We harness the energy and science of laser and light therapy to treat acne, precancerous lesions, psoriasis and vitiligo. Let us make a difference in your long-term dermatological care.
XTRAC® for Psoriasis and Pigment Loss in Vitiligo
Narrowband Ultraviolet B (UVS) therapy safely and precisely lowers the overactive immune system in the skin of patients affected with Psoriasis and Vitiligo. A small handpiece is placed on the affected skin and gradually increasing strengths of UVB are delivered. This method avoids the harmful side effects of topical steroids or oral systemic immunosuppressants. The treatment has few side effects and can place these conditions into remission for months to years.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Precancerous Lesions
How does “Blue Light” work? A medication called Levulan® is applied to the area of sun damage (precancerous lesions / actinic keratoses). After 1-2 hours, the solution is absorbed by the damaged cells. The area is then exposed to blue light, which causes a chemical reaction destroying the cells. When you are under the blue light, your skin will be sensitive with a tingling less likely burning feeling. After the damaged cells are destroyed, healthy new cells replace them.
What happens after a “Blue Light” treatment? The Levulan® that was applied to your skin in the office is still active for 48 hrs after the initial application. Any exposure to sunlight (even through a window), will cause inflammation and irritation. For this reason, you cannot participate in any excessive outdoor activities i.e. Golf, tennis, or swimming, for 3 days following the procedure. You should wear sunscreen, a hat and sun protective clothing. At DOCs, we do have a selection of extremely effective physical barrier zinc oxide sunscreens SPF 30+ if you are in need.
Although results will vary, most people experience redness, scaliness and mild peeling for up to 10 days post-procedure. Excessive redness, swelling or crusting is rare and we can help you with your recovery.
When should I schedule the “Blue Light” procedure? The blue light should be scheduled at a time when you do not have outdoor activities planned for 3 days. Also, it should not be scheduled less than 10 days before a special event as there will be some redness to the face.
How do I prepare for the “Blue Light” procedure? Stop all retin-A creams 1 week prior. On the day of the procedure, come to our office without moisturizer, sunscreen, or make-up. Please bring a book, magazine, or crossword puzzle as there will be a 1-2 hour wait after the Levulan® is applied and prior to activation by the blue light. You will leave the office with an application of sunscreen. Depending upon the site that was treated, it is beneficial if you also bring a wide brimmed hat, wide rimmed sunglasses or protective clothing.
What is the after care following “Blue Light”? Wash the area with a gentle cleanser. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above even when you are not planning on going outside. Remember the re-application process since most sunscreens either last 2 or 4 hours at most. We suggest a sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium since these are hypoallergenic and lasts 4 hours. You will also need to keep the area moisturized with non-irritating creams especially at night. If your skin is very irritated, use an over the counter 1% Hydrocortisone cream 2 times a day. If this does not relieve your discomfort, we can provide you with a stronger prescription. We do have a post-photodynamic therapy kit that has a gentle cleanser, intense reparative cream and zinc oxide sunscreen.
Do “Blue Light” treatments replace liquid nitrogen, Efudex, Carac, or Aldara? Blue Light will hopefully minimize the needs for these other treatments. However, they may still be necessary for thicker lesions or stubborn area. “Blue Light” is often repeated in 4 weeks depending upon the thickness of the lesion and the initial outcome.
Is “Blue Light” covered by Insurance? The “Blue Light” treatments for actinic keratosis are covered by many insurances. Your precise benefits coverage will be reviewed by our office in advance. We are all mindful, that insurances always maintain the right to reverse their decisions, but we will work together for the best outcome.