A new study suggests an at-home lamp may treat ulcers. This technology is already present in hospital settings but may not be available for at-home use.
The lamp works by giving off infrared and UV rays, which were found to improve ulcers by 83 percent within three weeks with no side effects. These rays kill bacteria of the ulcers, which reduces inflammation and promotes healing.
Lead author of the study Dr. Michael Hughes explained, “We believe this technology is a game changer. Ulcers cause much distress to patients. This technology is cheap and practical – it’s really a no-brainer as it can be administered at home.”
Ulcers can occur as a result of poor circulation – commonly seen in diabetics – or due to varicose veins, which are a result of blood pooling in the legs and not properly returning back to the heart.
The study looked at eight patients with systemic sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disease that targets the fingers and toes. The patients were exposed to a 32-bulb lamp for 12 minutes twice a week for 21 days.
The lamp is successful because the infrared light is known to boost circulation, which is necessary for wound healing. When oxygenated blood travels to a wound, it provides nutrients to promote healing. Red light is also believed to stimulate collagen, which helps new tissue grow.
The at-home lamp comes with a SIM card, which allows patients to monitor their health and treatment effectiveness.
Dr. Hughes added, “There are future possibilities as well. We think this device could be easily adapted to monitor ulcers remotely using cameras. They could also be programmed to recognize different parts of the body so that the treatment is given accurately.”