PUVA Therapy In The Treatment of Localized Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 November 2009 11:25
In localized Scleroderma, disease activity would tend to stop spontaneously over time. Treatment is important to reduce disabilities caused by the active phases of disease. According to Medifocus.com, there are three treatments used in the treatment of localized Scleroderma. These would include:
  • PUVA Therapy
  • Topical Photodynamic Therapy
  • Drug Therapy.

Today, we look at the PUVA Therapy.

PUVA Therapy or psoralen photochemotherapy refers to treatment with a combination of drugs known as Psoralens and UVA light (long wave ultraviolet radiation). Psoralens are compounds found in many plants which make the skin temporarily sensitive to UVA. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use psoralens for the treatment of skin diseases thousands of years ago. Medicine psoralens include methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen), 5-methoxypsoralen and trisoralen.

taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/aenertia/2913943471/in/photostream/ via creative commonsPUVA therapy is used to treat several severe skin conditions including vitiligo, psoriasis, and dermatitis. It is also used in the treatment of localized Scleroderma because studies have been shown a significant reduction of collagen production with this treatment. However, some reports have indicated that the improvement in the systemic patients were less clear, and required further study and trials. According to one NY Times feature, PUVA therapy may prove useful for patients with early-onset diffuse Scleroderma, as this treatment is known to increase the risk for skin cancer.

PUVA therapy can be performed in a doctor’s office on an outpatient basis. The initial step in this treatment involves the administration of psoralen to the patient, which may be done either orally or topically. This is then followed by timed exposure to the ultraviolet light from the lamp. For oral PUVA, methoxsalen capsules are taken two hours before the appointment for treatment. For bathwater PUVA, the patient soaks in a bath containing a solution of psoralens. In most cases, treatment is undertaken two or three times each week.

As indicated above, PUVA is not without its risks and side effects.
  • There may be burning, where an overdose of PUVA results in a sunburn-like reaction called phototoxic erythema.
  • Temporary mild pricking or itching of the skin is common after treatment.
  • Nausea occurs in a quarter of those treated with psoralens.
  • PUVA usually leads to tanning which lasts several months. Although the skin appears brown it may still burn easily on sun exposure.
  • If the eyes are not protected from UV radiation, keratitis may occur. This results in red sore gritty eyes and can be very unpleasant.
  • Extensive PUVA treatment results in premature aging changes and can increase the chance of skin cancer.
The reading on PUVA therapy is quite extensive, and we have assembled a number of links, which would allow you to get started on the topic.
 
More articles :

» Mouth Exercises For Scleroderma

The loss of facial mobility may restrict the ability to chew foods and perform adequate moth hygiene. Below is some advice on maintaining facial mobility through exercise.INSTRUCTIONS:Do exercises in front of a mirror. Massage (firm touch) the...

» Erectile Dysfunction Drug Could Improve Raynaud’s Symptoms Associated with Scleroderma

Adding tadalafil (Cialis®; Adcirca®) to the treatment of people with can improve ’s phenomenon symptoms and heal and prevent hand and finger associated with it, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology...

» Researchers Testing Intense Pulsed Light As An Alternative Treatment for Telangiectatases

Telangiectatases are knot-like clusters of blood vessels on the skin which can occur in 30 to 50 per cent of patients with Systemic Sclerosis, also known as . Telangiectases tend to occur on the face, neck, and upper limbs and can cause...

» Digital Ulcers Linked to More Severe Systemic Sclerosis

Digital ulcers are associated with more severe systemic sclerosis (SSc) disease, including skin and lung involvement, but not with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) or scleroderma renal crisis (SRC), according to research published in the...

» Dermatomyositis

Dermatomyositis is one of a group of muscle diseases known as the inflammatory myopathies, which are characterized by chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness. Dermatomyositis’ cardinal symptom is a skin rash that precedes or...

» Multidisciplinary Therapy May Improve Systemic Sclerosis

For patients with (SSc), a multidisciplinary program offers better improvement of grip strength, maximal mouth opening (MMO), six-minute walk distance (6MWD), and SSc Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score than regular outpatient care,...