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Laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The concept relates to Einstein’s principles of electromagnetic radiation, which states that when one photon stimulates an excited atom, it will emit a second identical photon. Dr. Leon Goldman was one of the early pioneers of laser technology for dermatological applications. Multiple media are available for laser generation—including gas types, such as argon, carbon dioxide, helium-neon, and krypton; liquid types, such as rhodamine dye dissolved in an organic solvent; and solid types, such as erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet, ruby, and aluminum gallium arsenide.
Laser accessories have a number of uses in dermatology, depending on the media used. For example, carbon dioxide and erbium lasers are best used for treating photoaging, scars, and lesions such as epidermal nevi and seborrheic keratoses. They resurface the skin by removing the old epidermis and stimulating contraction and remodeling of the dermis for several months after treatment. For pigmented lesions and tattoos, ruby and alexandrite lasers are useful since they target melanin more specifically. For non-dynamic wrinkles and fine lines, lasers such as neodymium and erbium lasers can be used, but treatment response is usually gradual and subtle. There are also many other indications that lasers can treat; the entire list is too exhaustive to include here, but the major ones include hair removal, hypertrophic and atrophic scars, and vascular lesions.
A number of manufactures make laser accessories. The top brands include Cynosure (United States), Lumenis (Israel), and Syneron Medical (United States).
Laser accessories originate from a number of countries, such as Israel and the United States.
Side effects from laser accessories depend largely on the type of lasers used and the condition treated. For vascular lesions, the main side effect is purpura. It is a temporary red or purple discolored spot on the treated area that can bother some patients. For carbon dioxide lasers, prolonged redness and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur, especially when patients are aggressively treated with a higher energy laser. Side effects that are common for all lasers include blindness (which can occur rapidly and painlessly) hyper- or hypopigmentation, burns, and “checker board” skin mottling. Though these side effects are mostly rare, patients should still be informed of them prior to undergoing treatment with a laser.
Laser accessories do not use steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, or any antibiotics to exert their specific actions.
Laser accessories are some of the most widely studied and widely used non-surgical aesthetic devices available to the public. Dermatologists worldwide have extensively used and tested many of these accessories in a wide variety of patients. Some applications of laser therapy may be more successful and/or popular than others. For example, permanent reduction of pigmented hairs is currently one of the most popular laser procedures due to its effectiveness.
Laser accessories differ by the media used to generate the laser. The media is crucial since it determines which chromophore (molecules that absorb light) is targeted. Chromophores are where heat is generated to produce the desired aesthetic effects. For example, alexandrite and ruby lasers target melanin, which makes them suitable to be used for treating tattoos and pigmented lesions. On the other hand, erbium and carbon dioxide lasers target water, which makes them suitable for a wider range of applications.
All laser accessories are made of four crucial components: a gas, liquid, or solid medium that can be stimulated to generate light; a source of pump energy to excite the medium; mirrors at the ends of the lasers to create an optical cavity that amplifies the process; and, lastly, a delivery system. Essentially, these systems work by amplifying light to travel back and forth between the mirrors to generate a high-intensity laser beam.
Typically, a package of a laser accessory comes with the particular laser system and a package insert. Obviously, the contents in laser systems’ particular packaging can vary on a system-to-system basis.
Disclaimer: Raskel Medical offers only genuine products made by their original manufacturer. All brands are trademarks of their respective owners. Raskel Medical is not operated by, supported by, or affiliated with the manufacturer in any way. Product packaging may not be exactly as shown.