Light therapy with turmeric may treat psoriasis

Light therapy with turmeric may treat psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that forces skin cells to grow too rapidly. Up to 7.5 million Americans suffer from the disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is actually an autoimmune disease and occurs when a type of white blood cell called a T cell mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells.

Usually, skin cells grow slowly and shed about every 4 weeks. This allows fresh new skin cells to replace the old ones that have flaked off. However, with psoriasis, skin cells are formed within a matter of days rather than weeks. This creates thick patches or plaques.

New research shows that light therapy with turmeric may treat psoriasis.

European researchers conducted a trial with persons suffering from moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The participants received oral curcumin extract for 17 days, and about 15 of those days included visible light phototherapy (VLRT) or simulated visible light phototherapy (VLST).

The study authors wrote: “Twenty-one patients were included in the study. In the intention-to-treat analysis, no patients included in the VLRT group showed “moderate” or “severe” plaques after the treatment, in contrast to the patients included in the VSLT group (p<0.01). Parallelisms in the evolution of PGA (Psoriasis Global Assessment), BSA (body surface area), and PASI (psoriasis area and severity index) scores were observed in the two groups following the treatment. At the end of the study period, 76% of all patients showed a response in the BSA exposed to UVA. Lesions on the experimental area showed a response in 81% of the patients in the VLRT group and 30% of the patients in the VLST group. There were no study-related adverse events that necessitated participant withdrawal.”

In simpler terms, all three study groups had significant improvement of symptoms, especially those who received real visible light phototherapy and oral curcumin.

The study authors concluded: “The results suggested that moderate to severe plaque psoriasis should show a therapeutic response to orally administered Curcuma if activated with visible light phototherapy, a new therapeutic method that would be safer for patients than existing treatments.”

The study showing that light therapy with turmeric may treat psoriasis was published in the European Journal of Dermatology.

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1. “Effects of Curcuma Extract and Visible Light on Adults with Plaque Psoriasis.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 June 2015. Web. 04 July 2015.
2. “Light-Turmeric Extract Combo Treats Psoriasis Effectively.”, 28 June 2015. Web. 04 July 2015.

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