Lamp phototherapy is a long-established and highly effective treatment for various inflammatory skin diseases. The acronym simply denotes irradiation with UVA light following the administration of psoralen, a drug which increases the skin's sensitivity to light. Psoralens are furocoumarin derivatives. These compounds were originally isolated from plant substrates, but are now obtained by way of chemical synthesis. After oral administration, their effect lasts for 8-10 hours.
Lamp phototherapy occurs naturally in sunlight. It has the ability to reach deep layers of the dermis, affecting cells involved in the formation of inflammation. It is not directly absorbed by DNA. Using a combination of psoralen and UVA exposure results in significant reduction of the number of inflammatory cells in the skin.
Lamp phototherapy treatment, which involves exposing the skin to radiation, is not painful and only lasts about a quarter of a minute. One hour before planned irradiation, the patient takes a dose of a photosensitizing medicine, as recommended by the doctor. The procedure of irradiation takes place in a cabin similar to a tanning bed, usually 2-3 times a week. Sun exposure must be avoided for 24 hours after taking the drug. The use of sun creams and sunglasses with a high protection factor is also recommended. No lotions or oils should be applied to the skin before the exposure, as the radiation may be reflected and will not be effective.
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