We now offer the excimer laser, a gentle and painless phototherapy laser shown to be effective in treating difficult-to-treat skin conditions, including psoriasis, vitiligo, and atopic dermatitis.
The excimer laser is different from cosmetic lasers that are usually associated with pain during treatment and post-treatment downtime for the patient. Instead, this laser delivers a highly energetic but painless beam of UVB light to the psoriasis, vitiligo, and atopic dermatitis patches through a handpiece that rests directly on the patient’s skin. It features the most advanced optical technology on the market, including an adjustable spot size and guiding aiming beam, to precisely target only the affected skin and spare the surrounding healthy tissue from exposure. There is no downtime for the patients.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious, lifelong skin disease that affects an estimated 7 million Americans. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches or lesions covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells, called scale. In addition to discomfort and itching, psoriasis patients commonly suffer from social embarrassment and depression. Even worse for patients, the usual treatments are messy, time-consuming, and costly. Topical creams and ointments have to be applied several times a day, conventional phototherapy requires 30-40 treatments and thrice weekly office visits, and the newer biological treatments usually cost the patient $2000-$3000 out of pocket each year.
At Long Island Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, the excimer laser is changing the way patients manage their psoriasis and is helping them achieve rapid clearing and long remissions. Patients come in twice each week for an average of 6 weeks, and each quick treatment session usually takes only 5-10 minutes. Patients usually enjoy several months of treatment-free remission.
Equally exciting for psoriasis patients, the targeted high-dose laser therapy can effectively treat stubborn plaques including knees, elbows, palms, soles, and scalp, even those that have not responded to other treatments.
Vitiligo is characterized by the appearance of white patches of skin on different parts of the body as a result of the destruction of melanocytes. This may vary from one or two white spots on the skin to large areas of depigmentation. Vitiligo is not contagious. For some people, although not for everyone, the depigmentation is progressive. Vitiligo affects 1 to 2 percent of the world's population including approximately 2 to 5 million Americans.
Prior to the excimer laser, vitiligo patients’ treatment options were usually limited to topical steroids with limited efficacy and traditional phototherapy that often required hundreds of treatments and exposed all of the patients’ skin to UV, increasing risks such as photo-aging and carcinogenicity. Now vitiligo patients at Long Island Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology can benefit from the excimer laser's proven repigmentation technology with none of the downsides of steroids or old-fashioned phototherapy.
The excimer laser is also indicated for atopic dermatitis, hereditary skin inflammation that commonly affects infants, children, and young adults.