Using Phototherapy to Heal Psoriasis vs Biologic and Other Treatments

Over the years I've used many treatments for Psoriasis. Between the shots, skin creams, and other treatments, it is dizzying trying to finally find the perfect treatment for a person. I think that some treatments are right for different people. I also think some treatments are not good in general, and others are almost always great. The best one will be covered at the end of this article.

First I'd like to cover treatments I'm not a fan of. These biologic treatments have many side effects and sometimes death as as result of complications. These include Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Methotrexate, Raptiva, Amevive, Soriatane, and Elidel. I did get treated with shots of Enbrel for a period of months. Not only did my Psoriasis not improve, but I was always in a bad mood when on this treatment. So I stopped. I have not tried Humira since it is not recommended for me. Remicade, Methotrexate, and Raptiva are all treatments I have heard such bad things about side effects that I would not try. I have not heard anything good about Elidel. I was treated for a long time with a new treatment, Amevive. My T Cell count became so low that one month I got very sick. Another month the next year I was so sick from the way it lowered my immune system that I was hospitalized. Amevive had been the biologic that I believe actually worked to help Psoriasis, but due to side effects on the body it was not worth staying with and I stopped. Soriatane had so many side effects while not helping my Psoriasis, that I had to stop treatment as well.

Taclonex helped my psoriasis for some time, but is not a long term treatment as the skin builds up immunity. I actually found that eventually this skin ointment affected my joints, making them sore and stiff. Because this treatment lost effectiveness and had this bad side effect, I had to stop treatment. Other skin creams such as Tazorac and quite a few others did not work. Protopic and Clobetasol do help psoriasis but neither are long term treatments that will help more than a duration of a day or two at a time. They also lose effectiveness over time

Years ago I purchased a home phototherapy unit. With insurance help this was a terrific unit to purchase. Phototherapy is safe, healthy, and relatively quick in helping psoriasis in a few weeks or months depending on the patient. It just takes a little time to get used to putting on tanning shades and working with a doctor over time to ensure correct dosage time is used. Some doctors will have a patient use Clobetasol or LCD skin cream after phototherapy. My recommendation, which is safest, is to use LCD 20% in Aquaphor Ointment. This is basically safe medical grade tar (almost like that from the La Brea Tar Pits) where it is boiled, and the condensation is mixed with vaseline to make the LCD ointment.

It is possible to do phototherapy at a treatment center, or home. The benefit of a treatment center is that things are carefully monitored. There may also be black tar used, which is very beneficial at a treatment center. Over time the commuting, cost, and wear and tear involved in going to a treatment center for a 1-10 minute light treatment session may seem like a lot. That is why so many people decide to make dealing with psoriasis a quick item by handling it at home and still working with their doctor. Bulbs on home phototherapy units generally last a number of years, and usually insurance pays most or all of the cost for a phototherapy unit. For that reason, it is best, in my opinion, to get the highest quality unit you can for your home so that home treatment is that much quicker.

I wish you the best of luck with your psoriasis. Over the years I've tried many more treatments than those in this article, but all have either not worked, or caused too many side effects. It is possible your psoriasis may just go away at some point, but for most of us it is something we need to manage over time so that it does not affect us. As you can tell, I'm a big fan of phototherapy since in the short and long term I feel side effects and risks of most internal treatments are not worth the damage they can cause. Phototherapy is not much different than getting a perfect dosage of sun to help the skin. These are the best two lotions to moisturize psoriasis.

Psoriasis and Arthritis

Not every person who gets psoriasis also eventually finds themself with arthritis. Of those who do, there are a number of ways one can go with treatment.

1. Biologic treatments such as Enbrel are done with periodic injections. The problems with some biologic treatment include lowering the immune system and side effects.

2. Diet can help some people with both psoriasis and arthritis. This technique is really trial and error.

3. Tar and LCD creams can help both psoriasis and arthritis in my experience. For example when I've worn gloves with black medical tar, my finger joint with arthritis became less swollen while the psoriasis went into remission the more days I wore the tar 8 hrs per day.

4. There are treatments by pill that target psoriasis and/or arthritis. Some work, but again side effects are a concern.

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