Wearable Light Therapy Device for Psoriasis & Skin Lesions
By Jordan V. Wang, MD, MBE
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects about 125 million people worldwide. Its notoriously thick, red, and scaly lesions can be debilitating and irritating, leading to both physical and psychological effects. Psoriasis is characterized by an accelerated division of skin cells paired with painful inflammation. Since the condition is incurable, skin lesions often recur even with treatment.
Recently, there has been new technology created for the treatment of psoriasis, which has been pioneered by Philips. It has been branded, BlueControl. This is a new wearable light therapy device that patients can use in the convenience of their own home. Treatment sessions last for 30 minutes each day to an area. The rechargeable, battery-powered device delivers certain wavelengths of blue light to the skin through the use of specialized LED?s. It can easily be worn on the arms and legs, including elbows and knees, using adjustable straps. The device is free from both UV radiation and chemical substances.
Philips recently gained FDA approval for the device to be used in the treatment of mild psoriasis in July of 2017. However, the device had already been approved in Europe for a few years. Since 2014, Philips has launched this product in several European countries, including Germany and the United Kingdom.
The device works by delivering selected wavelengths of light to the skin lesions of psoriasis. This special light then acts by slowing down the increased production of skin cells and decreasing the inflammation seen in thick plaques of psoriasis. To the naked eye, this leads to less redness and scaling of skin lesions. Two of the original clinical studies in Germany with over 80 patients showed that this device was safe, comfortable, and improves mild psoriasis.
This device allows for a drug-free approach in the treatment of psoriasis. For those who are already undergoing light therapy for mild psoriasis, it may offer more convenience by removing the need to travel to a clinic for frequent sessions. The device can also be used in combination with topical medications, including steroids. The product will eventually be available via prescription, and it is the first of its kind designed for home use. In consultation with a dermatologist, you can determine if this product is meant for you and if it can offer any benefit or relief.
Look out for the commercial launch of this device by early 2019. You can always ask your dermatologist for more information as additional reports get released.