XTrac® Laser Therapy
Xtrac laser therapy is used to treat psoriasis and vitiligo, as well as some forms of eczema. It is a targeted laser (specific light source with one wavelength) that we use to treat individual spots and areas to clear up these conditions. The laser is focused on the patches of skin that are involved and over time the patches improve. Usually the procedure lasts about 10-20 minutes, is not painful, and is covered by insurance after a pre-authorization. Our staff is trained and experienced with this laser and we also have evening and weekend appointments to best serve your needs.
How do I know if I need XTRAC?
Any patient with mild to moderate psoriasis will benefit from this treatment. This can include patients that have failed topical or systemic medications, or have not been able to achieve total control of their psoriasis with these therapies. Even patients on biologic medications can achieve better control with this laser therapy by clearing those stubborn plaques of psoriasis that don’t completely resolve with these drugs. There is also no pain during the treatment and children will tolerate it well.
How does XTRAC work?
Developed by PhotoMedex, the XTRAC Velocity excimer laser offers new hope to individuals suffering from psoriasis, vitiligo, and other skin conditions. Introduced in 2000, the XTRAC is the first FDA market-cleared excimer laser system for the treatment of psoriasis. It is also cleared for treatment of vitiligo and atopic dermatitis.
The treatment can feel warm at times, but most patients do not feel anything during their treatment. Mineral oil may be applied to the skin prior to treatment to allow the laser to penetrate into the plaques better. A mild sunburn effect may be appreciated 12-24 hours after treatment which can include mild redness, itching or burning, but the symptoms are minimal and tolerable.
The excimer laser is used to perform the treatments. The laser head has a small spot size that we rest on the skin and move across the areas of affected skin only. Templates may be used to treat very small areas of psoriasis in order to protect normal skin.
What benefits can I expect?
Using a carefully focused beam of laser light delivered through a sophisticated fiber-optic delivery system, the XTRAC Velocity system is designed to clear unsightly psoriatic skin plaques quickly and effectively. Because it concentrates light on active lesions, XTRAC Velocity allows your physician to deliver the high-exposure doses of monochromatic UVB necessary for rapid clearing of the lesion without risk of damage to healthy skin. The XTRAC Velocity excimer laser treatment system offers psoriasis sufferers many benefits. Depending on the extent and severity of your psoriasis, these can include:
- Effective clearing – generally in 10 or less brief sessions
- Provides long-lasting relief-typically several months free of symptoms
- Quick, easy, painless treatment-sessions last only a few minutes
- Relief without messy creams and daily skin care regimen
What are the risks and side effects?
UVB therapy is utilized which can increase risk for non-melanoma skin cancers. However, UVB therapy has been widely used for years to treat psoriasis patients and has great success. Again, with the ability to deliver the energy to small areas we are able to achieve a faster, better result while sparing the unaffected skin. The benefits of the treatment far out way any negatives of the treatment.
Prior to treatment all potential risks and side effects will be discussed with you by your medical provider.
How will I look and feel during and after the treatment?
The skin may appear red like a mild sunburn 12-24 hours after treatment. Rarely someone may actually develop blisters from the treatment but in clinical studies this equated to a better, faster result for patients.
Is there another way to get the same effect?
Other treatment options for psoriasis include topical medications, systemic medications and even UVB or UVA therapy in a light box that treats the entire body. Each of these treatments has their own side effect profile which can be extensive depending on the treatment.
These treatments will not work the same for everyone and may or may not give the same effect that XTRAC Velocity laser provides.
The XTRAC Velocity excimer laser delivers a more controlled dose of UVB light only to the plaques of psoriasis. Traditional UVB therapy treats the entire body surface area, takes more treatments and requires much longer treatments to achieve clearance of psoriasis plaques.
Some patients need to be in a light box as long as 30 minutes at a time while the XTRAC Velocity takes less than ten minutes for a treatment.
We can also treat the scalp with this laser, but traditional light therapy is unable to penetrate into the scalp. Scalp psoriasis can be a very stubborn condition to treat and often requires multiple, messy topical medications which don’t necessarily work for everyone.
Can this be combined with other treatments?
Absolutely! This is one of the great things about this laser treatment. We can use it with topical and systemic medications to get a quicker result and often achieve remission times of 3-6 months!
What is the cost of XTRAC Velocity Excimer Laser?
The laser treatment is covered under most insurance plans. A prior authorization will be done prior to starting treatments.