Plaque Psoriasis and UVB Light Therapy: A Proven Remedy for Skin Relief

by | Dec 19, 2023

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

 

Characterised by raised, red patches covered with a silvery-white buildup of dead skin cells or scales, it can be both physically uncomfortable and emotionally distressing. While there is no cure for plaque psoriasis, various treatments can help manage symptoms. Among these, UVB light therapy has emerged as a highly effective remedy. In this blog, we’ll explore the impact of plaque psoriasis and how UVB light therapy offers a beacon of hope for those seeking relief.

 

Understanding Plaque Psoriasis – What Is Plaque Psoriasis?

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis. About 80 to 90 percent of people living with psoriasis experience plaque psoriasis. On Caucasian skin, plaques typically appear as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. On skin of color, the plaques may appear darker and thicker and more of a purple or grayish color or darker brown.

Plaques can appear anywhere on the body, although they most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and torso. Plaques generally appear symmetrically on the body, affecting the same areas of the body on the right and left sides.

Plaque psoriasis often accompanies nail psoriasis which may look like discoloration, pitting, or separation of the nail from the nail bed.

Common triggers for plaque psoriasis include:

  • Certain medications
  • Starting or stopping medicines
  • Infections
  • Injury to the skin
  • Stress
  • Tobacco or alcohol use

Chronic and Persistent: Plaque psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune condition that causes an overproduction of skin cells, leading to thick, scaly patches on the skin.

Symptoms and Impact: These patches can be itchy, painful, and may crack and bleed. Beyond physical symptoms, plaque psoriasis can also have a significant psychological impact, affecting self-esteem and social interactions.

 

The Role of UVB Light Therapy

Targeted Treatment: UVB light therapy involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a controlled amount of time. UVB, or ultraviolet B light, is a component of natural sunlight and has been found to be particularly effective in treating plaque psoriasis.

How It Works: The UVB light slows down the growth rate of skin cells in psoriatic patches, reducing scaling and inflammation. It also helps to reduce the size of plaques and the intensity of symptoms.

 

The Benefits of UVB Light Therapy

Clinical Efficacy: Numerous studies have shown that UVB light therapy can significantly improve symptoms of plaque psoriasis, with many patients experiencing a substantial reduction in plaques and associated discomfort.

Safety Profile: When administered under medical supervision, UVB light therapy is safe and has fewer side effects compared to systemic medications. It’s a non-invasive treatment that’s suitable for long-term management of the condition.

Convenience of Home Treatment: With advancements in technology, UVB light therapy can now be administered at home using portable devices. This convenience allows for regular and consistent treatment, which is key to managing symptoms effectively.

 

Getting Started with UVB Light Therapy

Consult a Dermatologist: It’s essential to consult with a dermatologist to determine if UVB light therapy is the right treatment for your plaque psoriasis. They can provide guidance on the frequency and duration of treatment.

Consistency is Key: Regular sessions are crucial for the effectiveness of UVB light therapy. It’s important to adhere to the treatment schedule prescribed by your healthcare provider.

Monitoring and Adjustment: Your dermatologist will monitor your progress and adjust the treatment as necessary, ensuring the best possible outcomes.

Plaque psoriasis can be a challenging condition to live with, but treatments like UVB light therapy offer hope and relief. By slowing down the overproduction of skin cells and reducing inflammation, UVB light therapy stands out as a promising remedy for those seeking to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.