Vitiligo Treatment with Excimer Laser Therapy (XTRAC)
Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes the skin to lose its color in blotches. It occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning. The reason why these cells stop functioning or die is unknown to doctors at this time, but we do know that vitiligo is not life-threatening or contagious.
Typically, the depigmented patches of skin appear first on sun-exposed areas, such as the backs of hands or tops of feet. It is also common for vitiligo to appear on the arms, face and lips.
In addition to patchy skin, vitiligo can also cause premature whitening or graying of the hair on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes or beard. It can also lead to loss of color in the tissues that line the inside of your mouth. Depending on the type of vitiligo you have, the blotchy patches of skin may cover many parts of your body (generalized vitiligo), a few areas of your body (focal vitiligo) or only one side or a part of your body (segmented vitiligo).
How Vitiligo Treatment Works
While vitiligo has no cure, it is highly treatable thanks to the latest advancements in laser skin resurfacing therapy. XTRAC laser therapy treats vitiligo by using expertly-focused laser light beams to target patches of skin that are affected by vitiligo.
It uses the same principles as phototherapy but with faster results. XTRAC attacks the DNA of T cells—a type of white blood cell that plays a role in immunity—with a highly concentrated form of UVB light. This leads to gradual repigmentation of the areas of skin affected by vitiligo.
What to Expect From Vitiligo Treatment
Vitiligo treatment with XTRAC is painless and does not require an anesthetic. Your dermatologist will likely recommend a series of bi-weekly treatments along with prescribing topical treatments for enhanced results. Repigmentation can be seen in as few as 11 treatments, with ideal results usually being achieved after 30 treatments. XTRAC is safe for any area of the body, including the face. Thanks to rapid exposure times, XTRAC can treat large areas of the skin in just 5 to 10 minutes, which is much faster than conventional phototherapy treatments.
After treatment, your skin may experience slight redness, similar to a sunburn. Although rare, some patients experience blistering, itching or a burning sensation after XTRAC therapy sessions. No medical risks of XTRAC therapy have been identified and it is regarded as safe for children and adults.
Life After Vitiligo Treatment
Even though vitiligo is not contagious or life-threatening, it can still be a debilitating disease due to emotional and psychological effects. Particularly in patients where their vitiligo appears on the face, neck, hands or genitals, it can cause emotional stress regardless of race or cultural background. At Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting, we want to help erase this stress from your life by helping you reverse your vitiligo. You no longer have to feel embarrassed, ashamed or depressed about your vitiligo—treatments are fast, painless and effective.
Schedule your appointment at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting at 610.947.4322 to learn more about how to start vitiligo treatment with Excimer Laser Therapy. We are eager to use our cutting-edge XTRAC laser to help you achieve the skin of your dreams.