasis

The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but experts believe it’s linked to genetics and problems with the immune system. It can also be associated with other health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. It’s characterized by raised patches of scaly, dry, and red skin. The patches can be small or large and develop anywhere on the body, but they’re most commonly found on the knees, elbows, and along the scalp.

Other types of psoriasis include:

If you have a rash or abnormal patch of skin that doesn’t go away, vsit Dr. Mikell and our team. We’ll evaluate and diagnose your condition and help you find a treatment that works.

Light therapy for psoriasis

Light therapy has been FDA-cleared to treat psoriasis for nearly two decades. Dr. Mikell’s XTRAC system uses UVB light to reduce the size of psoriasis patches and treat symptoms, such as itchiness and redness.

About 75% of patients who get UVB light therapy for psoriasis achieve clear skin and experience fewer symptoms. Most patients get 10-12 light therapy treatments, and each session typically takes just a few minutes.

Light therapy works because it addresses one of the causes of psoriasis. Psoriasis patches develop when skin cells grow too fast. Light therapy slows down and controls the growth of skin cells. 

Light therapy is completely customizable. You can have just one area treated or receive whole-body light therapy. It effectively reduces the size of psoriasis patches and can make skin less scaly and less itchy. 

Surrounding skin isn’t affected with light therapy, because the light rays are directed at the psoriasis patches alone. Light therapy does utilize UV light, which can increase your risk of developing skin cancer, so it’s important to follow all guidelines.

You don’t have to suffer with the bothersome symptoms of plaque psoriasis. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.

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