Excimer and Pulsed Light Therapy for Scalp Psoriasis
If you have been suffering from Psoriasis, you would probably have tried a long list of treatments from Clobetasol shampoos to Corticosteroids, to natural remedies such as Turmeric. Most of these therapies need time before results can be seen. Thus, other combination therapies such as light therapy may help to relieve the symptoms from Psoriasis including Scalp Psoriasis.
Conventionally, UVB light therapy is considered effective in slowing down the growth of skin cells and has to be done consistently over a period of time. Typically, narrowband light frequencies have been found to be more effective in treating psoriasis.
One of the side effects of UV light treatment for psoriasis is the tendency for skin to be irritated by the treatment for a short period of time. With this, skin will become reddened and itchiness will occur before it starts to improve. In this case, lower doses of light treatment may be used instead.
The downside of UVB light therapy is its ineffectiveness in treating scalp psoriasis specifically due to the presence of hair preventing light from reaching the scalp properly.
Thus, the alternative in light therapy for scalp psoriasis would be to use pulsed and excimer lasers to properly focus the light on affected areas of the scalp. The Excimer laser is a high frequency focused beam of UVB light, and typically is utilized for mild to moderate cases of scalp psoriasis.
Pulsed lasers on the other hand are more suited for serious cases of psoriasis, where the plaques are localized and chronic. The difference with pulsed lasers is that it destroys the blood vessels that are instrumental in causing psoriasis plaques to form. While each session lasts only 15 to 20 minutes, the side effect from Pulsed lasers may be bruising and even scarring thereafter. All in all, it typically takes between four and six rounds of treatment for the scalp psoriasis to clear up.
One of the cheaper alternatives regarded by psoriasis sufferers are the use of tanning beds. However, due to the risk of melanoma and premature aging from the use of these beds, the Food and Drug Administration does not recommend tanning beds to be use in replacement for proper UVB or psoriasis light treatment.