Autoimmune conditions

AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS

How We Treat Skin-Related Autoimmune conditions Using exciplex®

Advancement in medical science over the years has provided doctors with a broad understanding of numerous autoimmune conditions.

This improved knowledge about those conditions has resulted in more accuracy regarding classification of the diseases, etiology, pathogenic mechanisms of the disease process, diagnosis and treatment options available. 

Perhaps more important is the opportunity for ongoing research that could potentially create novel therapeutic insight into how we can overcome autoimmune conditions.

The chronicity and often life-threatening nature of the conditions can be quite frustrating for affected individuals and medical doctors offering treatment. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, it is estimated that the prevalence of autoimmune diseases is about 3 percent of the US population.

This is equivalent to a population of 9.9 million people approximately with a current population of 329 million. Evidence has also shown that there is a gender predilection, with autoimmune diseases being significantly more common in females than males.


What Are Autoimmune conditions?

Often when people hear the term “Autoimmune conditions”, diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and diabetes mellitus immediately pop up in their minds.

However, there are over 100 types of autoimmune diseases that are currently known to affect humans. 

Simply put, autoimmune conditions are chronic diseases that involve immune reactions against the body’s—or more appropriately, ‘self’—antigens (biologic molecules present on cells).

Usually, these diseases involve a process by which certain cells known as autoantibodies attack antigens. In the process, these autoantibodies destroy various cells, tissues and organs in the body. 

Afterwards, advancement in research has also provided evidence to support the fact that some autoimmune diseases involve the activation of T cells (a type of the body’s immune cells) that are self-destructive. 


Classification & Types of Autoimmune Conditions:

Autoimmune conditions can broadly be grouped into two classes, based on the number of organs or systems affected. These include:

  1. Localized autoimmune conditions

These autoimmune conditions affect a specific organ. As a result, the effects of these conditions are immune reactions that attack a particular cell type or organ.

Usually, these autoimmune diseases manifest with symptoms that are localized to the area of organ damage. 

Some examples of localized autoimmune conditions and the specific organs involved are shown below:

Localized Autoimmune ConditionsTissue/Organ affected
VitiligoMelanocytes of skin
PsoriasisSkin
Alopecia areataHair follicles of the skin
Atopic dermatitis (Atopic eczema)Skin
Graves diseaseThyroid gland
Type I Diabetes MellitusPancreas
Multiple SclerosisMyelin sheath of nerves
Mycosis fungoidesSkin
  1. Systemic autoimmune conditions

Correspondingly, multiple body systems are affected simultaneously by systemic autoimmune diseases, these disorders can affect almost any organ in the body!

A classical history of people with systemic autoimmune diseases involves multiple lesions involving many organs. 

Here are some examples of systemic autoimmune conditions:

  • SLE
  • Scleroderma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Polyarteritis nodosa

Most of the systemic autoimmune conditions have been found to produce autoantibodies that attack connective tissues of involved organs.

Besides, numerous medical institutions commonly refer to them as connective tissue illnesses.

Below, we discuss 5 skin-related autoimmune conditions (vitiligo, psoriasis, alopecia areata, mycosis fungoides and atopic dermatitis).

Also, we highlight the process by which we use exciplex® to treat them.

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition that leads to pale white spots appearing on the skin. It is triggered by a lack of melanin, the pigment in the skin.

Additionally, vitiligo can affect any part of the skin, however, it most usually affects the face, neck, and hands, as well as skin hyperpigmentation.

magnifying glass on a vitiligo skin
Illustration of a vitiligo on a skin
A drawing of the layers of skin and associated glands and vessels (epidermis, dermis, fatty tissue, blood vessels, follicle, oil gland, sweat gland).

Monochromatic Excimer Light (MEL) promotes repigmentation by stimulating the activation, proliferation, and migration of melanocytes to the epidermis.

MEL upregulates endothelin 1 release from keratinocytes, a factor in melanocyte function. In addition, MEL stimulates perifollicular dopa depleted amelanotic melanocytes to produce melanin.

MEL controls the progression of Vitiligo through immunomodulation. This is achieved by inducing T-Cell apoptosis.

Frequency of exciplex® Treatment

Complete treatment: Ranges between 20 to 25 sessions on average to achieve full repigmentation. The best results are achieved on the face, neck and trunk. Difficult to treat sites like elbows, hands and toes might require more sessions to achieve full repigmentation.

Average time per session:  Varies depending on skin area to be treated. With a shot of Vitiligo at only 1 to 3second, it takes only 5 minutes to deliver up to 100 shots hence even with large affected skin area, sessions are fast.

Recommended session frequency: Up to 3 sessions per week.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disorder characterized by thin patches of skin covered in scales.

The patches on brown, black, and white skin can seem pink or red, and the scales are white or silvery.

Also, the patches on brown and black skin might seem purple or dark brown, and the scales can appear grey.

An illustration on how psoriasis affects the skin cells

Monochromatic Excimer Light (MEL)

  • Induces T cell apoptosis
  • Reduces inflammation and itch
  • Inhibits epidermal keratinocyte hyperproliferation

Frequency of exciplex® Treatment

Complete treatment: Ranges between 15 to 20 sessions on average to achieve up to 85% remission. This treatment is painless, has limited side effects and is effective in reducing inflammation and itch in   Psoriasis.

Average time per session: Varies depending on the affected skin area to be treated. At 3 to 7 seconds per shot, patients with a PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) score of 3%-10% can be treated in approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Recommended session frequency:  3 sessions per week

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a condition in which the immune system destroys hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Hair follicles are skin structures that produce hair.

While hair loss can occur everywhere on the body, alopecia areata most commonly affects the head and face.

Alopecia areata on a skull
Illustration on how Alepecia Areata affects the hair
An illustration on how Alepecia Areata affects the hair

Monochromatic Excimer Light (MEL)

  • Triggers T-Cell apoptosis.
  • Precise targeting of bald patches protects healthy skin.
  • No need for photosensitizing substances
  • Hair regrowth in few sessions
  • Safe for children

Frequency of exciplex® Treatment

Complete treatment: Ranges between 15-20 sessions for complete hair regrowth.

Average time per session: Session duration varies depending on the number of patches that will be treated. A shot takes only 1-3 seconds, a patient with 5 patches on the scalp can be treated in one minute.

Recommended session frequency: 1 to 2 sessions per week.

Mycosis Fungoides

Mycosis fungoides is a skin condition caused by malignant lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). It is a kind of T-cell lymphoma that affects the skin. A red rash on the skin is a symptom of mycosis fungoides.

Mycosos fungoides on a skin part
an infectius lesion on the skin caused by fungi
An infectius lesion on the skin caused by fungi

Monochromatic Excimer Light (MEL)

  • Induces T-cell apoptosis.
  • Inhibits the proliferation of lymphocytes in Mycosis Fungoides lesions.

Frequency of exciplex® Treatment

Complete treatment: Average number of sessions is 15 but can vary from patient to patient.

Average time per session: Varies depending on number of lesions. A shot takes only 1 to 3 seconds therefore treatment sessions are fast.

Recommended session frequency: 1 to 2 sessions per week.

Atopic Dermatitis

It is the most prevalent kind of eczema, a disorder that causes the skin to become itchy, dry, and cracked. It is also known as atopic eczema.

Atopic eczema is more common in children, and it often appears before the child’s first birthday. However, it may also appear in adulthood for the very first time.

Atopic dermatitis example on a hand
an illustration of how the disorder of dermatitis affects the skin
An illustration of how the disorder of dermatitis affects the skin

Monochromatic Excimer Light (MEL)

  • Induces T-cell apoptosis.

Frequency of exciplex® Treatment

Complete treatment: Between 6 to 12 sessions

Average time per session: A shot takes only 1 to 3 seconds therefore treatment sessions are fast. With a large spot size of 25cm², large areas of skin can be treated with few shots with a short session time.

Recommended session frequency: 1 session per week.