Vitiligo

Martin Safko, MD -  - Dermatologist

Southwest Dermatology Center

Martin Safko, MD

Dermatologist located in Las Vegas, NV

Vitiligo Specialist
If you’re stressed or self-conscious about white patches on your skin, Dr. Martin Safko at Southwest Dermatology Center in Las Vegas can help. You may have vitiligo, a condition in which patches of skin lose their color. It’s not contagious or dangerous, but it can be a cosmetic problem. Dr. Safko will treat the condition with a state-of-the-art light therapy, the Pharos excimer laser.

Vitiligo Q & A

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo doesn’t hurt, but it can be aesthetically disturbing. The condition is characterized by skin that has patches of white where the pigment, or melanin, has faded. People of dark skin tone find it most noticeable, but it affects people of all skin colors.

How does the Pharos excimer laser work?

The Pharos excimer laser directs concentrated, ultraviolet light to regions affected by vitiligo. It penetrates deep into your skin without causing damage to the outer layer. The doctor applies the laser directly to the surface of your skin using a handpiece. The treatments are pain-free and quick.

How effective are treatments with the Pharos excimer laser?

Research shows that the Pharos excimer laser safely repigments your skin more rapidly than other treatments, such as creams or UVB booths -- small closet-like boxes you step into to be bathed in specialized light waves. Your quality of life can greatly improve with partial or complete resolution of vitiligo. The laser also targets vitiligo patches -- rather than your entire body -- with light.

The Pharos laser is far more convenient that steroid creams, which you need to apply several times per day. The treatment sessions are quick and you will experience no downtime -- you can go back to work or other daily activities afterward.

What about exposure to ultraviolet lights? Is it safe?

The targeted nature of the therapy limits the area exposed to ultraviolet light. The therapy has no side effects in terms of thinning of your skin and won’t make you vulnerable to bruising. You won’t need to undergo anesthesia and shouldn’t feel any pain during the short treatment session. The laser may create a warm feeling in your skin, however, and you might experience a little reddening of your skin immediately after.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments you need depends on the extent of your vitiligo. Consult with Dr. Safko to come up with a customized treatment plan that’s right for you. With traditional light therapy offered in booths, you might need hundreds of sessions to see a difference. You’ll need far fewer with the Pharos laser.

Will insurance cover treatment?

Some insurance plans will cover Pharos excimer laser treatment for vitiligo. Consult with your company to find out if your plan is one of them.

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