PSORIASIS TREATMENT

PSORIASIS TREATMENT

PSORIASIS TREATMENT

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition, characterised by scaly red patches of skin which are itchy and cause the skin to flake. The most common regions to be affected are the scalp, elbows and knees. Psoriasis can also affect the nail beds and joints, causing a psoriasis arthritis. 

Certain factors can trigger episodes of psoriasis such as infections, medications, skin injury and smoking. 

There is no cure for psoriasis, but it can be managed, and the idea is to manage it well in a manner that is efficient, effective and safe for you. Medications, ointments, lifestyle changes, biologic injections or phototherapy are a few of the different management strategies for psoriasis. Phototherapy, via laser therapy, provides a very safe option. It is the medication-free option which is advantageous for many people as medications affect the whole body, not just the psoriasis. 

Border Medical Laser & Aesthetics has the latest Innovative Alma Harmony Laser, which is able to produce the specific light [UVB] to treat psoriasis by phototherapy. The UVB light [which is present in natural sunlight] penetrates the skin to a depth of 300nm to 380nm and slows the growth of affected skin cells. The Alma Harmony Laser is specific and precise and will only treat the affected skin, leaving the surrounding skin untreated, which is very beneficial. There are no needles, medications, ointments, down time or pain associated with this procedure, and it is a safe, effective management tool for people with psoriasis.

Prior To Your Psoriasis Laser Therapy

Every person wishing to be treated at Border Medical Laser & Aesthetics will require an appointment with our laser consultant. At this appointment, you can ask as many questions as you like to advance your understanding of the treatment. There will be a medical questionnaire to be filled out about your health and medications. Some health conditions and medications will unfortunately exempt you from laser treatment. A patch test will be performed on your skin to ensure the laser settings are suitable for you. 1-2 days after your patch test, we will commence your laser treatment. 

Before laser therapy, it is very important that you keep your psoriasis away from sun exposure. This is crucial both before and after the treatment. The lasers work on providing a specific heat at a specific depth in your tissue to produce a desired end point. This end point can be exacerbated if exposed to sun and can cause unwanted side effects.

How Many Treatments Will Be Required?

Unfortunately, psoriasis is one of those conditions that can never be ‘cured’, but it can be managed. Laser phototherapy is the gold standard management practice for psoriasis to bring control to the condition.

The phototherapy laser treatments will occur twice a week for 2 weeks, then 1-2 treatments per week or fortnight depending on your skin’s response. The treatment course is on average 3 months, which will allow significant changes to occur at a cellular level. Every person is unique, so is their psoriasis, including its characteristics and severity, hence the treatment requirements will vary from person to person.

During the course of this treatment your psoriasis may worsen for a short period whilst the cells in your body are undergoing change due to the phototherapy, then you will start seeing significant improvements.

What Can I Expect After My Psoriasis Laser Treatment?

There are a few points to remember whilst having your laser treatment:

  • Avoid sun exposure two weeks prior to procedure and in between treatments
  • Avoid picking or scratching the treated area
  • Avoid rough handling of the treated area
  • Avoid very hot baths/showers/saunas
  • Avoid exfoliating or peels during treatment
  • Avoid rough sports for 24-48 hours
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing
  • Keep the area clean and dry
  • Hydrate the body by drinking plenty of water
  • Use sunblock at least 30+

The nature of psoriasis revolves around its management. Individuals will find they will need to return for laser therapy when the psoriasis flares again at a later date. The laser therapy will put the psoriasis into a holding pattern, where there are no symptoms, but depending on each individual, there will be a time, whether it is 6 months or 2 years, before needing to return for another management session of phototherapy. 

References:

Rullen, P. A Handheld Broadband UV Phototherapy Module For The Treatment of Patients With Psoriasis and Vitiligo. Cosmetic Dermatology. July 2010 23(7) p. 321

Rullen, P. Harmony – UV Therapy Relieves Chronic Skin Conditions. The Aesthetic Guide. 2010 September/October.

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