In the annual brain-busting question of what to gift my father for the holidays, my husband came up with the great idea of getting a phototherapy device. Dad suffers with psoriasis which is always relieved when he’s able to bask in the sun like a lizard. Unfortunately, lizard basking days in Michigan can probably be counted on the fingers and toes of one person. That might be a generous estimate. Regardless, it’s not nearly enough, hence the phototherapy device.
However, phototherapy devices can’t be purchased in the States without physician sign-off. We did not know that when setting out to get one. And we weren’t likely to get his physician to sign off on a device because he doesn’t have a doctor and refuses to go to one anyway.
I decided to dig up alternatives. What I learned satisfied a hillbilly philosophy that my father and I share. By “hillbilly”, I mean using available resources in sometimes unconventional ways. Ingenuity, in a word.
The alternative phototherapy treatment involves using reptile lights geared for desert dwelling reptiles. They aren’t an exact substitute for the medical lights. Not even close. But I’ve read accounts by many people who found relief from psoriasis by using them.
The nice thing about the reptile light we put in his kit is that it has a huge spike at the wavelength shown to be beneficial to psoriasis sufferers: 311 nanometers. But, of course, being a UV light, you need to protect your eyes so I included a pair of UV safety glasses in the kit. I also included shea butter, geranium essential oil, and psoriasis soap with salicylic acid. I completed the kit with a set of instructions I pulled together despite his insistence that he can’t read. (He can read. I’ve caught him doing it on many occasions.)
The psoriasis soap will help to soften and remove psoriasis plaques or scales. The shea butter is a great moisturizer. The geranium essential oil, which I instructed him to mix into the shea butter, is reported to be the best essential oil for psoriasis. It helps to rebuild healthy cells and reduce inflammation. Short of giving him a diet plan or kidnapping him and taking him to see a doctor for treatment, I covered every base I could find to give him something helpful for the condition.
Of course, there are no guarantees but I’m eager to learn if the “hillbilly” psoriasis kit lives up to its intended ingenuity.