New psoriasis treatment uses laser light to cure skin

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on August 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM

DALLAS - Instead of the strappy sandals Sue Ingram would rather be wearing under the searing sun, this 43-year-old's feet are fully covered.

"[T]hey're not pretty," Ingram said. " I can't paint my toenails anymore."

Ingram blames psoriasis.

The itchy, blotchy skin condition is aggravated by heat and sweat. Doctors have seen a rash of cases in this hot summer.

Now dermatologists are finding that what aggravates psoriasis, can also improve it.

Doctors are using a laser light treatment to cure the skin condition. It takes just seconds and uses a narrow wavelength in the UVB spectrum.

Dallas Dr. Alan Menter has helped write the national guidelines for psoriasis treatment and uses the laser light treatment with his patients.

"[Y]ou've got to be very careful with the dosing of light," Menter said. "... and the wavelength of light that is used with this laser is very specific, and if used carefully, it doesn't burn, and the patches clear up within about 10 treatments. "

Menter said light therapy is changing the lives of many psoriasis sufferers, including Sue Ingram.

"It has had great results compared to my other topical treatments and soaking treatments," Ingram said. "It has completely cleared up some of my areas."

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