Aesthetic Lasers Blog

Archive for October, 2009

The concept of non-ablative fractional photothermolysis was introduced to the market in 2003 as an answer to the need for effective, yet low risk, skin resurfacing techniques. Unlike conventional ablative (CO2 and Erbium) and non-ablative lasers, fractional ablative and non-ablative photothermolysis treats only a fraction of the skin, leaving up to a maximum of 95% of the skin uninvolved. The undamaged surrounding tissue allows for a reservoir of viable tissue, permitting rapid epidermal repair.

Non-ablative fractional photothermolysis is currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of pigmented lesions, periorbital rhytides, skin resurfacing, melasma and soft tissue coagulation, acne and surgical scars, and actinic keratoses. However, its off-label use is clearly more extended. Many practitioners would agree that this first wave of fractional lasers has delivered very limited clinical efficacy.

See larger chart


In 2007 the concept was further developed, and ablative fractional photothermolysis was introduced, using an erbium yttrium aluminium garnet (Er:YAG) or carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. These devices are FDA cleared to treat wrinkles, rhytides, furrows, fine lines, textural irregularities, pigmented lesions and vascular dyschromia. (more…)

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  • Filed under: Device Review, LT | fractional
  • Nd:YAG Laser Treatment of Warts

    Warts are ugly but they are common, and there are many ways and means to remove them. I prefer to use a YAG laser to remove warts.

    Surprisingly, this simple technique is not very common among dermatologists who typically freeze warts with nitrogen. That is painful and not very effective as in many cases more than one treatment is required.

    Digging into the body of research on the subject I found a report on a study published in September 2009 by the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.

    This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of warts. Over the course of 1 yr, 369 patients with recalcitrant or untreated warts were exposed to a long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The following parameters were used:

    • spot size: 5 mm;
    • pulse duration: 20 msec;
    • fluence: 200 J/cm2.


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  • Filed under: LT | other laser therapy
  • Financing Aesthetic Services

    Patients can have bigger dreams when you break costs into smaller pieces.

    When the economy is down, people tend to cut cosmetic procedures from their budgets, as they see it as a “want” instead of a “need.” For doctors this can mean fewer procedures in their practices. There are many credit card based financial products that can help patients realize that the procedures they have been wanting are affordable – even in today’s economy. Plans are available for 18 and 24 month no interest plans as well as 48 month extended payment plans that help break total costs into more manageable monthly payments. In addition, there are no down payments, so patients can get their treatments started faster.

    Practices can save valuable time with the online reporting system that lets them submit applications electronically, view application statuses, track patient financing performance and even set goals for the upcoming year.

    Note from

    Practitioners should not provide links to these financing offers on their websites. Instead, publish a statement, which clearly says that financing is available and have your patients come to the office, where your staff will help them submit the application, explain all benefits and schedule the procedure.

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  • Filed under: Marketing Ideas
  • OB/GYNs and Laser Hair Removal

    Some people wonder why OB/GYN practices offer LHR. Isn’t it the realm of plastic surgeons and dermatologists?

    For gynecologists laser hair removal is a natural transition and a perfect fit as they can perform these procedures in discrete areas of the female body in a comfortable setting of a medical office. Permanent reduction of hair in women care clinics also tends to be more affordable as these treatments are typically focused on small areas and can be combined with regular office visits.

    laser hair by OB/GYNs

    How does laser remove hair?

    Highly controlled flashes of laser beams are selectively absorbed by hair follicles lying below the surface of the skin. The absorbed light heats the hair, which damages and destroys the regrowth potential of the follicle- all without damaging surrounding tissue. Hair follicles are usually in different growth cycles at different times in relation to one another. Since the follicle must in active growth in order to be affected by the laser, several treatments spread over several months are required to assure the destruction of all hair follicles.

    Areas treated: bikini area, underarms, and face.


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  • Filed under: LT | hair removal
  • Choosing Laser Can Be Daunting

    Doctors Arielle N. B. Kauvar from New York Laser & Skin Care and E. Victor Ross, M.D., director of laser and cosmetic dermatology, Scripps Clinic, San Diego, provided a quick overview of different aesthetic lasers for medical practice in this article published by Modern Medicine yesterday.

    The overview is a good basic briefing on most of the laser modalities, applications and what different types of lasers have to offer. Dr. Ross is one of the veterans of the laser medicine and I like his comment on his personal favorite lasers: ”If my clinic were burning and I only had time to save two lasers, I’d save my KTP laser and my CO2 laser. They do very different things, but they’re the yin and yang that allow me to cover the widest range of indications with the fewest lasers”.

    There is, however, a tremendous shift towards non-invasive and affordable treatments in the last few years. The trend is also fueled by bad economy, which caused a significant drop in more expensive invasive procedures. These days most of aesthetic physicians should consider rushing in to save their YAGs if the practice were burning.

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  • Filed under: Device Review
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