High tech skin treatment helps those with conditions like psoriasis and eczema

Local doctor trys new UV targeted phototherapy

TAMPA - Eight-year-old Ella Sheldon is hoping a new treatment will take away the rosy red patches on her cheeks. 

She has psoriasis and she is tired of kids asking her about it. "I kind of felt a bit embarrassed. I was the only one in school that had it."

Traditional treatments include topical creams or steroids.

Dr. Seth Forman is a dermatologist in Tampa. "These medications over time do have side effects such as topical steroids - which are excellent - but after a time they cause loss of pigment of the skin, thinning of the skin."

Mara Sheldon is Ella's mom. "We've tried a few antibiotics and really we ended up with using moisturizing cream because nothing was helping."

This was a treatment option before. It looks like a giant tanning bed. But some parents and patients were opposed to this treatment because it delivers ultraviolet B rays to your entire body.

Ella's mom was one of the concerned. "We didn't want the light therapy all over her body because it was localized just to her arms and her face."

But when mom heard about a new light therapy that delivered UVA and UVB right to the spots only - they decided to try it.

Doctor Foreman, the first in the area to have the new treatment, says it works on more than psoriasis. "With patients who have vitiligo the best therapy is ultraviolet B not A, while with psoriasis you use ultraviolet A.

Dr. Foreman explains how this new treatment is different from standard laser treatment. "While with the laser and some of the older machines you're getting some scatter. We're actually finding we're delivering the most focal and therapeutic wave length and not delivering any scatter which might be non-therapeutic and therefore not necessary and potentially harmful.

Mara says it's already making a difference in her daughter's life. "We've definitely seen a different in the texture. It's a lot smoother texture. We're seeing a difference in the color and appearance. I'm really excited to move forward and see what great results she has."

Risks are the similar to when using a laser - burns - skin cancer or photo-aging. Dr. Forman says insurance does cover the cost of treatment.


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