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May 1992

Selective Destruction of Facial Telangiectasia Using a Copper Vapor Laser

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(5):509-513. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880050061015

• Copper vapor lasers emit pulsed light at 511 and 578 nm. The 578-nm option corresponds with a peak in the absorption of oxyhemoglobin and a diminished absorption by melanin. The pulse width of this light (20 nanoseconds) is significantly shorter than the thermal relaxation time of typical facial telangiectatic vessels (20 to 100 milliseconds). This laser is therefore able to selectively destroy facial telangiectatic vessels with little damage to the overlying epidermis. Twenty patients with facial telangiectasia were treated with the 578-nm option of a copper vapor laser. Treatment was administered in an office-room setting, and no anesthesia was used. Eighteen of the 20 patients experienced satisfactory clearance of their telangiectasia. Three patients developed temporary postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, which cleared within 6 to 8 weeks, and one patient developed a small depressed scar, which was not noticeable at 3 months. Copper vapor lasers are thus safe and effective in treating facial telangiectasia.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118:509-513)