Changes for laser-based dermatological procedures have arrived

After 40 years, changes are coming to the field of laser-based dermatological treatments. Researchers from the University of Missouri, taking into account an increased demand of minimally invasive laser-based treatments, have developed a laser light technique that allows for direct contact with the skin.

Previously, laser treatments needed to be held away from the skin to be absorbed into the skin. The new so-called sonoillumination technique can be held directly to the skin for improved laser transmission with improved safety. The findings were published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

"The system we developed uses ultrasonic pulsation in conjunction with a clinical laser to alter the properties of skin tissues during the procedure," said Paul J.D. Whiteside, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri. "We're hopeful that the procedure will be available widely in the near future."

Along with Heather K. Hunt, an assistant professor of bioengineering, Whiteside was able to test the technique on pig skin samples where it was shown to be an improvement from conventional systems in terms of effectiveness and safety for both clinician and patients. Findings were presented at the annual conference of American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

"Pork skin samples are very close to human skin samples, so the initial results we saw are promising for human applications," Hunt said. "'Sonoillumination' will be extremely beneficial for clinicians and the ASLMS presentation allowed us to demonstrate the system to the people who actually will be using the technology once it's commercialized."