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For Psoriasis, Laser Treatment Looks Promising

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But due to the risk of cancer, this approach is only used when symptoms aren't controlled with steroid skin creams. "For moderate to severe cases, several months of phototherapy is often needed to resolve symptoms, even with two treatments a week," adds Brody.

At present, most health plans cover phototherapy and few, if any, cover laser treatment. But its potential to eliminate 25 or more office visits with every outbreak, while reducing the risk of cancer, may cause the managed care industry to take notice of this effective new treatment.

The study was supported in part by Laser Phototonics Inc. of San Diego.

Vital Information:

  • A recent study showed that a laser beam of ultraviolet light can clear psoriasis patches in a single treatment with a fairly long remission, but blistering was common.
  • Unlike traditional phototherapy, laser treatments spare surrounding healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation exposure, reducing the risk of cancer and premature aging.
  • Several months of phototherapy is often needed to clear moderate to severe recurrences, but treatments are usually covered by health insurance.
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