Ultraviolet treatments at Sterling area dermatology practice can help with psoriasis
If you suffer from psoriasis, you may have noticed that the condition improves during the summer months or after you’ve spent prolonged periods in sunlight. This is because UV light can eliminate the cells that are involved in psoriasis outbreaks and can interrupt the signal that causes the cells to grow too quickly.
Ultraviolet treatments can produce remarkable results and are an effective way to control psoriasis. There are two types of phototherapy: Ultraviolet B and Ultraviolet A.
Narrowband UVB treatment exposes the patient only to the light waves that will improve the psoriasis. Exposure begins at just a few seconds and it is gradually increased over time to several minutes. Treatment sessions are usually performed several times per week until the condition begins to clear.
Ultraviolet A treatment exposure is much longer than UVB, lasting as many as twenty minutes. It is often given in conjunction with a medication called psoralen. This is known as PUVA treatment.
Which treatment is right for you?
During the consultation, we will be able to determine which ultraviolet treatment option is best for you. Most patients require about 20 sessions before seeing a significant improvement in the skin.
In addition to ultraviolet therapy, you may be given a medication. This can be an oral or topical medication and is taken before the light therapy.
What is ultraviolet treatment like?
You will walk into a booth, similar in appearance to traditional tanning booths. The booths contain light tubes that will give off either the UVA or UVB light. You will be given protective eyewear and men may be given shields to protect the genital area.
Although ultraviolet light therapy can be extremely successful, there are some risks. UV exposure can cause an increased risk of sun damage, skin cancer, or eye damage. Short-term side effects may include redness of the skin. In general, UVA has fewer short-term side effects.
Ultraviolet treatments do require a large time commitment, so it’s important for patients to understand the treatment schedule before committing. If you are in the Sterling area and would like to find out more about ultraviolet treatment and if it’s right for your psoriasis, call us today at (866) 808-3320