Scalp psoriasis can be treated with a novel fiber optic delivery system that irradiates the psoriatic scalp of patients with UV-B light via an Optical Fiber Comb. The currently used methods for treatment of psoriasis with light are not applicable to the scalp because hair is usually blocking the light from reaching the affected skin. Our method overcomes this problem with the use of a """"""""comb"""""""" that has optical fibers to deliver light directly to the skin. An UV-B Lightsource and a Fiber Optic Comb for use in clinics and doctor's offices have been developed during Phase I of this project. During Phase II this device will be evaluated in a clinical setting. The results of this trial will provide data about the effectiveness of the device. These results will be used to tailor the device before it is ready for volume production. In addition a lower cost device for home use will be developed, implementing the findings of the clinical trial and the experience gained during Phase I. If successful the UV-B Lightsource and Fiber Optic Comb will provide treatment to people affected with scalp psoriasis. At present, these people do not have any effective treatment available to them.
Psoriasis of the scalp affects more than two million people in the U.S. alone. Patients will require their own light combs, replaceable after 100- 200 uses. In a conservative scenario, assuming that only 1/3rd of affected patients were treated, in a physician's office, where one device might be used for 100 patients, 6,600 units would be needed in addition to several hundred thousand combs per year. Many patients would desire their own light source for convenience.