Eczema is an inherited, chronic inflammatory skin condition that appears in early childhood. People who have eczema have an issue with a gene called Filaggrin. Normally people have two copies of this gene and people with eczema only have one. Two copies of this gene are important for skin repair. Hence when someone with eczema is exposed to irritants, the skin barrier is disrupted, and the skin becomes dry and scaly and then red and itchy as the immune system is then activated to heal the affected area. There are more things which one can do to prevent flare ups day to day, like preventing overheating, applying moisturisers and using gentle soaps. One of the most innovative and effective measures is using phototherapy from laser treatment.
Phototherapy simply means treatment with light. UVB light is emitted from the laser at 311-312 nanometers, which is the ideal setting to treat skin conditions. Straight UVB phototherapy avoids the exposure of UVA which is damaging to the skin, accelerates aging and is associated with skin cancers. The laser emitting the UVB light is safer than natural sunlight due to its specific controlled nature. The laser is able to target the precise region of eczema, whilst leaving healthy unaffected skin untreated, which is idealistic.
Phototherapy is ideal for chronic suffers of eczema because it avoids the use of some toxic creams and medications used on the body daily to manage the symptoms and treat the aggravating flare-ups.
70% of patients with eczema will find they have responded well to phototherapy treatment, and their symptoms have slowly eased with the laser course. Eczema can never be cured, but laser phototherapy can put the eczema into a dormant state for a long period of time.
Alma Harmony Lasers
Border Medical Laser & Aesthetics uses the latest innovative, Alma Harmony Laser to treat skin conditions. The Alma Harmony Laser is specific and precise and provides eczema management in a safe, clinically-controlled manner. This form of phototherapy offers relief to people who are burdened with eczema management and challenged to find effective results.
Prior to Your Laser Therapy
Every person wishing to be treated at Border Medical Laser & Aesthetics will require an appointment with our laser consultant. At this appointment, you can ask as many questions as you like to advance your understanding of the treatment. There will be a medical questionnaire to be filled out about your health and medications. Some health conditions and medications will unfortunately exempt you from laser treatment. A patch test will be performed on your skin to ensure the laser settings are suitable for you. 1-2 days after your patch test, we will commence your laser treatment.
Before laser therapy, it is very important that you keep your treated area away from sun exposure. This is crucial both before and after the treatment. The lasers work on providing a specific heat at a specific depth in your tissue to produce a desired end point. This end point can be exacerbated if exposed to sun and can cause unwanted side effects.
What Can I Expect During the Treatment?
You will be required to wear protective eye shields during the treatment. This protects your eyes from the intense laser light.
This laser treatment is not at all uncomfortable. There is no need to prepare your skin with anaesthetic. Most people will describe the treatment as a warm sensation. Border Medical Laser & Aesthetics has a Koolio Machine that blows out chilled air onto the skin during or post treatment if you ever feel uncomfortable. Our laser consultant will talk with you all the way through the procedure to ensure your comfort.
How Many Treatments Will Be Required?
Unfortunately, eczema is one of those conditions that can never be ‘cured’ but it can be managed. Laser phototherapy is the gold standard management practice for eczema to bring control to the condition.
The phototherapy laser treatments will occur twice a week for 2 weeks, then 1-2 treatments per week or a fortnight, depending on your skin’s response. The treatment course is on average 3 months, which will allow significant changes to occur at a cellular level. Every person is unique, so is their eczema, including its characteristics and severity, hence the treatment requirements will vary from person to person.
During the course of this treatment, your eczema may worsen for a short period whilst the cells in your body are undergoing change due to the phototherapy. Then you will start seeing significant improvements.
What Can I Expect After My Eczema Laser Therapy?
There are a few points to remember whilst after your laser treatment.
The nature of eczema revolves around its management. Individuals will find they will need to return for laser therapy when the eczema flares again at a later date. The laser therapy will put the eczema into a holding pattern where there are no symptoms, but depending on each individual, there will be a time, whether it is 6 months or 2 years, before you need to return for another management session of phototherapy.
National Eczema Association: www.nationaleczema.org
Rullan, P. Harmony UV Therapy Relieves chronic skin conditions. The Aesthetic Guide. 2010 p. 2.