Skin and Beauty

Usage of LASER in Dermatology and Skin Care

Written by Dr. Suvash Sahu and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 

The word LASER is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Lasers have been widely used in dermatology and general medicine for the last 30 years. No single laser system is capable of treating all cutaneous lesions and search for the perfect system still persists.

Theory of Laser:

Laser radiation as a form of light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The laser light differs from the normal light on a number of aspects:

  1. Laser light is monochromatic. It consists of a single wavelength.
  2. Laser light is coherent. The waves of energy are in phase with each other.
  3. Laser light is also collimated, that is the rays are always parallel to each other.

Mechanism of Action of Laser:

When a beam of light falls on the skin surface, it may reflect back, may scatter within the tissue or get absorbed by the tissue. Only the absorbed light will bring out the biological reactions. Once absorbed, the light energy is converted into the heat energy. When tissues are heated to about 60 degrees Celsius, protein denaturation will occur and lead to tissue necrosis. If a tissue is very rapidly brought to 100 degrees Celsius, cellular water will be converted to steam, which brings about the explosion of the cell wall. This is known as vaporization. This type of destruction minimizes thermal damage to adjacent tissue.

Types of Laser:

CO2 laser, argon laser, pulsed dye laser, neodymium:yttrium-aluminium-garnet [Nd: YAG] laser, excimer laser, Q- switched ruby laser and flash lamp Q switched alexandrite laser.

Indications:

  • Vascular abnormalities: Port-wine stain, cherry angioma, pyogenic granuloma, telangiectasia, etc.
  • Tumors: Syringoma, trichoepithelioma, adenoma sebaceum, neurofibroma, epidermal nevi, lymphangioma and seborrheic wart.
  • Pigmented lesions: Melasma, lentigines, cafe au lait spots, freckles, nevus of Ota and Ito, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and other melanocytic nevi.
  • Malignancies: Superficial basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and digital angiosarcoma.
  • Photodynamic therapy.
  • Miscellaneous such as tattoo removal, xanthelasma, actinic cheilitis, pearly penile papules, rhinophyma, keloids, scalp reduction, blepharoplasty, etc.

Complications:

The laser treatment can lead to complications such as scarring, pigmentary alterations, texture damage and local infection.

Advantages of Laser:

Good cosmetic results, office procedure, bloodless field, less post-operative pain and less chances of keloid formation.

Disadvantages:

Expensive, specialized training required and a single laser system cannot treat all conditions.

To know more about laser treatment, consult a dermatologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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