New lasers and light sources - old and new risks?

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Recent developments (new wavelengths, treatment concepts, and combinations) in the field of lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), LED, as well as new energy and light sources have opened up new therapeutic options that extend beyond mere aesthetic indications. Thus, while fractional lasers used to be employed to merely treat wrinkles, the same devices - in the context of laser-assisted drug delivery - have now become important tools in the treatment of scars, field cancerization, and epithelial tumors. The requirements posed to physicians, both with respect to establishing the indication and conducting treatment, have been growing along with the increase in technological complexity as well as the rising number of comorbidities and comedications in a patient population that continues to age. At the same time, home-use devices have been introduced for a variety of indications. These devices are characterized by low power and special safety features aimed at preventing accidents, risks, and side effects. Despite the reduced efficacy of such self-treatment devices, there is an increased risk of misuse, given that the basic prerequisite for adequate treatment cannot be ensured, to wit, the exact diagnosis and therapeutic indication. Consequently, during hair removal or anti-wrinkle treatment, pigmented lesions and cutaneous neoplasms may be altered, thus giving rise to expected, unexpected and new side effects and complications. In the aforementioned setting, it is important that all potential users of these new technologies be properly trained in a manner that ensures those treated a maximum of safety and efficacy in accordance with the guiding principle "diagnosis certa - ullae therapiae fundamentum".

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft = Journal of the German Society of Dermatology : JDDG
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

    Research areas

  • Equipment Design, Evidence-Based Medicine, Humans, Laser Therapy/instrumentation, Lasers, Low-Level Light Therapy/instrumentation, Skin Diseases/therapy, Technology Assessment, Biomedical, Treatment Outcome

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