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Levia handheld phototherapy unit a new option for home psoriasis treatment

August 16th 2010 by Psoriasis Cure Now
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Psoriasis patients have a new treatment option with Levia, a hand-held unit intended for administering ultraviolet UVB light at home. This device, recently cleared for use by the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), targets UV light directly at psoriatic lesions, sparing healthy skin from exposure, a feature that Levia’s developer, Lerner Medical Devices, terms “personal targeted phototherapy.” About the size of a hairdryer, Levia comes with two attachments: one, designed to treat plaques on the body, emits a beam of light slightly smaller than one square inch in area; the other, designed to treat scalp psoriasis, consists of a brush with fiber optic bristles that helps the light beam bypass hair and reach the skin.

Levia units are shipped to patients with their personal treatment regimen pre-programmed according to instructions from their doctor. Patients typically self administer treatments two or three times a week for about six weeks; the company says most begin to see results after 4 to 8 treatments. Patients can continue with less frequent maintenance therapy once their lesions have improved.

The light is held over an affected area of skin for anywhere from a fraction of a second up to ten seconds depending on the patient’s sensitivity to UV light. Treatment of the entire scalp, for example, might take between three and fifteen minutes. However, because Levia’s beam is directed at such a small area, it works best for patients who have psoriasis on less than 15% of their bodies. Medical insurance policies that cover durable medical devices should pay some of the costs of Levia.

UVB phototherapy has fewer side effects and unknowns than many other psoriasis treatments; the ability to target treatment exclusively to affected areas of skin may further reduce the risks. Given the combination of safety and the convenience of home use, Levia may be an attractive option for patients with mild to moderate psoriasis.

Have any of you tried this new option? If so, leave a comment below with your thoughts.

[More on UVB/phototherapy.]

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Category: Treatment, UV/phototherapy
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12 Comments on this post

  1. Suzanne Isaacs says:

    I am very interested in the Levia device. I have Psoriasis the palms of my hands, the heel of my feet, tops of my toes and the soles of my feet. There is times that I cannot put on my foot ware because my heels are cracked open so bad it hurts, the soles of my feet crack open and bleed. My hands hook up in clothing and hurt just like I have splinters in them. My dermatologist recommended the light therapy but I am an hour drive from a hospital and they only have the full body machine. Can you please let me know how I can obtain the Levia and how much will I have to pay?

    Thank you

    Suzanne Isaacs

  2. Psoriasis Cure Now says:

    The company website is here: http://www.mylevia.com . We have heard that the home unit is several thousand dollars, though some insurers will pay some, most or all of that, depending on your coverage. You should consult your dermatologist, who can assist you with evaluating whether this or another UV product is appropriate for you.

  3. Linda says:

    Visit http://www.mylevia.com and click on ‘Insurance’ at the top of the page. There you can download the two forms your doctor needs to fill out to get you started. There is no obligation, but this is the only way to find out what your co-pay will be.

  4. Sue says:

    Suzanne I have looked into getting this machine as I have tried everything else. the only problem is that my insurance will only pay 70% the machine is about $5,000, so I need to come up with about $1,400. My husband is disabled due to a heart transplant, therefore, I do not have the x-tra money. Trying to get some help, however nothing so far

  5. Linda says:

    Is there any chance that this treatment would also work for vitiligo?

  6. Psoriasis Cure Now says:

    We are psoriasis patients, not doctors, but yes, UV light does reportedly help some vitiligo patients, so we would expect the same to hold true for Levia’s hand-held unit. Whether insurance would cover it for vitilago, we do not know. It’s worth asking your dermatologist about. Psoriasis and vitiligo patients need to stick together: thanks for writing!

  7. Patricia says:

    Like Suzanne, I have suffered with psoriasis on my hands and feet for
    over 35 years. I tried everything, including UV light treatments 3x/week for months (did not help, probably due to the fact the light container could not reach soles of feet. About a year and a half ago I became so desperate I consented to taking methatrexate orally. My
    hands and feet have been clear for over six months. It’s a whole new world for me now, able to wear sandals and not ashamed of my hands. One spot on my hand has returned and I am going to consult with my dermatologist re Levia, but I highly recommend anyone to
    try the methatrxate treatment – I’m sorry I procrastinated so long.

  8. Joanne says:

    I am 51, have had psoriasis since I’m 18.Doing light treatments for most of that, no other treatments work. Also did methotrexate for a while, did clear me up, didn’t stay on it though. I now go once a week for lights and its a pain, would love home treatment.

  9. Alice says:

    Levia does work for vitiligo as well.

  10. Connie says:

    I have vitiligo and I want to do does Levia really work because for years I have rec’d light treatment several times a week at the dr. office.

  11. Stephanie says:

    My mom has pretty severe psoriasis. She has done the methotrexate but has to stop due to liver damage. Looking at Enbrel, but copay is an outrageous 1,300 per month!!! Wondering about this Light therapy. Also wondering if any medical supply places could/would rent one of these.

  12. Connie says:

    I have vitiligo and want to know if levia works for my condition. I have been going to the dr. for many years getting the light treatment.

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