Laser treatment for eczema uses UV light to help reduce symptoms. It can treat moderate or severe eczema when other therapies have been ineffective. Laser treatment is noninvasive and can be used in specific areas or over a large portion of the body.

Lasers can be an effective, noninvasive treatment for eczema. This type of treatment can provide direct relief to either small, specific areas of your body or large areas.

This article breaks down what you need to know if you’re considering laser treatments for eczema.

Laser therapy is a type of photobiomodulation, or light therapy. It uses light to create a physiological effect in cells and tissue.

Depending on specific needs, different types of wavelengths and light sources may be used. Some treatments use lasers, and some use light-emitting diodes (LEDs), according to 2019 research.

Research from 2014 has shown that one of the most effective forms of laser therapy comes from the excimer laser, which uses an ultraviolet B radiation system. The laser can effectively treat eczema in adults and children.

How it works

Laser therapy is a noninvasive treatment option for eczema. According to the National Eczema Association, a dermatologist may recommend laser therapy or another form of phototherapy (light therapy) if other forms of treatment do not help your eczema.

With the excimer laser, your doctor will use a handheld device to focus treatment on specific parts of your body. It can be used all over your body, including your hands, feet, and scalp.

If a healthcare professional uses another form of phototherapy, you may stand inside a machine that will direct light at either your whole body or only exposed areas.

Length of treatment

Laser therapy sessions are typically short but require driving to the hospital or dermatologist’s office. You can expect the treatment to last for less than 1 minute at first and up to several minutes in later sessions.

If your doctor prescribes phototherapy, you will likely need to go in for several sessions over several weeks.

The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) states that you may need 2 to 6 sessions per week and that treatment can last from 4 weeks to 3 months.

Where to go for treatment

You’ll need to go to a dermatologist’s office or hospital for the treatments. Your dermatologist’s office can tell you where the therapy location is.

Which body parts is it good for?

A doctor may recommend laser therapy for localized eczema or phototherapy for large areas of the body. Which it is used for will depend on how widespread your flare is during treatment.


Costs of treatment varies across the country.

If you have insurance, your plan may cover some or part of the cost if the treatment is medically necessary. Because it is often used when other treatments fail, your insurance may cover only the costs after other treatments have not produced adequate results.

Contact your insurance provider to see how much of the treatments your plan will cover.

Laser therapy can be an effective tool for treating eczema.

In a 2016 study, researchers found that the excimer laser (308 nm) helped improve eczema flares on the hands and feet. In a study from 2014, researchers found that the same laser helped adults and children with pain and itchiness associated with eczema.

Laser therapy may not work well for everyone despite the potential for success.

The IQWiG notes that treatment can be time-consuming and challenging to maintain. Laser therapy can cause side effects, such as sunburn-like irritation and dried-out skin. Finally, it cannot make eczema go away on its own.

To help avoid side effects, you should avoid sun exposure before and following the procedure.

Eczema itself shouldn’t scar, but it may leave behind post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This can worsen with phototherapy or excimer treatment because those areas will darken or tan more than unaffected skin when exposed to the rays.

Other types of lasers may help reduce the appearance of scarring from different forms of skin damage.

Talk with your doctor if you want to reduce the appearance of scarring. They may have other recommendations for reducing the appearance of scars or addressing uneven pigmentation due to eczema.

To reduce the chance of skin damage, avoid scratching or picking at your skin during a flare.

Laser treatments may help treat your eczema. They can be effective in concentrated areas of your skin and over your whole body.

The treatments do have drawbacks, including:

  • the need for many continuing treatments
  • the chance of potential side effects
  • costs not covered by insurance

If your eczema symptoms aren’t going away, consider talking with your doctor to determine whether laser therapy is right for you.