Treating atopic dermatitis
BIOPTRON LIGHT THERAPY is a new and effective treatment for relieving the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
BIOPTRON Light Therapy in Atopic Dermatitis
BIOPTRON Light Therapy may help to treat skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis by relieving pain and inflammation, by promoting a healing response in any skin lesions.
How do I use BIOPTRON Light Therapy if I have Atopic Dermatitis?
It is so simple! BIOPTRON Light Therapy is completely safe and easy to use.
The BIOPTRON Light Therapy device can easily be positioned so the healing light shines on any areas where skin lesions are present (head, face, arms and legs). Treatment should be applied to each affected area for 4 to 10 minutes per session and for 1 to 2 sessions per day for as long as required until improvement is observed.
What is BIOPTRON Light Therapy?
Light is a form of energy and has ‘wave-like’ properties; the difference between the various colours of light is determined by their wavelength. Light has been used as a healing tool since ancient times. Scientists now have a better understanding of which components of natural light are useful in the stimulation of healing.
This has led to the development of optical devices to produce various types of ‘medically useful’ light, such as the BIOPTRON Light Therapy (BLT) System.
What effect does BIOPTRON Light Therapy have on the body?
BIOPTRON Light Therapy devices emit light containing a range of wavelengths that correspond to visible light plus infrared radiation, both of which have been reported to stimulate biological reactions.
Importantly, no harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation is present in BLT.
When the BLT device is held over the skin surface, energy from the emitted light penetrates the underlying tissues. This produces a biological response, called photo-biostimulation, causing various reactions within these tissues that may result in the reduction of pain and promotion of healing.
What is atopic dermatitis?
People who are ‘atopic’ have allergies to items commonly found in their environment, such as grass pollen, animal hair, and certain types of food, etc.
These allergies result in the development of conditions such as hay fever, asthma and atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is also known as atopic eczema or endogenous eczema (eczema comes from the Greek word meaning ‘to bubble’ up or ‘boil’).
Atopic dermatitis presents as itchy, red, scaly skin patches that can occur anywhere on the body. It has a variable progression; some people have it for a few years and then their skin clears up, while other people have more severe, long-term disease.
Atopic dermatitis is a common condition, affecting 5% of the general population and up to 15% of children.
Who gets atopic dermatitis?
Anyone can develop atopic dermatitis and it affects men and women equally.
Atopic dermatitis commonly affects babies and young children, and the skin lesions often appear within a few months of birth.
What causes atopic dermatitis?
The exact cause is not yet known. Some people are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis, particularly if other family members have had it, or if there is a family history of asthma or hay fever. For example, if one parent has atopic dermatitis, his/her child has a 20% to 30% risk of also developing the condition; if both parents have it, the risk goes up to more than 50%. Atopic dermatitis is not infectious.
Atopic people have an overactive immune (defence) system, which means their bodies ‘overreact’ when they come into contact with certain triggers (grass pollen, animal hair, etc).
In atopic dermatitis this results in their skin becoming red and inflammed, which impairs its normal functioning as a protective barrier.
External factors can also make atopic dermatitis worse. These include exposure to detergents, chemicals, woollen clothing, and cat/dog hair. Certain types of food, such as dairy products (cow’s milk, cheese, butter, etc.) may also have a role in some people. Skin infection by viruses (such as herpes simplex – the ‘cold sore’ virus) or bacteria can aggravate atopic dermatitis. Feeling unwell or getting stressed may also cause it to flare up.
What are the common symptoms of atopic dermatitis?
Common areas of the body affected by atopic dermatitis include the front of the knees and elbows, and around the neck. In infants and young children the lesions often appear on the face and body trunk.
The first sign of atopic dermatitis is the appearance of small blisters, which leak a watery fluid and make the skin wet. The skin then becomes inflammed and sore, appearing as patches of red, scaly skin. The affected areas often become very dry.
The main symptom of atopic dermatitis is intense itching, which can be extremely severe in many cases and may interfere with sleep. Scratching or rubbing of the skin often causes further damage, worsening inflammation and soreness and making the skin thicken. Broken skin can become infected by viruses or bacteria.
In addition to the physical problems, atopic dermatitis has a negative impact on quality of life for the sufferer (and if the sufferer is a child, for his or her family). The constant itching and skin soreness can be extremely distressing and often adversely affects sleep (particularly in children and their parents). Older sufferers may also be embarrassed or self-conscious about the appearance of their skin.
What happens to people with atopic dermatitis?
The majority of children who have atopic dermatitis will spontaneously improve as they get older; 50% will be free of the disease by the time they are 6 years old and more than 75% will be clear as teenagers. However, a minority will suffer from recurrence during their teenage years and in adulthood. For adults who develop atopic dermatitis, the condition tends to be chronic with alternating periods of skin flare up and remission.
What treatment is available?
Atopic dermatitis cannot be cured but it can be controlled. General measures include avoiding known irritants (such as animal hair, strong soaps, etc) and wearing cotton clothing.
Most patients have mild to moderate cases and treatment applied directly to the skin (topical therapy) is usually sufficient. Topical therapy consists of creams such as emollients (to moisten the skin and reduce skin scaling), barrier cream (to prevent water loss and protect the skin) and steroid cream (to reduce inflammation). Antibiotics may be required if secondary skin infection has occurred. Anti-histamines can help to reduce itching and allow sleep.
Severe disease may require more aggressive treatments such as phototherapy (using ultraviolet light) and/or the use of drugs to suppress the immune system, such as azathioprine or ciclosporin. However, these treatments all have side effects and the doctors must calculate the potential risks and benefits to each individual patient.