Home care lasers

By Jan Tunér


When leaving the hospital, you often have a prescription in your hand. One tablet in the morning, one in the evening, for seven days. When leaving the physiotherapist you are likely to have a printed instruction with a training programme. When leaving the dentist you have probably received instructions and possibly material to use for your daily dental care. There is seldom a quick fix. The therapist makes the diagnosis, the initial treatment and leaves you with instructions how to best help yourself to improve your health status.

This is of cause also true for laser phototherapy. But how to treat yourself with laser therapy, then? The answer is obvious – home care lasers. Such lasers are already available but not too common. And, unlike pharmaceuticals and training programmes, not covered by any insurance. And there are problems – safety and price. To be safe and versatile, the laser should not be too high powered, not have a narrow beam and not be able to run continuously.

What about the price? There is no clear limit, but certainly it should be a fraction of a professional unit. And the therapist could offer a home care laser for lease during a limited time. If the patient is pleased with the laser, he will be motivated to buy it in the end.

The above reflects the situation when an initial therapy and a follow up home care period can solve a problem. But many conditions are recurrent. HSV-1 and aphthae are good examples. Most patients do not have to worry about an occasional blister, but those having a regular occurrence are in a worse situation. Since these problems should be laser treated as soon as they appear, a handy home care laser seems to be an obvious solution. To get to a laser therapist within a few hours is not easy – and not very inexpensive either. There are a lot of ointments for these two conditions in the pharmacy. What they have in common is that the effect is rather limited and none of them has the advantage of LPT – when used at each outbreak of HSV-1, the interval between the outbreaks is prolonged.

So, there are recurrent conditions and there are chronic ones. For these latter conditions LPT will be of great importance. Let us look at arthritis! It is chronic and with no actual cure. Pharmaceuticals are a blessing and these days more effective than in the past. But not 100% effective and with side effects, especially since a patient may have to use them for decades. A home care laser will reduce not only the consumption of pharmaceuticals but also reduce the clinical symptoms. LPT cannot cure arthritis but can slow down the progression and limit the symptoms. The sooner the laser is used, the better. After a decade of arthritis the effect will be more limited, but it is never too late. Hand arthritis can be treated by the patient for years whereas treatment of deep conditions such as the hip will require occasional “top up” sessions with a professional.

Another example of home care lasers is illustrated by the Swedish dentist Mikael Nylander. His Master essay at the University of Aachen was focusing on mouth dryness. Three groups of patients received initial LPT for their dryness in the clinic. One group was left with that, one received regular LPT in the clinic and a third group used a home care laser. At follow-up, the two latter groups had a better salivation than the first, and group 2 and 3 were similar. This showed that the home sessions worked just as well as the sessions in the clinic, and they were more economical. Further to that, it shows that these patients can go on treating their xerostomia at home.

Yet another great indication for home care laser is chronic wounds. This has been covered already in the LaserAnnals (http://www.laserannals.com/2013/01/22/the-wound-healing-contradiction), so I will just give you one more example from my own experience. The lady in the photos had had her leg wound for several months and in spite of frequent visits to the hospital, it rather increased than decreased. It was treated once in the clinic and then by a home care laser. The photos are 11 days apart. No comments necessary!


Finally, let me quote a letter that I once received:

What is a summer without Herpes? Yes, absolutely wonderful!

In 2001 we left Sweden with our sailing boat with the goal to go to the Mediterranean each year. In the summer of 2008 we had a visit on board by my partner’s cousin. When he saw how my lips looked like he told me about you, and advised me to get a “laser gun”. He bought one last spring on my behalf.

In 30-35 years I have been plagued with Herpes every summer, some more than others, and especially since 2003 when we sailed out of the Mediterranean Sea with its scorching sun and high salinity. I’ve had to cut up all the food into very small pieces to eat. It hurt to laugh and especially in the mornings, it was difficult to talk.

Before 1998, when I retired, I worked as a nurse in an emergency room. Every summer when I came back after the holidays, Dr. Marianne came to see how I looked! Before we leaved, she would provide me with a prescription for medication to take, usually some ointment in micro, small and expensive tubes. Once I received pills that I would take many of. On a few occasions I even got antibiotics after the holidays because my rash has become infected. The names of the drugs I was given, I have forgotten.

Over the years we have sailed a lot, I have visited pharmacies in the different countries. I have not had to extend my case, the staff has seen and understood and I have left the pharmacy with yet another expensive minitube that also not helped!

This summer, 2009, I was very curious about how it would be; would the “laser gun” help me? After a few weeks I felt a day how it suddenly stuck in my lip. My cousin had said that it was important to take to the gun directly when I felt something. I rushed to the bottom of the boat for the gun and - pressure, pressure! I used it for a couple of times a day for about two weeks. Herpes never broke out! Despite the Mediterranean sun and savor!

I was able to talk, laugh and eat without pain. Unbelievable! I am so grateful for this miracle that has made the summer of 2009 great. THANKS!

With grateful greetings


Can I tell my doctor?