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Snuggle Wolf

1482 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2016 :  13:59:17  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Brian Dunning asked his research list that I'm on about what they think of that claims to use ultraviolet light to provide clearing of psoriasis, and I thought of our dear Dave W. They claim 45 clinical studies in peer-reviewed journals worldwide, but the website doesn't seem to list the journals or exactly which studies.

Dave W.
Info Junkie

26020 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2016 :  09:12:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Using UV light to treat psoriasis (phototherapy) has a long and successful history. Mostly, it's been done using whole-body booths that bathe the affected areas (and unaffected areas) in broad-band UV light. The treatments are typically performed in a dermatologist's office because the equipment is expensive, but smaller hand-held units can be purchased for at-home UV therapy (sometimes even covered by insurance).

Sunbathing has also been used as phototherapy for psoriasis, but the UV lamps used in a doctor's office (or at home) are designed to avoid emitting as much of the cancer-causing UV bands as possible (they are more narrow-band than the Sun).

XTrac is merely the brand name of a doctor's-office-based UV therapy using an extremely narrow-band xenon chloride excimer laser. This has the benefits of eliminating even more UV wavelengths and being able to easily avoid exposing healthy skin unnecessarily (because the laser is tightly focused). The cost is that the patient cannot be just closed into a booth and a timer set to ding after a few minutes - someone (a doctor, PA or nurse) has to actually hold and aim the laser and move it around to expose the targeted psoriasis plaques - so there's going to be a not-insubstantial added expense, just in labor costs.

However, using an excimer laser to treat psoriasis was first reported in The Lancet in 1997. According to PubMed, there are 109 results for "excimer laser psoriasis" since then (some, of course, are merely reviews). Only three (3) specifically have "xtrac" as a keyword, but that could just be the difference between searching for generic terms vs. brand names.

According to PhotoMedex, the XTrac laser won FDA approval for the treatment of psoriasis in 2000. I see no reason to doubt that - even though 16-year-old press releases are difficult to Google up. UVB light in general has been used for psoriasis for decades before then, XTrac is merely a different delivery system.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Aetna has a detailed digest of studies for the use of excimer lasers for psoriasis - they'll cover the therapy, so long as other (much cheaper) therapies have failed.

The Xtracclear web site sucks, though. It's so much a resource hog that I quit trying to find their studies. Good grief. Who thought it'd be a good idea to put full-screen unstoppable video on the front page?

Feel free to share the above.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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