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    Advances in lasers, light sources

    New lasers and light devices push the boundaries of promising treatment options available to derms and their patients


    Future applications

    “It is an exciting time for device innovation,” Dr. Waibel says.

    The military is evaluating plasma-induced ablation as a source of plasma energy for wound healing, infection, skin treatments and aesthetic purposes.

    Vaginal laser rejuvenation can tighten and tone sagging, loose or excess tissues in the vaginal and labial area. It also helps with urinary incontinence.

    “These laser techniques are non-invasive, without the need for surgical incisions and sutures. There are still more clinical trials being conducted and the jury is out on the efficacy, timing and side effect profile for this procedure,” Dr. Waibel says.

    The indocyanine green augmented laser diode is an IV infusion of the indocyanine green (throughout the process of PDT), which is activated with a laser. European researchers are studying the use of the indocyanine green augmented laser diode port wine stain treatment and other vascular applications, according to Dr. Waibel.

    Researchers also are studying the free electron laser

    “In lasers, electrons go through an accelerator and give up energy in order to be able to control the electromagnetic spectrum. This is how the beam of a laser is simulated and how there are different lasers with different wavelengths to treat different indications,” Dr. Waibel says. “This new device that is being studied will have one device that will have all of the different wavelengths to be able to treat all of the indications.”

    Smarter devices are on the horizon, such as Optimal Coherence Tomography. This imaging device helps visualize skin structure in in-vivo high definition. Advantages are that it might provide additional valuable information to physicians in real-time. It’s non-invasive, rapid and painless for the patient and offers views in less than one second.

    Dr. Waibel is involved in a clinical trial looking at using novel epidermal harvesting technology for treatment of hypopigmented skin conditions. CelluTome (Acelity) is a scarless and painless epidermal grafting procedure of fibroblasts and melanocytes by creating micro suction blisters with a combination of suction and warmth. This device is currently FDA approved as a therapy for diabetic ulcers.

    “This tool allows for epidermal skin grafting in the outpatient setting without donor site morbidities, like scarring,” Dr. Waibel says.

    Dr. Waibel offers Dermatology Times’ readers these laser and light source use practice pearls:

    ·    Always take photographs of your patients, regardless of which procedure they’re having.

    ·    Show patients photos of the healing process for each procedure. This will help them to look realistically at their options and choose the best for their lives.

    ·    Don’t treat patients with unrealistic expectations or patients that are rude to you or your staff. This will only lead to unnecessary problems.

    Dr. Waibel is a speaker, investigator or researcher for Acelity, Alma Lasers, Candela/Syneron, Cutera, Lumenis, Lutronics, Michelson Diagnostics, Kythera, Sebacia and Sciton.

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is a writer in Boca Raton, Fla., who heads up her company, Words Come Alive.


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