- Different types of light therapy, including the excimer laser, may be used to treat eczema.
- Laser treatment is sometimes used all over the body or on specific areas when other types of treatment are unsuccessful at treating eczema flares.
- You can speak with your doctor about whether laser therapy might be an option for you, as well as whether insurance plans might cover it.
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 involves the use of light to create a physiological effect in cells and tissue.
Different types of wavelengths and light sources may be used, depending on specific needs. Some treatments utilize lasers and some use light-emitting diodes (LEDs), according to
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 are treatment fail to 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 your doctor uses another form of phototherapy, you may stand inside of 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 they do require you to drive 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 the course of several weeks.
Where to go for treatment
You’ll need to go to a dermatologist’s office or hospital for the treatments. You should ask your dermatologist’s office where the therapy location is.
What body parts it’s 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 at the time of 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 deemed medically necessary. Since it is often used when other treatments fail, your insurance may only cover the costs after other treatments have not produced adequate results.
You should 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.
Despite the potential for success, laser therapy may not work well for everyone.
To help avoid side effects, you should avoid sun exposure prior to and following the procedure.
Eczema itself shouldn’t scar, but it may leave behind post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This can actually 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 to reduce the appearance of scarring from different forms of skin damage.
You should talk with your doctor if you want to reduce the appearance of scarring on your skin. 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 both 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, you might consider talking with your doctor to determine whether laser therapy is right for you.