Laser therapy for psoriasis reduces the need for medicated creams and elimination diets. The treatment is quick, safe and very effective. Let’s take a look at how laser for psoriasis works and other related queries.
Facts about Laser Treatment
- There are different types of medical lasers that effectively treat psoriasis
- The majority of patients respond well after 4 to 5 treatments
- The procedure is painless, and only takes 1 or 2 minutes
- The treatment is best for small, isolated areas of psoriasis
How Does Laser Psoriasis Treatment Work?
Laser treatment for psoriasis utilizes intense, focused laser light that targets the lesions of psoriasis, without causing any harm to the surrounding skin. The Excimer laser emits high intensity UV (ultraviolet) light which is delivered in a 1-2 second pulse. This type of laser helps reduce inflammation on the infected area, and can result in resolution of this condition over several sessions.
The pulse dye laser targets psoriasis plaques by shrinking the blood vessels in the affected area. This type of laser is more complicated than the Excimer procedure. The specialist will determine the laser to be used, individualizing treatments depending upon the location, thickness, skin tone, etc. as well as the type of psoriasis.
How Well Does Laser Treatment Work?
Laser therapy is a relatively new way of treating psoriasis, but the results are very promising. The results may last up to a year, and the majority of the patients start to respond after 3 to 4 treatment sessions. This form of treatment is ideal for patients who have small areas affected. Research is still on to find out about the long term benefits of laser therapy for this condition.
How Many Sessions Are Required?
The number of sessions would vary depending upon the severity, location as well as type of psoriasis. Lesions on the trunk respond best, while lesions on the hands and feet might take a few more treatments in order to clear. Generally, 6 to 12 treatment sessions are recommended, with 1 to 2 treatments per week.
Is Laser Treatment Suitable for Everyone?
Not all types of this condition will benefit from laser therapy. As a matter of fact, some types of psoriasis might worsen after laser therapy. In other cases, the extent of the affected areas is too high to be treated with lasers. This treatment is not for everyone with this condition. Patients will be guided by the specialist, with regards to the suitability of this treatment. An alternative to laser therapy is phototherapy.
How Much Will It Cost?
Laser for psoriasis is more affordable than you might think. In many cases, treatment is partially covered under Medicare. Every treatment carries an out of pocket expense of $29. The majority of patients will benefit from 6 to 12 treatment sessions.
Are There Any Risks Involved With Laser Treatment?
Generally, laser therapy is considered to be a safe and effective procedure. However, sometimes there are certain side effects that may be seen. This is seen in less than 2% of cases. The side effects include:
- Temporary lightening of the treated skin
- Worsening of the condition if doses are too strong
- Temporary itching, redness, stinging or burning
Is Laser Therapy a Cure for My Psoriasis?
No. Unfortunately there is no permanent cure for psoriasis till date. However, laser therapy is considered as one of the safest, quickest, and most effective temporary cures for psoriasis. Doctors often combine laser treatment with vitamin creams and a proper diet to achieve optimal results.