Eczema is a group of inflamed skin conditions that result in chronic itchy rashes. About 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of eczema, including 10-20 percent of all infants. Symptoms vary from person to person, but often include dry, red, itchy patches on the skin which break out in rashes when scratched.
Objects and conditions that trigger itchy eczema outbreaks may include rough or coarse materials touching the skin, excessive heat or sweating, soaps, detergents, disinfectants, fruit and meat juices, dust mites, animal saliva and danders, upper respiratory infections and stress.
Treatment involves the restriction of scratching, use of moisturizing lotions or creams, cold compresses and preparations. If this proves insufficient, physicians may prescribe corticosteroid medication, antibiotics to combat infection, or sedative antihistamines. Phototherapy is a common procedure that uses light to reduce rashes. For severe cases, drugs such as cyclosporine A may be recommended.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that typically manifests as scaly red plaques on the skin. Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis, which may be mild, moderate or severe. The most commonly affected areas are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but it can be treated successfully, sometimes for months or years at a time and occasionally even permanently. Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of psoriasis; the patient’s age, medical history ; and the effect the disease has on the patient’s general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, and oral or injectable medication (for severe symptoms).
Narrow Band UVB Phototherapy Treatment
UVB phototherapy involves shining ultraviolet light on the skin to treat psoriasis and other chronic skin conditions. It is an easier and safer alternative to PUVA treatment (psoralen plus UVA phototherapy). As its name suggests, the light that is used in narrow-band UVB phototherapy is a very specific range of wavelengths in the ultraviolet spectrum – just 311 to 312 nm – that has been shown to most effectively slow the rapid growth of cells and improve the symptoms of psoriasis.
Patients generally receive phototherapy treatments three times per week for about 10 weeks. Exposure time begins at a few seconds and increases with each session. Session lengths are tailored to the patient’s skin type and tolerance. After the skin has cleared, UVB phototherapy may be continued to prolong remission time, or patients may undergo other psoriasis treatments to minimize their exposure to ultraviolet light.
XTRAC® Laser Treatment
XTRAC® Laser Treatment is an FDA-approved excimer laser procedure used to treat active skin lesions associated with psoriasis and vitiligo. Developed by PhotoMedex, the XTRAC laser is designed to effectively reduce the appearance of psoriasis and vitiligo in ten treatments or less, with results typically lasting several months before any symptoms present themselves again.
Thousands of patients across the world have experienced the effective results of this procedure, which uses a wavelength of 308nm to gently clear skin. XTRAC laser treatment is a safe and quick procedure that effectively clears the skin of active lesions while leaving healthy skin intact.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses light and a light-sensitive dye to treat cancer and other diseases. During the procedure, a photosensitized dye or drug is injected into the problem area, which is then exposed to pulses of a narrow-wavelength beam of light. The dye absorbs this light and produces an active form of oxygen that aids in the destruction of the tumor. PDT ensures high precision by targeting only the tissue in and near the treatment area.