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February 2016

The Evolution of Laser Technology in Dermatology

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Miami, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(2):199. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.4133

Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is a device that amplifies light and produces coherent light beams. The root of this technological innovation lies in physics research. Albert Einstein first proposed the idea of stimulated emission in the early 20th century, and Theodore Maiman at Hughes Aircraft Company created the first working laser in 1960.1 Dermatologists have used artificial light sources for the treatment of skin conditions for centuries including the Finsen lamp for lupus vulgaris (1899), wound healing and rickets (1901), and psoriasis (1925).2 The construction of new laser systems led dermatologists to study the therapeutic effects of lasers.