Relief from psoriasis can sometimes feel out of reach. Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune condition. Low-level laser therapy offers promising results in psoriasis relief and reducing inflammation. Laser therapy is non-invasive and doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis occurs when skin cells quickly rise from below the surface of the skin and pile up on the surface before they can mature. Usually this process (also called turnover) takes about a month. But in those with psoriasis, the process is accelerated and may occur in only a few days.
How Can You Find Psoriasis Relief with Laser Therapy?
Low-level laser therapy involves using ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared wavelengths of light on the skin. This light has low energy densities and you will not feel any physical sensation while the laser is being used. The laser is able to penetrate the skin and work at the cellular level.
Research studies have shown promising results for psoriasis relief with laser therapy. One randomized study treated psoriasis vulgaris once daily for 4 weeks and showed significant improvement. In another study, patients with plaque psoriasis received treatment in two 20-min sessions for 4 or 5 weeks and achieved 60–100% clearance rates without any significant side effects.
Researchers believe there are a few ways lasers can help. Energy in the lasers stimulate the activity of mitochrondria in your skin cells. It is believed this helps to:
- Moderate the release of proteins called cytokines that play a role in inflammation and pain
- Reduce the heightened activity of skin cells
- Improve mitochondrial function, which can help in healing
How Many Treatments for Psoriasis Relief with Laser Therapy?
In our experience, patients usually undergo two to three laser therapy sessions per week over the course of 2–3 months. During this time, patients usually see an improvement in two to four weeks. We can take pictures of your progress at each appointment to track that improvement.
Each person’s skin reacts to laser therapy differently, both in how much improvement you will see in your psoriasis symptoms and in how long those benefits last. Since psoriasis is a chronic condition, patients should expect a return of exacerbated conditions in 3-12 months. It is best to include maintenance therapy in a treatment plan.
What About Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis affects up to 25 percent of patients with psoriasis. However, it may be more common (up to 40%) in those with more severe psoriasis. Most patients have psoriasis at the onset of their arthritic symptoms, but some may develop psoriasis after the arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis causes inflammation and swelling in your joints that can lead to pain and stiffness. If you have psoriasis and feel any discomfort in your joints, tell your doctor. It’s important to get treatment quickly, to avoid joint damage.
Can Acupuncture Supplement Laser Therapy for Psoriasis Relief?
Yes, research has shown possible benefits of acupuncture for psoriasis and joint pain. Acupuncture has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. It also helps regulate immune system function, all features that can aid in psoriasis relief.