Psoriasis: treatments with PUVA and UVB radiation
For the symptomatic treatment of pathological changes on the skin, which are manifested in people with psoriasis, various innovative techniques and technologies are used. PUVA and UVB radiation, carried out under the strict supervision of a specialist, are used to treat both local and extensive zones of psoriatic lesions in the chronic course of the disease.
Psoriasis treatment with PUVA method
This technique is used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. In addition, PUVA is used to alleviate types of disease that are not amenable to conventional treatment. The method involves the use of the drug Psoralen in combination with UV A radiation (hence the acronym PUFA). The essence of the irradiation procedure is that under the action of irradiating the skin with ultraviolet rays, the effect of Psoralen is activated, and the result of the therapy becomes more effective.
PUVA radiation can be used to treat psoriatic skin lesions of the entire body of a patient or to affect individual parts of the body, for example, the lower or upper limbs affected by psoriasis. PUVA methods can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment in combination with other methods of dealing with chronic skin disease. PUFA treatment is carried out strictly under the guidance and supervision of the attending physician.
When using PUFA, Psoralen , as a rule, is taken orally by patients, after which the specified areas of the skin are irradiated with UVA radiation. In some cases, topical application of PUFA is used. Usually, local treatment using this technology is used for lesions of the palms and feet – the drug is applied to the lesion with a brush or the patient’s diseased limbs (completely the body) are immersed in baths with water containing Psoralen . Irradiation is carried out immediately after applying the drug to the skin, or after taking a bath with Psoralen .
Short-term side effects are increased itching, redness on the skin, nausea. Prolonged use of the PUVA method can lead to the appearance of freckles on the skin, cause premature skin aging and cataracts. The risk of possible development of non-aggressive skin cancer increases with prolonged use of therapy.
Treatment of psoriasis with UVB radiation
As you know, complex therapy is the most effective way to treat psoriasis. Methods of UVB radiation, as a section of physiotherapy, are used either simultaneously with local therapy, or in the case when the disease shows persistent resistance to external drug treatment.
The advantage of the technique is the minimal short-term risk of UVB to the patient. The long-term risk of using this treatment is comparable to the chronic effect of solar radiation, that is, the likelihood of premature skin aging and the development of skin cancer. Despite the unfavorable prognosis, numerous studies in psoriasis patients show that the long-term risk of ultraviolet radiation leads to the development of skin cancers in rare cases. Consequently, it can be considered much safer than treatment with solar radiation, and UVB treatment can be considered as one of the most effective methods for treating moderate to severe psoriasis.
To combat psoriasis, UVB radiation methods can be used not only in a hospital, but also for home outpatient treatment. The irradiation unit can be purchased from specialized medical equipment stores. However, conducting sessions on its own, without detailed instructions and recommendations from the attending physician, without monitoring the course of treatment by a specialist, is strongly discouraged.