A new research has revealed that a lamp could treat ulcers. The study found that the light, which gives off a combination of infrared and UV rays, improves ulcers by 83 per cent after three weeks with no side effects.
The study also revealed that the lamp’s rays kill bacteria in ulcers and reduce inflammation to promote healing.
The researchers said while such lamps are already available in hospitals, the new therapy could be used at home. They added that unlike existing treatments, the lamp is cheap and practical.
“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,” said lead author, Dr Michael Hughes, from the University of Manchester.
The research was carried out on eight patients who have systemic sclerosis. They were exposed to the 32-bulb lamp. Systemic sclerosis occurs when a person’s immune system attacks their fingers and toes.
The patients had 14 ulcers between them and were exposed to the lamp for 15 minutes twice a week for 21 days.
Infrared red and red light in the lamp is thought to boost circulation, which increases wounds’ supply of oxygen and nutrients to encourage healing.
Scientists also believe that red light stimulates the production of collage, which helps new tissue grow. The lamp comes with an SIM card that allows patients’ progress to be monitored remotely.
Dr Hughes said there were future possibilities. “We think this device could be easily adapted to monitor ulcers remotely using cameras. They could also be programmed to recognise different parts of the body so that the treatment is given accurately,” said Dr Hughes.
People with diabetes are more at risk of ulcers due to their poor circulation. Ulcers can also occur on the lower legs, known as varicose veins, when blood does not properly flow back to the heart, causing it to pool.
Diabetic foot for instance occurs when ulcers develop from small cuts, putting sufferers at risk of amputation.