Dr. Mark Ling and Avail Dermatology are pleased to announce the arrival of the Xtrac laser. Xtrac is an exciting new technology, which uses a laser to generate an intense beam of ultraviolet light (“UV”). This can be used to treat resistant cases of psoriasis, as well as other conditions including vitiligo and alopecia areata.
It has been known for decades that ultraviolet light, typically in the form of natural sunlight, was beneficial for the treatment of psoriasis. For many years, dermatologists offered “phototherapy,” the use of artificial ultraviolet light, as a way to treat the more severe cases. Typically, the patient would stand naked in a “booth,” similar to a tanning booth, and would have the skin bathed in intense ultraviolet light. Over time the psoriasis would gradually thin and eventually clear entirely. However, over time, serious limitations to conventional phototherapy became recognized. Treatments were long, often 10-20 minutes standing in a totally enclosed, hot, viewless booth. Many treatments were needed: often 30 to 40 treatments would be needed to clear psoriasis. This presented huge time problems for an increasingly busy patient population. And most of all, the recognition of the role that ultraviolet light plays in the development of skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanoma, made people more reluctant, particularly since they had to expose their entire body to UV just to treat the small patches of psoriasis.
The development of the Xtrac laser now allows us to benefit from the effects of UV on psoriasis, while eliminating the majority of complaints about phototherapy. The laser is able to generate an intense beam of UV, exposing only a small, postage stamp-sized area of skin with each “pulse” of UV light. Thus, the treatments are entirely confined to only the areas of psoriasis, eliminating the risk of widespread skin cancer. This also allows the use of much higher doses of UV, meaning that patients are seeing significant improvement with as few as 6-10 treatments, with complete clearing often after just 10-20 total treatments, The treatments are also fast, often no more than a minute or two, allowing patients to come and go quickly.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of Xtrac is that patients who do clear their skin will on average have a period of 4-6 months of remission, during which their skin stays clear with no treatrments needed. For patients tired of messy, time-consuming, expensive, and less than effective topical creams and ointments, this can be a real breakthrough, allowing them to lead much more normal lives, no longer having to cover up even in the heat of summer.
For more information, contact Avail Dermatology and ask about the Xtrac. We are excited that we are able to offer this to our psoriasis patients.
The following link offers more information as well: http://www.xtraclaser.com/resources_linktous.htm