Dr. William Ting, Board-Certified Dermatologist
at California Dermatology Care
2262 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583
Advanced Care with a Personal Touch
* Review Dr. Ting's 717+ Q&A on RealSelf
What is the Excimer Laser?
The Excimer Laser is an exciting new treatment for psoriasis and vitiligo. The two FDA-approved Excimer lasers for are Pharos and Xtrac. The Excimer Laser is designed to provide fast, effective relief from dry, itchy and unsightly psoriasis lesions. Using a carefully focused beam of laser light delivered through an advanced technology light guide device, the Excimer Laser system can treat psoriasis lesions quickly and effectively. The Excimer Laser concentrates the light only on the psoriasis lesion, allowing the physician to deliver high doses necessary for rapid clearing while minimizing exposure of healthy skin.
The Excimer Laser Offers Many Benefits
With the Excimer Laser, treatment is fast, effective and targeted right to the spot of the problem without unnecessarily treating the surrounding healthy skin. Some of the benefits include:
- The Excimer Laser delivers a carefully focused beam of light only on the psoriasis affected area without exposing healthy skin to UVB rays, unlike conventional phototherapy which exposes the whole body to ultraviolet light.
- The Excimer Laser can be used successfully on hard to treat areas such as elbows, knees, and scalp, as well as other areas requiring treatment.
- The Excimer Laser has none of the drawbacks often associated with other psoriasis treatments—such as premature aging of healthy skin, skin thinning or resistance to medication.
- Excimer Laser treatments are convenient — no messy creams!
- Excimer Laser treatments enable patients to enjoy fast, safe, convenient, effective relief from the unsightly and troublesome symptoms of psoriasis.
- Excimer Laser treatments deliver results in just a few, quick, easy sessions.
What is an Excimer Laser treatment session like?
Treatments are fast, easy and performed in a physician’s office. On the first visit, the physician will determine your optimal starting dose. Then the physician or a trained health care professional will hold the Excimer Laser hand piece over the affected area(s) and expose the lesions to the laser light. Depending on the size of the affected area, this takes only a few minutes and requires no anesthesia.
Does Excimer Laser treatment hurt?
Most patients feel no pain or discomfort during the quick Excimer Laser sessions. Occasionally, some patients report a warm sensation, similar to a mild sunburn, at the treatment site.
How many Excimer Laser treatments does it take and what results can I expect?
Individual results will vary depending on the body surface affected. Most patients experience significant improvement in a few as 6 to 10 treatments; clearance in 10 to 20 depending on the severity.
Is there any difference between Xtrac or Pharos Excimer Laser?
Both Pharos Excimer laser and Xtrac Excimer laser are FDA-approved. There is no significant clinical difference between the two competing brands. Pharos Excimer laser is designed to deliver laser energy in even distribution vs. Xtrac laser which may have a relatively hot spot in the center of the treatment area. In another words, there is slightly less risk of burning from Pharos Excimer laser vs. Xtrac laser and this is the major reason that Dr. Ting has chosen to use Pharos Excimer laser technology for our practice.
How long will a remission last?
Average remissions times of 3.5 to 6 months have been reported.
Who should consider Excimer Laser treatment?
Individuals with mild to moderate psoriasis or vitiligo that are unhappy with their current method of treatment or who have failed previous treatment options should consider the Excimer Laser treatment. This includes individuals who have tried topical treatments, oral medications, injections and traditional phototherapy and have areas not responding to those treatments. The Excimer Laser is perfect for active people who want fast, convenient treatment.
Does Excimer Laser work for Vitiligo?
Dr. Ting believes that Excimer Laser has become the gold standard in treating vitiligo though it is currently not officially approved by the FDA for the treatment of vitiligo. Excimer laser along with topical prescribed medications is superior than that of narrow-band ultraviolet B phototherapy in regards to efficacy and requirement of less treatments
Is Excimer Laser treatment covered by insurance?
The Excimer Laser treatment for psoriasis is generally covered by Medicare and most major insurance plans, but it is best to check with your insurance company to see if this treatment is covered under your plan and to see if there are any additional coverage criteria. For Aetna and United Health Care, Excimer laser may be covered for treatment of vitiligo.