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October 2003

Energy Delivery Devices for Cutaneous RemodelingLasers, Lights, and Radio Waves

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Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(10):1351-1360. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.10.1351

In the 10 years since our group last reviewed this topic,1 much has changed in cutaneous lasers. Most notably, lasers not previously in routine use for dermatologic interventions have been adapted for treating the skin. Concurrently, the spectrum of potential indications for cutaneous lasers has broadened. A number of subtle alterations have guided this process. Laser experts no longer instinctively believe in a 1-to-1 correspondence between a specific emission wavelength and the desired indication. It is now clear that many different lasers of varying pulse durations can achieve similar effects given the right conditions. Another major trend in cutaneous laser therapy, and in procedural dermatology as a whole, is the proliferation of minimally invasive therapies. Finally, one of the most striking advances in cutaneous laser surgery is that the field has expanded to include nonlaser devices, including intense pulsed light (IPL), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and radiofrequency (RF) emitters.

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