Phototherapy might sound complicated, but it's really quite simple. It involves exposing your skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. It's a treatment you can do on your own or have a medical professional perform.
Do-it-yourself phototherapy is as simple as exposing your skin to natural sunlight. However, for the best way to do so without also putting yourself at greater risk for sun damage or skin cancer, you should ask your doctor for guidelines. Another option for treating yourself at home is a hand-held UV comb. If you'd like a more thorough treatment, however, you can have a doctor perform phototherapy on you with an excimer laser.
There's no one-size-fits-all treatment for scalp psoriasis. Talk to your doctor to see which remedies are likely to work best for you. If you undergo a therapy that's too harsh or causes side effects worse than the disease itself, you should consider trying another treatment. You should also be aware that no psoriasis treatment works right away. It can sometimes take up to eight weeks or more to get your symptoms under control.
Keep reading for lots more information.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Understanding Scalp Psoriasis May Head Off Hair Loss." 8/8/07 (Accessed 9/26/09) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/psoriasisnet/scalp_psoriasis.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "What is Scalp Psoriasis?" 9/9/08 (Accessed 9/25/09) http://www.skincarephysicians.com/psoriasisnet/scalp_psoriasis_overview.htm
- Hitti, Miranda. "FDA Oks New Psoriasis Drug Stelara." WebMD 9/25/09 (Accessed 9/30/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/news/20090925/fda-oks-new-psoriasis-drug-stelara
- Mayo Clinic. "Psoriasis." 4/10/09 (Accessed 9/27/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/psoriasis/DS00193
- Mayo Clinic. "Scalp Psoriasis vs. Seborrheic Dermatitis: What's the Difference?" 10/19/07 (Accessed 9/25/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/scalp-psoriasis/AN01177
- National Psoriasis Foundation. "Psoriatic Arthritis." (Accessed 9/30/09) http://www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/learn02
- National Psoriasis Foundation. "Scalp Psoriasis." (Accessed 0/29/09) http://www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/sublearn03_loc_scalp
- National Psoriasis Foundation. "About Psoriasis." (Accessed 9/29/09) http://www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/learn01
- National Psoriasis Foundation. "Treating Psoriasis. Specific Location: Scalp." (Accessed9/29/09) http://www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/sublearn03_loc_scalp