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New technologies in lasers reviewed

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Some of the latest developments and uses in laser technology were reviewed at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting.

By: Nazanin Saedi, MD

“There are so many devices out there, and the technology keeps growing for lasers.

We have to take a close look at whether they actually work, and look at the research that’s been done,” Nazanin Saedi, MD, assistant professor and director of Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, told Healio.com.

Tattoo removal

While the current gold standard for removing tattoos is the Q-switched laser, a newer picosecond laser called PicoSure (Cynosure), which has 10-12 second pulse duration “does a better job of breaking up the tattoo particles,” Saedi said.

Saedi cited her research that demonstrated 15 darkly pigmented tattoos had greater than 75% clearance using the picosecond laser after an average of 4.25 treatments.

“In the coming years we’re going to learn a lot more about using picosecond lasers, not only for tattoos, but for pigmented lesions,” she said.

Hair removal:

Vectus (Palomar) is a hair-removal system that uses a diode laser. It has a small and large spot size, “which makes large areas like the back of the legs easier to treat,” Saedi said. “[The large spot size] makes it more efficient for us to treat hair.”

Vascular lesions

The Excel V (Cutera) is a device that uses 532-nm and 1,064-nm wavelengths to treat rosacea, poikiloderma and leg veins.

“The 532 is really great for areas [including the alar area] that are sometimes difficult to treat with the pulse-dye laser,” Saedi said.

Body contouring

Saedi focused on two devices that use heat to reduce fat. “We know that using cold has been effective for treating fat, so what about heat?” Saedi said.

Liposonix (Solta Medical) uses high-intensity focused ultrasound. The beam induces a focal zone of heating that leads to rapid cell death, and over time, fat is reabsorbed into the body.

Most studies have shown that there is more than 2 cm reduction in abdominal circumference.

Side effects including pain and “bruising can be pretty intense,” Saedi said.

TruSculpt (Cutera) uses radiofrequencies that uniformly heat subcutaneous fat layers at therapeutic temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius. Saedi displayed an example of a patient who had two contour treatments for the outer thighs, “an area that’s hard to treat with our noninvasive devices that are available,” she said.

Skin resurfacing

Saedi profiled two low-energy fractionated devices. Emerge (Palomar) has shown success in treating facial brown spots after 3 months. Clear + Brilliant (Solta Medical) was used to treat pore size in a study conducted by Saedi. After six treatments, detectable pores were reduced.

While there is minimal downtime for patients with these procedures, multiple treatments are necessary to achieve the desired results, Saedi said.

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