Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis: A Brighter Future

red light for Psoriasis

Overview

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. This accelerated growth causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, leading to the formation of scales and red patches that are often itchy and sometimes painful.

Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting disease. There may be times when your psoriasis symptoms get better alternating with times your psoriasis worsens. The primary goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly.

red light for Psoriasis

Types of Psoriasis

  • Plaque Psoriasis: The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The plaques might be itchy or painful and there may be few or many.
  • Nail Psoriasis: Psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, causing pitting, abnormal nail growth, and discoloration.
  • Guttate Psoriasis: This type primarily affects young adults and children. It’s usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It’s marked by small, water-drop-shaped, scaling lesions on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp.
  • Inverse Psoriasis: This mainly affects the skin in the armpits, in the groin, under the breasts and around the genitals. Inverse psoriasis causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin that worsen with friction and sweating.
  • Pustular Psoriasis: This uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips.
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis: The least common type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: In addition to inflamed, scaly skin, psoriatic arthritis causes swollen, painful joints that are typical of arthritis. Sometimes the joint symptoms are the first or only manifestation of psoriasis or at times only nail changes are seen.

The cause of psoriasis isn’t fully understood, but it’s thought to be related to an immune system problem with T cells and other white blood cells, called neutrophils, in your body. It’s important to note that psoriasis is not contagious – you cannot pass the condition from person to person.

How Red Light Therapy Works for Psoriasis

While there’s no cure, a variety of treatments can help to control the symptoms. These include topical treatments, light therapy, and systemic medications. In recent years, a class of drugs called biologics have also been used to treat severe psoriasis.

Based on the studies and articles found, red light therapy (RLT) shows promise in the treatment of psoriasis. Here are some key points:

  • Healthline mentions that RLT is a form of light therapy that uses light-emitting diodes (LED) to treat conditions from acne to persistent wounds, including psoriasis. Some people with psoriasis undergo light therapy as part of their treatment regimen. Read more
  • A study published on PubMed suggests that endogenous photosensitizers in psoriasis are a potential target for photodynamic treatment with high-dose visible light. Read more
  • Cleveland Clinic reports that RLT is a treatment that uses low wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinkles, scars, redness, and acne. It’s also touted to treat other medical conditions. Read more
  • An article on Medical News Today states that light therapy, or phototherapy, can improve the symptoms of psoriasis in many people. It works by reducing skin inflammation and slowing down the production of skin cells. Read more
  • A controlled trial published on NCBI discusses photobiomodulation (PBM) or low-level light therapy (LLLT), a medical treatment modality of increasing clinical importance. Because of the combination of high degree of penetration in skin and absorption by respiratory chain components, light in the spectral range from 600 to 1300 nm is useful. Read more

Potential Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis

Red light therapy (RLT) has been found to have potential benefits for psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by a rapid turnover of skin cells. Here are some key points based on various sources:

red light for Psoriasis

  • Reducing Inflammation and Slowing Skin Cell Production: Light therapy, or phototherapy, can improve the symptoms of psoriasis in many people. It works by reducing skin inflammation and slowing down the production of skin cells (source).
  • Improving Skin Appearance: Red light therapy uses low wavelength red light to reportedly improve your skin’s appearance, such as reducing wrinkles, scars, redness, and acne. It’s also touted to treat other medical conditions (source).
  • Decreased Inflammation and Reduced Pain: Biochemical changes induced by red light therapy might result in benefits like decreased inflammation, improved skin complexion, and reduced pain. In one pilot study, researchers looked at the effects of both red and blue phototherapy on people with psoriasis (source).

It’s important to note that while these studies show promise, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of red light therapy on psoriasis. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

New Approach of Red Light Therapy to Managing Psoriasis

Redd light therapy (RLT) is indeed offering a new approach to managing psoriasis, a chronic skin condition. This non-invasive treatment method uses low-level light to stimulate cellular activity, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. Here’s a more detailed look at how it works:

  • Stimulating Cellular Activity:

Red light therapy works at a cellular level. The light penetrates the skin to a depth of about 8 to 10 millimeters. Once absorbed, the light energy is converted into cellular energy, stimulating the body’s natural processes on a cellular level and kicking off a series of metabolic events. This includes increased circulation, formation of new capillaries, increased lymphatic system activity, increased production of collagen and fibroblasts, and increased phagocytosis, or cellular clean up.

  • Reducing Inflammation and Slowing Skin Cell Production:

One of the key benefits of red light therapy for psoriasis is its ability to reduce inflammation and slow the production of skin cells. Psoriasis is characterized by an accelerated rate of skin cell production, leading to the formation of the characteristic plaques. By slowing down this process, red light therapy can help to reduce the severity of psoriasis symptoms.

red light for Psoriasis

  • Promoting Healing:

The increased cellular activity stimulated by red light therapy can also promote faster healing. This can be particularly beneficial for psoriasis, as the condition often causes skin to crack and bleed, leading to further inflammation and discomfort.

  • Ease of Use and Accessibility:

Red light therapy devices for home use are becoming increasingly available, making this treatment option more accessible for many people. This means that ongoing, regular treatment – which is often necessary for managing chronic conditions like psoriasis – can be more easily achieved.

  • Few Side Effects:

Unlike some other treatment options for psoriasis, red light therapy is associated with few side effects. Some people may experience mild irritation, redness, and warmth at the treatment site, but these side effects are generally temporary.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while more research is needed, red light therapy could potentially be a beneficial treatment for psoriasis. It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment. It’s important to note that while red light therapy can offer a new approach to managing psoriasis, it’s not a cure for the condition. It’s also not suitable for everyone, and its effectiveness can vary from person to person. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.