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General Information: Vitiligo:Excimer Laser

Excimer lasers can treat vitiligo more effectively, safely, and conveniently than topical creams, UVB booths, or PUVA.

Clinical studies show that patients treated with the excimer laser system achieve greater repigmentation in 2 to 4 weeks than with any other present vitiligo therapy.

Targeted treatment of vitiligo patches limits exposure to healthy tissue.

Treatments are painless and take only a few minutes, twice or thrice a week, for several weeks.

Is Treatment Safe?
The laser may have fewer shortcomings than many common vitiligo treatments. Due to the targeted nature of laser therapy, healthy skin exposure to the ultraviolet light is limited. This reduces the total UV radiation and may lower the risk of premature skin aging and carcinogenesis that is often associated with UVB booths and PUVA. There is no thinning of the skin, easy bruising, or stretch marks often caused by steroids, nor any of the nausea or vomiting caused by psoralen.

How do PHAROS Excimer Lasers work?
The EX-308 creates a concentrated, but painless, beam of ultraviolet light that is delivered to vitiligo patches through a handpiece that rests directly on the skin. By targeting depigmented patches, the laser stimulates repigmentation and limits exposure to healthy skin.

Who is a candidate for treatment?
Excimer laser therapy is for patients of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. The laser is ideal for localized areas including the face, neck, and torso. Traditionally hard-to-treat areas such as the underarms, hands, and feet are also easily treated, thanks to the laser's aiming beam and adjustable spot size handpiece. The targeted therapy can effectively treat stubborn patches, even those that have not responded to other treatments.

How does treatment compare with other vitiligo treatments?
Unlike most treatments that have low efficacy or significant side effects, the laser effectively repigments with a small number of treatments in a relatively short period of time with minimal side effects.Compared to UVB booths and PUVA that may take 6 months to 1 year of sessions, some excimer laser patients achieve repigmentation in 30 or fewer sessions. Total UV radiation is lower than with UVB booths or PUVA. Treatments are fast and no pharmaceuticals are needed

What can I expect during treatment?
Treatment will take place in your doctor's office. First, your doctor will determine the best dosage level for you. Then, the doctor will place the handpiece directly on the vitiligo patch and apply the laser therapy. You will hear a gentle hum and see a blue colored light from the handpiece tip. Most treatments take only a few minutes.

Does treatment hurt?
No. Most patients experience no pain or discomfort. A few patients may feel slight warmth shortly after treatment. This warmth is mild and short-lived. No anesthesia is needed.

How many treatment sessions will I need?
Your doctor will create a customized course of therapy for you based upon the extent, degree of depigmentation, and location of the patches. Patients may enjoy repigmentation after 30 or fewer sessions.

How do I prepare for treatment?
No extensive preparation is required for laser therapy. Just ensure that the skin to be treated is clean, dry, and free of any make-up, lotion, or creams containing SPF protection.

Are there side effects?
The side effects of laser therapy are minimal. Most patients report no side effects. A few patients have reported a mild and short-lived redness at the treatment site. More serious side effects such as blistering and hyper-pigmentation are rare and short-lived.

Are laser treatments covered by insurance?
Some national, state, and local insurance companies cover the laser treatment, but coverage levels will vary by plan. Talk to Dr. Lin’s insurance billing department for details about your insurance coverage.

What Patients Say about EX-308 Excimer Laser Treatments:
"When I started treatments, about a quarter of my face was affected. Now, after 32 treatments, the treated areas are more than 85% repigmented. People who did not see me before cannot detect I ever had vitiligo. If I had vitiligo any other place, I would definitely get EX-308 excimer laser treatments. It definitely works. There is no point trying anything else."

A.D. Seattle, WA




ADSCI - Advanced Dermatology Skin Cancer Institute Linage Dermatology Linage Skin Care