Effective treatment of scalp psoriasis using the excimer (308 nm) laser

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Abstract

Background

Psoriasis of the scalp can be a major therapeutic challenge as response to topical medication is often inadequate. The excimer laser has potential for providing local phototherapy as its high irradiance makes treatment at this site a practical option.

Objectives

To analyze retrospectively results of treating scalp psoriasis with the excimer (308 nm) laser.

Methods

Thirty-five patients were treated and all had failed intensive topical therapy. Manual separation of hair was used to provide access to the treatment site. Starting doses ranged from 300 mJ/cm2 (type I) to 1000 mJ/cm2 (type IV) with treatment twice weekly.

Results

All patients improved. Seventeen/35 (49%) of patients cleared>95% (mean: 21 treatments; range: 6–52) and 16/35 (45%) cleared 50–95%. Phototoxicity in the form of erythema and blistering occurred in all patients, particularly around the ears and nape of neck.

Conclusion

The excimer laser is a successful approach to treatment of psoriasis of the scalp being a simple treatment that can be performed in a short period of time and which has a high rate of effectiveness.

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