BBL for Psoriasis Treatment: A Potent Solution
Broadband Light (BBL) treatments have many applications. Learn about BBL Psoriasis Treatment to see if it can help your itchy, red skin woes!
Psoriasis can be a challenging disorder to manage. A complex autoimmune skin disorder that creates itchy, red, uncomfortable symptoms on the skin, psoriasis affects up to 3% of the populations, or more than 125 million people.
There are topical creams and medications to help, but they exhibit little relief. Besides the great results dermatologists are seeing from Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments for psoriasis, laser therapy and Broadband Light (BBL) treatments are also effective.
More than 75% of psoriasis cases have been cured by laser therapy and phototherapy (tanning beds, UV or LED light therapy).
Let’s look at what psoriasis is, and the differences between laser therapy and BBL psoriasis treatment.
What Exactly is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis occurs when the cells of the skin multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. As the cells underneath reach the skin’s surface and die, the volume causes red, raised plaques covered with scales of white. Caused by an abnormality in the immune system, stress and emotional trauma seem to trigger a flare on the skin. The most common type is Plaque Psoriasis.
What are the Symptoms of Plaque Psoriasis?
- Plaques of red skin covered by white scales that may be itchy and painful and they may crack and bleed. When cases become severe, the plaques grow and merge into each other, spreading over a large area.
- Plaques of crust or scales on the scalp
- Discoloration and pitting can affect fingernails and toenails. The nails may detach or crumble from the nail bed.
- 10 to 30 percent of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, which is characterized by pain and swelling of the joints.
Other Types of Psoriasis
- Pustular – tiny red and scaly pustules on the hands or feet
- Guttate psoriasis – small red spots mostly on torso and limbs, starting in childhood or young adulthood. Triggers can be respiratory infections.
- Inverse psoriasis – appearing in skin folds, this is characterized by bright red, shiny lesions.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis – periodic red fiery skin and the shedding of scales in sheets. This can be triggered by withdrawal from a systemic psoriasis treatment. Also, severe sunburn and certain medications can bring it on. Medical aid is required immediately.
Psoriasis Laser Treatment: How It Works
Each session is performed by a dermatologist and takes only a few minutes. Excimer lasers, the lasers used to treat mild-to-moderate psoriasis, aim a high-intensity ultraviolet B (UVB) light dose of a very specific wavelength – 308 nanometers – directly at the psoriasis plaques. Because the laser light never touches the surrounding skin, it reduces the risk of UV radiation exposure.
You might feel some warmth at the site or a snapping sensation against the skin. Patients usually undergo 4-10 sessions (two per week) to get results.
How Well Do Psoriasis Laser Treatments Work?
Because laser treatment for psoriasis is still a relatively new therapy, research is still underway to confirm its effectiveness. Some studies find that most people who are treated with lasers see real improvements in their skin that can last anywhere from several months to a year. But it is not effective for people with psoriasis on large areas of the body because the light is so concentrated.
Are There Any Risks to Laser Treatments for Psoriasis?
Laser therapy is generally safe, but some people have reported side effects after treatment, including:
- Temporary redness, itching, burning, and stinging
- Purple-colored spots (purpura) on the skin
- Darkening or lightening of the skin (hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation)
Avoid laser treatments if you have:
- Lupus or scleroderma
- Sun sensitivity
- Xeroderma pigmentosum (an inherited disease that causes sensitivity to sunlight)
- Risks for, or a history of, skin cancer
- A condition that requires you to take medications that make you sensitive to the sun
More research is needed to determine whether exposure to UVB light from the excimer laser might increase the long-term risk for skin cancer.
A better option – BBL psoriasis treatment.
BBL Psoriasis Treatment: How It Works
BBL, the Cadillac of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy, is a technology that has been used by Dermatologists for years to address different problems that people have with their skin, including pigmentation problems, rosacea, acne, and, of course, psoriasis.
This therapy targets the chromophores and other structures in the skin that contribute to this debilitating skin condition.It can reduce redness, itchiness, dryness, blister formation, patch formation, inflammation of the skin, and skin irritation effectively.
Patients wear dark goggles to protect eyes from the laser light. You will feel a slight warmth on your skin where the light is directed on the psoriasis patches. When converted into heat, the beam of yellow light destroys the blood vessels that are contributing to psoriasis, stopping its progression.
The dose and duration of light depends on the condition of your skin and severity of psoriasis. If your skin has a lighter color, a low dose of laser light is used; if your skin color is darker and psoriasis plaques are thick, a higher dose of laser light is required to pulse at the psoriasis site.
BBL therapy sessions are repeated every 2-3 weeks until your psoriasis is cleared. However, there is a small chance of relapse because it is not a complete treatment for genetic or immunity disorder. Relapse can take one to two years to occur.
How Well Does BBL Psoriasis Treatment Work?
BBL psoriasis treatment works well on individuals who have mild-to-moderate psoriasis. Studies have shown that most people who receive this therapy have an improvement in their skin that can last up to a year. Some other considerations about efficacy:
- BBL therapy costs more than other remedies that are used to treat psoriasis. It is difficult to perform if your whole body is covered with psoriasis plaques because it is not feasible or cost-effective to apply laser light to whole body.
- BBL is not suitable for all skin types (especially those with dark skin); before trying this treatment, you must consult your doctor.
- Results of BBL therapy can be evident after 7-10 sessions so if you don’t feel better after just one session, don’t worry – you will see results with more treatments!
Right now, BBL psoriasis treatment is a good alternative to laser, especially if you have plaque psoriasis. It may not be perfect for everyone, but if you are a suitable candidate, it can work wonders for psoriasis. Contact us if you would like to learn more and/or participate in a trial.