Who is a candidate for treatment?
The laser is ideal for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Traditionally hard-to-treat areas such as knees, elbows, and scalp are easily treated, thanks to the laser’s aiming beam and adjustable spot size handpiece. The targeted high-dose therapy can effectively treat stubborn plaques, even those that have not responded to other treatments.
How does treatment compare with other psoriasis treatments?
Unlike topical creams and gels, treatment with the laser does not require any daily maintenance. Each patient is unique, but some patients enjoy several months of treatment-free remission after completing about 8 laser sessions.
Excimer laser treatments are painless and take only a few minutes. Equally important, some patients only need about 8 laser treatments, as opposed to 30 or more conventional booth sessions.
Is treatment safe?
The laser may have fewer shortcomings than many common psoriasis treatments. Due to the targeted nature of laser therapy, healthy skin is not exposed to the ultraviolet light. This may reduce the risk of premature skin aging that is often associated with lamp phototherapy. There is no thinning of the skin, easy bruising, or stretch marks often caused by steroids, nor any of the systemic side effects caused by some oral medications.
What can I expect during treatment?
Treatment will take place in your doctor’s office. First, your doctor will determine the best dosage level for you. Then, the doctor will place the handpiece directly on the psoriatic lesions and apply the laser therapy. You will hear a gentle hum and see a blue colored light from the handpiece tip. Most treatments take only a few minutes.
Does treatment hurt?
No. Most patients experience no pain or discomfort. A few patients may feel slight warmth shortly after treatment. This warmth is mild and short-lived. No anesthesia is needed.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
Your doctor will create a customized course of therapy for you based upon the extent, thickness, and location of the lesions. Some patients enjoy clearing after about 8 sessions.
How do I prepare for treatment?
No extensive preparation is required for laser therapy. Just ensure that the skin to be treated is clean, dry, and free of any make-up, lotion, or creams containing SPF protection.
Are there side effects?
The side effects of laser therapy are minimal. Most patients report no side effects. A few patients have reported a mild and short-lived redness at the lesion site. More serious side effects such as blistering and hyper-pigmentation are rare and short-lived.
Are laser treatments covered by insurance?
Many national, state, and local insurance companies cover the laser treatment, but coverage levels will vary by plan.