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Light Therapy Working for Him
Hi Ed: I hope you are well and am happy to see that you still maintain your wonderful website.
It's been a while since I wrote in, but as always I have continued to experiment with various treatments of my own.
For the past 6 months I have been applying Dovobet and paying weekly visits to my local tanning salon. I was extensively covered but soon after starting I saw results. I continue to apply the Dovobet 1-2 days per week and visit the sun bed 1-2 per week (I don’t wear goggles due to some P around my eye area), but what can I say? It's fantastic. I'm consistently practically clear and the only other times that I've ever looked like this was on PUVA [the drug Psoralen combined with UVA light therapy].
Anyway, it's working for me and I just wanted to share.
All the best, -Steve E.
Ed’s Response: Thanks for this, Steve. I tend to forget the light therapies in all the hubbub about new drugs, but the fact is they remain one of the most effective therapies for a large percentage of the P population, and they are favored by a lot of derms because of their known safety profile.
I’m guilty for not paying enough attention to the light therapies — UVA/UVB, PUVA, Goeckermann, narrowband, laser — because early on in my own case I tried light therapy and it didn’t go well. But that’s the nature of my skin (vitiligo, extreme sun sensitivity) and, while I’m not alone, I’m sure those of us who cannot tolerate light therapy are a minority.
While I’m responding to your email I’m noticing a significant exchange of postings on PsorChat about acquiring light machines through prescriptions. You might want to check that out. (Look for the subjects “Light Box” and “Tanning Bed” starting with message 3829.)
One word of caution about light therapies: Skin cancer is one of the dangers, and is the reason why so many derms say NO to tanning salons and insist their light therapy patients follow the considerably more expensive regimens in their offices or clinics, using their machinery. (There is a very moving segment in the new documentary DVD, My Skin’s On Fire, involving a middle aged man who benefited from light therapy for many years but now has recurring skin cancer. If you haven’t collected your free DVD yet, definitely go here: BeyondPsoriasis.com.)Dovobet — which I’m not sure is available in the U.S., but is popular in the U.K. — is a combination of the ingredients in Dovonex (calcipotriol) and Betnovate (betamethasone). Dovonex is a topical vitamin D3 and Betnovate is a corticosteroid. Dovonex was well received in the U.S. as a safer topical than the corticosteroids. Soon after it came out here, and after many derms became disenchanted with its solo performance, they started prescribing it mixed with, or alternating with a corticosteroid topical like betamethasone. This “dilution” of the steroid improved its safety profile, while combining it with Dovonex seemed to work as well as using the steroid full-strength. Shortly thereafter — Dovobet happened, on your side of the pond at least. As far as I know, over here we are still mixing and gooping (and paying for two tubes instead of one!). -Ed