Psoriasis and eczema: Beyond topical treatment
Winter weather often brings an exacerbation in chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.
These conditions can cause discomfort and inflamed skin that can keep patients up at night scratching and also can be unsightly and anxiety provoking.
Luckily, many advanced treatments for these conditions are available as patients desire treatment beyond topicals. A new injectable biologic for chronic eczema exists called dupilumab, which is self-administered every two weeks and is very effective.
For psoriasis, the anti-inflammatory pill Apremilast is available to be taken twice a day with minimal side effects.
Lastly biologic medications that can be injected even 4 times a year and have incredible results are approved for psoriasis.
For many patients, treatment with biologic medication is very satisfying for both the provider and for the patient who has been suffering.
A treatment that has been safe and effective over decades is called phototherapy.
Patient may notice chronic skin conditions like psoriasis improve with sunlight. However, we certainly don’t want to increase our risk of skin cancers!
Modern phototherapy units are full body and allow patients to be treated with one specific wavelength of ultraviolet B light (NB UVB) that has the most beneficial effect while minimizing the harmful risks of broad UV exposure.
NB UVB also helps the skin produce anti-inflammatory Vitamin D.
We have recently added a Daavlin Neolux NB UVB phototherapy unit to our practice to help those patients who might not want a biologic medicine and have the time to utilize the unit 2 to 3 times a week for best results.
Moisturizers are provided to the patient to put on the affected areas as well as protective goggles. Treatment times range from a few seconds to a few minutes usually.
Treatment sessions usually continue for 20-25 sessions and patients are able to improve.
While many insurances cover phototherapy, our office will help determine if your carrier covers it! Happy Holidays!
Schwarz Dermatology PLLC is located at 1501 Lower State Road, Suite 100, North Wales, PA 19454.
Contact us at 215-589-7373 or www.schwarzderm.com.
PHOTO CAP: Full body phototherapy unit offering a safe wavelength of ultraviolet B light.