Sufferers of psoriasis, an incurable skin disease that breaks out in scaly red plaques and also causes the skin to peel, will shortly get a new ally in the management of the condition. Lighting giant Philips is about to launch BlueControl, an LED light unit that can help patients of mild and moderate cases with no side effects.
The device was developed based on findings from research showing that blue LED light treatment slows down the root cause of psoriasis, which is the rapid division of cells. It can also reduce skin inflammation. Philips designed an unobtrusive battery-powered strap-on unit that can be placed on the parts of the body that are affected by the irritating skin disease.
The system does not use regular LED lights, which are not always suitable for medical-grade applications such as BlueControl. Philips carried out research with academic and clinical partners in order to develop pulsed LED lights with higher intensities. Altogether, the system features 40 of those UV-free blue lights.
To test BlueControl, Philips teamed up with the University Hospital of Aachen in Germany. During the second of two clinical trials that spanned four months ending in June, patients showed an average reduction of 50 percent of symptoms based on a measurement system called Local Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI). The index measures the severity of psoriasis plaques in terms of thickness, redness and scaling. The trials also revealed that the blue LED lights produced no side effects.
Philips will present BlueControl at the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology Congress, which takes place in Amsterdam between 8-12 October, before it goes on sale in The Netherlands, Germany and the UK.