Tech Focus: The Philips BlueControl
In order to treat cases of the skin condition psoriasis, technology company Philips is releasing a new gadget, named BlueControl. The device shines blue LED lights on affected areas of the skin to help ease the symptoms of mild to moderate cases of the skin condition. The user simply straps the device to the affected area as an alternative treatment option.
When functioning normally, the skin creates and replaces its cells around every four months. When suffering from psoriasis, this process of rejuvenation takes just three to seven days. With psoriasis, it is the rapid cell production that causes patches of skin to appear red and flaky, and have a scale-like appearance. The Philips device works to slow this process, minimising the symptoms.
Psoriasis most commonly occurs on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp, although can appear on any part of the body. Affecting around 2% of people in the UK, the disease can vary in severity, with some people only finding symptoms to be mild, and others finding it impacts quite heavily on their lives.
For most sufferers, the condition is treated with creams and ointments, although for more severe cases, this treatment option may have little to no effect. Phototherapy is another option, which uses a specific type of ultraviolet light to treat the condition. Unlike phototherapy, the Philips BlueControl uses an intense blue light without a UV component.
Philips’ new device can be used on any part of the body, providing it can be secured using the strap. The intense light used helps to reduce the amount of inflammation, and works to alleviate the pain the condition can cause. The device has been designed to be used by the patient themselves, and is battery operated, meaning it can be used wherever best suits the user.
For some people, living with psoriasis can have a major effect on day-to-day life. While for others it is simply a mild irritation, those with severe cases can often find it having a negative impact on their self-esteem, resulting in anxiety and in some cases depression. Therefore, devices such as the Philips BlueControl could provide a viable treatment option for those with mild to moderate psoriasis, helping to alleviate its appearance, as well as reducing the pain it can cause.