Southwest Michigan Dermatology Portage, MI
Psoriasis Laser Treatment
Psoriasis can cause unsightly and uncomfortable plaques to form as an affected person’s skin cells replicate too quickly for normal turnover. This can lead to redness and inflammation, as well as itchy skin. Psoriasis flare ups can come and go, making it difficult to predict your symptoms ahead of time. At Southwest Michigan Dermatology in Portage, MI, we are committed to providing our patients with comprehensive psoriasis treatment options including cutting-edge laser solutions that can reduce their psoriasis symptoms without steroids or other harsh pharmaceutical medications.
What is psoriasis and how do I know if I have it?
Even dermatologists do not completely understand why some people develop psoriasis and others do not. It is believed there is a strong genetic component, as people who have family members with psoriasis are more likely to develop the condition themselves. Psoriasis will manifest as uncomfortable plaques on the skin that look shiny and red. These plaques are caused by an abnormally fast turnover of new skin cell growth, which results in build-up on the surface of the skin every 3-4 days instead of the normal cycle of approximately 28-30 days.
Is there a cure for psoriasis?
Unfortunately, there is not yet a complete cure for psoriasis. Rather, patients who are diagnosed with the condition will need to find a sustainable treatment method that works for their lifestyle to reduce their symptoms and the severity of plaques during a flare-up. In the past, the most common treatments for psoriasis included topical ointments that provide gentle chemical exfoliation, oral medications, and steroids. As laser technology has improved, certain types of laser systems have been indicated as a potential treatment option for psoriasis sufferers.
How do lasers help psoriasis?
Laser systems designed to treat psoriasis can deliver targeted ultraviolet light to areas of concern for psoriasis symptoms. Light therapy has been used to treat psoriasis for many years, but lasers offer better precision for treatment and can reduce the potential for negative side effects by reducing the chance of exposing healthy skin to the UV light. Current laser systems are also able to penetrate more deeply into the skin, so you require fewer treatments versus traditional light therapy. In general, you will be required to undergo approximately 1-2 session per week for 4-10 weeks in order to maximize the efficacy of your treatment. Following your laser treatment, your skin may be more sensitive to sunlight, so it is even more important than usual to practice effective sun protection immediately following your appointments.
Are there any risks I should be aware of?
There are generally no major risks associated with laser therapy for psoriasis. This treatment is well tolerated by most people and can offer fast and effective results. Laser treatments for psoriasis are especially helpful for many patients who have not responded well to other treatments. However, laser treatments work best for patients with localized psoriasis plaques. Laser treatments do not require any downtime for recovery, though your skin may be more sensitive than usual following a laser treatment session.
If you have psoriasis and are interested in exploring your treatment options, the experienced dermatologists at Southwest Michigan Dermatology can provide you with comprehensive solutions that will allow you to make informed treatment decisions that suit your lifestyle. If you think that laser psoriasis treatments might be right for you, call us today at (269) 321-7546 to schedule a consultation.