As a psoriasis sufferer you know how debilitating this disease can be. You've tried a variety of treatments but none has delivered relief from the redness, scaling, and itching you experience. Now there is an effective alternative to topical creams, ultraviolet phototherapy, and oral drugs. A treatment that will allow you quickly to resume a normal, active lifestyle.

Advanced pulse dye laser technology, successfully used to treat a wide variety of skin lesions in adults and children, now is proving to be a remarkably powerful weapon in the battle against psoriasisBefore you decide on laser treatment for your psoriasis, here are some things you should know about the Cynosure pulse laser.

How does the laser work?

Cynosure pulse laser technology is particularly suited for the treatment of psoriasis because it provides for the selective elimination of small blood vessels that support the growth of the psoriatic plaque. With these vessels gone, the growth of the plaque should be significantly slowed or discontinued.

Does it work on all types of psoriasis?

The Cynosure pulse dye laser is ideal for treating stable, localized psoriatic plaques typical in mild to moderate psoriasis.

How many treatments are required?

Results are seen within three to four weeks. Typically, five to six monthly treatments are recommended.

Does it work on everyone?

Initial clinical studies demonstrated that 73% of patients experienced more than 70% clearance of their psoriatic plaques. Of the remaining patients, some 15% obtained about 50% clearance, 5% minimal clearance, and 7% experienced no change, which is consistent with other, more time-consuming procedures.

Is the treatment difficult?

Not at all. In fact it's a simple two-step process.

Step One -- Your physician will prescribe a lotion, which you will apply on the areas to be treated for on week prior to treatment.

Step Two -- On the treatment day your physician will coat the designated areas with a special fluid to enhance their receptivity to the laser. Then the physician or medical assistant will treat the areas with the laser. A typical four-inch square area will require several minutes.

Is the treatment painful?

There is some minor discomfort associated with the treatment. Most patients describe the treatment as a series of rubber band snaps to the skin. Your physician can reduce or eliminate this discomfort by providing you with a topical anesthetic or by cooling the treated area with ice or an air-cooling device.

Will pulse dye laser treatment be more effective than PUVA, narrow band UVB, creams or drugs?

While your results should be comparable to other types of treatment, pulse dye laser technology frees you from the potential undesirable side affects commonly associated with other treatments. For example:

· Pulse dye laser treatment requires fewer treatments and less time than PUVA, or narrow band UVB, and will not cause aging or your normal skin as is the case where the entire body is exposed to UV.

· Pulse dye laser radiation is not UV, which is typically mentioned in conjunction with skin cancer.

· Pulse dye laser treatments are less messy than the daily application of creams and lotions.

· Unlike drugs, pulse dye laser treatments are non-systemic.

How safe are pulse dye lasers?

Pulse dye lasers have been used since 1983 to treat port wine birthmarks and hemangiomas in infants as young as two days old. Today pulse dye lasers are routinely used in thousands of medical and cosmetic treatments in more than 80 countries. More than 100 peer-reviewed articles have been published on pulse dye laser treatments, including several on psoriasis treatment.

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