Living with psoriasis can be challenging at times. The flaky red patches can not only make you feel embarrassed and self-conscious but can also be physically uncomfortable. There are many different treatments for psoriasis, and, of course, each one comes with pros and cons. One that you may want to consider, especially if you are interested in going the more natural route with your treatment, is UVB light treatment. Here are the basics you need to know about UVB light treatment.
What is UVB?
UVB is simply a specific range of wavelengths of light. It's part of the visible light spectrum as seen in sunlight. You may see some UVB treatments labeled as "narrow band" and others labeled as "broad band." These labels refer to the range of wavelengths the device emits. A narrow band UVB light contains only a narrow range of wavelengths, whereas a broad band UVB light contains all wavelengths that are considered UVB. For the treatment of psoriasis, narrow band UVB tends to be the best choice since it does not include the slightly shorter wavelengths that may penetrate too far into the skin and lead to side effects like an increased risk of skin cancer.
How does UVB help treat psoriasis?
Narrow band UVB light does penetrate the skin but just slightly. When it reaches the skin cells in this area — the ones that replicate — it slows down their rate of replication. Psoriasis is a disease associated with skin cells that replicate too quickly, so slowing the replication down via UVB treatment can ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
Results won't be instant, but they do come on quickly. Most patients notice that their psoriasis plaques start healing a day or two after treatment, and within a month of repeated UVB treatments, the symptoms are mostly gone or greatly diminished.
What does UVB light therapy involve?
You can initially get UVB light treatments at a medical spa or in a dermatologist's office. However, if you find the therapy beneficial, there are at-home devices you can buy. It's easier and more affordable to use an at-home device. Usually, these devices sit on a tabletop, and you can use them for 10 or so minutes at a time to treat your face, hands, and other affected areas.
If you suffer from psoriasis and would like to explore a natural remedy, try UVB light therapy. Most dermatologist's offices offer it, and it's then easy to keep using a small device at home.