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Seeing the Light on Skin Conditions

Laser/light therapies may be viable alternative to medications

SATURDAY, Nov. 23, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- New laser/light therapies may help millions of Americans with hard-to-treat skin conditions.

These laser and light treatments show promise as viable alternatives to medications for several common skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, vitiligo and hypopigmentation, says Dr. Arielle N.B. Kauvar, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine.

Kauvar provided an overview of the laser/light treatments at a recent American Academy of Dermatology meeting.

These skin conditions are often treated with such medications as corticosteroids and antibiotics. But the results vary from person to person and the medications can cause side effects. The laser/light therapies provide non-invasive, medication-free alternatives.

For example, yellow pulsed dye laser and excimer laser have been shown to clear skin lesions caused by psoriasis. The excimer laser and intense pulsed UVB light have been shown to be effective in treating vitiligo and hypopigmentation. Pulsed UVB light may also help people with eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.

In a prepared statement, Kauvar said the new laser therapies have provided remarkable improvements in people with these common skin disorders.

More Information

To learn more about skin conditions and treatments, go to the American Academy of Dermatology.

SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, November 2002
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