Kitsap Doctors Clinic takes ‘ouch’ out of skin treatments
By WESLEY REMMER
Bremerton Patriot Sports writer
August 7, 2008 · Updated 1:57 PM
Painless high-tech laser therapy now available in Silverdale, Port Orchard.
Kitsap County residents coping with difficult-to-treat skin diseases now have another treatment option.
The Doctors Clinic Professional Skin Care Center, serving the Kitsap Peninsula, recently acquired two PHAROS EX-308 excimer lasers, shown to be effective in treating psoriasis, vitiligo and atopic dermatitis.
Offered at Salmon Medical Center in Silverdale and The Doctors Clinic Port Orchard, the phototherapy lasers deliver ultraviolet B (UVB) light through a hand piece that rests on the patient’s skin, directly targeting the affected areas. It also can treat atopic dermatitis and hereditary skin inflammation, commonly affecting infants, children and young adults.
“Targeted therapy” sets the PHAROS EX-308 apart from other laser therapy.
“The advantage to PHAROS EX-308 excimer laser phototherapy is that it exposes only targeted skin, thereby sparing healthy tissue and reducing the risks commonly associated with phototherapy,” The Doctors Clinic Spokeswoman Angela Henderson said. “Traditional narrow band UVB treatment is akin to a stand-up tanning booth where all the skin is exposed. One study found the cumulative dose of UV needed for healing was six to 47 times less with the excimer laser than with narrow band UVB therapy.”
“(It) allows precise targeting of only the patient’s white patches and exposes none of their healthy tissue,” added Dr. Christina Hardaway, board-certified dermatologist at The Doctors Clinic Port Orchard, who has used the laser to treat vitiligo.
While previous vitiligo treatment options were limited to topical steroids and traditional phototherapy, forcing patients to undergo a series of often times painful treatments, the PHAROS EX-308 makes the treatment process safer and more efficient, according to The Doctors Clinic.
“My patients love it, they tell me that the laser sessions fit into their lifestyle and they appreciate being freed from the burden of applying steroids several times a day,” Hardaway said. “Patients begin to see results after only a few sessions and enjoy greater self-esteem and a higher quality of life.”
Henderson said The PHAROS EX-308 is ideal for reaching hard-to-treat areas such as knees, elbows and scalp.
“The laser beam is easily contoured to match the size and shape of the lesion for easy, fast and precisely targeted treatments,” she said.
Psoriasis affects an estimated seven million Americans, according to The Doctors Clinic, requiring on average a total of 30-40 phototherapy treatments. Topical creams and ointments tend to be messy, time-consuming and costly.
The PHAROS EX-308 reduces those heartaches.
Patients come in twice a week for an average of four to six weeks and each quick treatment session usually takes only five to 10 minutes. Patients usually enjoy several months of treatment-free remission, according to The Doctors Clinic.
The laser operates on a different wavelength than cosmetic lasers, setting it apart from traditional treatment techniques.
“The ‘308’ in the name ‘PHAROS EX-308’ refers to the laser wavelength: 308-nm,” Henderson said. “Obtaining an exact wavelength is cornerstone to all laser therapy. It’s important for people to know that medical lasers use different wavelengths than cosmetic lasers.”
The Doctors Clinic has five board-certified dermatologists who specialize in clinical and cosmetic dermatology, offering dermatology services around the county, including East Bremerton.
Appointments for evaluation or treatment with the PHAROS EX-308 can be made through Dr. Daniel Frum at The Doctors Clinic East Bremerton by calling (360) 782-3701.Contact Bremerton Patriot Sports writer Wesley Remmer at email@example.com or (360) 308-9161.