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Comparing light therapy to tanning beds for psoriasis treatment in the Rockville area

Light therapy to tanning beds for psoriasis treatment from dermatologist in Rockville area

Psoriasis is a chronic condition for which researchers are constantly seeking solutions. Mild forms of this condition may respond well to topical cream. More severe psoriasis, however, may not. Light therapy, also called phototherapy, has become one of the safest, most efficient ways to improve the symptoms of moderate to severe psoriasis.

The primary problem that psoriasis sufferers have is that the growth of the epidermis takes place too quickly. Normally, cell turnover is completed in about 28 days. Individuals with psoriasis experience this process in only about four.

Light therapy provided by a skilled dermatologist exposes the skin to narrowband ultraviolet light, or NBUVB. The wavelength of NBUVB is approximately 311 nanometers, delivering maximum benefit of light energy without increasing the risk of skin cancer. Applying this light energy to the skin decreases T-cell proliferation in the dermis, slowing the accelerated growth of the epidermal cells. As cellular turnover slows, the skin can normalize.

The fact that light is beneficial for the skin does not necessarily mean that light therapy in the form of tanning, especially in a tanning bed, is the same as the phototherapy applied in the office of our recognized dermatology center in the Rockville area of Maryland.

The light that is used in tanning beds is ultraviolet A, or UVA light. These wavelengths are not effective in slowing the cellular growth rate that affects psoriatic patients. The use of tanning beds or UVA light in the treatment of psoriasis is not supported by the National Psoriasis Foundation, nor the Center for Disease Control or the American Academy of Dermatology due to the increased risk of skin cancer, premature aging, and general damage to the skin.

Phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis can result in months of clearer, more comfortable skin. This does not mean, however, that light therapy is right for every patient or every situation. Dr. Prussick and our dedicated staff have the necessary educational background and training to devise the most suitable treatment plan based on each patient’s specific needs.

If you are suffering the effects of psoriasis, we can help. Contact Washington Center for Dermatology in Frederick or Rockville and learn more about the latest developments in psoriasis treatment.

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