Psoriasis is a condition of the skin that leads to patches of skin that are flakey, red, inflamed and often crusty. The patches can take on a silvery look similar to fish scales.
While Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, the most common places are the elbows, knees, and scalp.
While the causes of Psoriasis are still somewhat of a mystery, in general, the condition is attributed to a malfunction of the immune system. This malfunction causes skin cell renewal at an accelerated rate, that leads to these cells ‘piling up’ upon one another, leading to the affected patches of skin on the body.
At Vancouver Cold Laser, we use a laser that emits ultraviolet light. When this light is focused on the areas of skin affected by Psoriasis, the light penetrates deep into the skin to break up the clusters of cells that lead to the psoriatic patches of skin.
Cold Laser Therapy can be applied to any area of your body. Because we use a laser that focuses directly on the areas where your Psoriasis has occurred, we are able to treat the areas without any effect or impact to the surrounding areas of your body.
The Cold Laser is highly effective on joints such as elbows and knees, where it can be tricky to apply other types of treatments.
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LED Light is very healing for Psoriasis, when skin is exposed to sunlight or artificial UVA or UVB which is what we use during treatment. When The uppermost layers of skin is penetrated by LED light, it slows the cell growth to reduce scaling, itching and inflammation, promotes growth of new capillaries, stimulates the lymphatic system, boosts production of collagen which in turn soothes skin and reduces flare ups. Psoriasis causes cells to replicate at 10x the normal rate, which outpaces the body’s ability to shed them (as normal skin cells are aged when they die); this results in unsightly red, scaly, painful and itchy areas. Since light therapy helps to restore normal cell function, this means that the rate of growth will normalize and you’ll experience fewer and fewer less intense flares. Regular light therapy begins with 2x a week session lasting from 15-20 minutes until it’s under control and in remission. Once the initial treatment is complete continue with once weekly treatments to prevent flares.
While Cold Laser uses light versus heat, your are not likely to experience much in the way of side effects. Depending on the severity of your Psoriasis and the number of treatments required to clear the patches, some patients of Vancouver Cold Laser do report very mild instances of itching or stinging, and sometimes redness. Very rarely, if the psoriatic patch is particularly thick, you may see light blistering as well. The good news is, these side effects are rare. If they do occur, our patients report that they subside quickly and aren’t bothersome enough to consider alternate treatment methods.
As with side effects, the risks of cold laser therapy for Psoriasis are very low. However, it is important to note that those with certain other health conditions such as lupus or skin cancer should seek other methods of treatment, as laser therapy could exacerbate those conditions.
You should also consult your physician prior to starting cold laser treatment. Certain medications such as antibiotics or topical skin treatments like tretinoin, can make your skin extra sensitive to light. Since cold laser therapy involves the use of different types of light, you will want to have the go ahead from your doctor to ensure that the treatment will not cause additional health issues due to your medications.
Each Cold Laser treatment for Psoriasis takes just a few minutes. Due to the concentration of the laser applied directly to the psoriatic patches, treatment is very quick and highly effective in small ‘doses’ spread out over time.
The number of laser sessions required to treat your Psoriasis will depend on a variety of factors including the following:
In general, we prescribe at least three short sessions spaced one to two weeks apart. This will ensure that not only are we treated the visible symptoms of Psoriasis, but we are also treating the condition at the cellular level deep within the skin to prevent future outbreaks of the patches.
Once your initial treatments have been completed, we recommend maintenance treatments to help extend the benefits, and keep your skin looking clear and free of patches.
At Vancouver Cold Laser, our patients have experienced excellent results, some as quickly as after their very first treatment. Again, how quickly your skin responds to treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms, location, number of lesions etc.
Generally speaking, approximately 75 percent of our patients will show complete, or close to complete remission of the active psoriatic patches after six treatments.
Once your patches and lesions have gone into remission, there are several things you can do to help prolong the period of remission. Most importantly, ensuring the use of a good SPF not just on the treatments areas, but on any skin that is exposed to the sun, will help to keep your skin healthy. As well, keep the following things in mind:
At Vancouver Cold Laser, we offer effective and pain free treatment options to help clear up your Psoriasis. Treatments are very fast, and there will be no interruption to your daily life. If you suffer from Psoriasis, why not give us a call and book an appointment with a laser specialist? We’ll have you on the road to clear beautiful skin in no time!