• #5-1. Development of medical lasers in the 2000s




    Development of medical lasers in the 2000s


    In the 1980s, the specifications of medical laser devices started being modified based on the theory of selective photothermolysis. This provided an important foundation for developing safe and highly efficacious laser devices for treatment of pigmented lesions, vascular lesions and hair removal.

    In the 1990s, a noninvasive resurfacing, new nonablative method of scar removal or rejuvenation, was proposed. In this new method, energy was delivered into the dermis while leaving the epidermis intact and inducing dermal collagenesis. The Q-switched laser that was previously used in hair removal or vascular lesions was now converted to long-pulsed mode.

    From the 2000s, various new lasers were proposed or developed for use in aesthetic dermatology. Based on the concept of fractional photothermolysis¹, fractional nonablative laser and fractional ablative laser were introduced. Quickly, dermatologic laser began to focus more on aesthetic market along with growing markets in hair removal, vascular lesions, fat removal and rejuvenation, etc. In the post-2000s, most lasers entering the market were developed for aesthetic treatments.


    [Ad. ▶HYPERION(Nd:YAG) - Manufacturer: LASEROPTEK(www.laseroptek.com)

    HELIOSⅡ/LOTUSⅡ/HYPERION – Manufacturer: LASEROPTEK(www.laseroptek.com)


    In the 2000s, there was a growing interest in using laser in hair removal and vascular lesions. In the early phase, the high energy level had the risk of causing burns during hair removal procedures and vascular treatments. To minimize this risk, various skin cooling systems were developed. The first is the contact cooling method where a coolant seeps from the tip of the handpiece to cool the epidermis by contact during irradiation, or thermo electric cooler (TEC) used in IPL (intense pulsed light). The second is a non-contact method that uses tetrafluoroethane (R-134a), a cooling gas, in DCD (Dynamic Cooling Device; selective cooling of the epidermis by spraying coolant over the epidermis during treatment [patented by Candela, now Syneron Candela]) and cold air. Unlike vascular treatments, the focus of hair removal procedures was to reduce the treatment duration which required greater spot size and repetition rate. To satisfy these needs, laser output began to increase. This led to changes in the specifications of optical fibers that are used to deliver laser beams. As the laser should be selected based on an individual patient’s skin type, devices with two types of laser were introduced (Two in One).


    -To be continued


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