Laser and light devices: What's trending?

When it comes to laser and light treatments in the New Year, this is what experts have to say you can expect to see more of.

Mixing, Matching Treatments

Dr. AlsterTina S. Alster, M.D., director, Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, Washington, D.C., says one of today’s biggest trends is mixing and matching devices and procedures.

“On one individual today, I did several things at once. I did fillers and toxins; along with treatment of rosacea, with a vascular-specific laser; along with treatment of wrinkles and photodamaged skin with the Fraxel nonablative laser; and also provided tissue tightening with the Ulthera,” Dr. Alster says.

Focus on the Body

Dr. TanziAs for trends in specific categories of devices, nonsurgical body-contouring continues its growth in the industry, according to Elizabeth L. Tanzi, M.D., co-director, Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.

“I encompass lasers with all energy-based technologies for aesthetics, such as cryolipolysis and ultrasound. I think the energy-based systems will continue to create interest in the nonsurgical body contouring field,” Dr. Tanzi says. “There will continue to be more competition in that space, as well as improvement in clinical outcomes.”


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Multiplatforms or Not?

Vic Narurkar, M.D., chairman of dermatology at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, does only cosmetic dermatology and has 16 onsite energy-based devices to address a variety of issues. He says there is one potential trend to avoid: It’s what he calls “dial-a-box lasers.”

“In one box you can do 10 things. What ends up happening is, it may do one thing well and nine things poorly. All-in-one is often very disappointing. It’s better to have one thing that does its job well,” Dr. Narurkar says.

Dr. GoldMichael H. Gold, M.D., medical director, Gold Skin Care Center and Tennessee Clinical Research Center, Nashville, Tenn., disagrees. He says multiplatform technologies are popular and might meet the needs of a dermatologist new to the laser business.

“I have several lasers in my office that are one or two wavelengths. I also have the Harmony Multi-Platform system that has the capability of 11 different technologies built into one compact unit. The system can be upgraded anytime, including future upgrades,” he says. “I currently have 540 and 570 nm, 1,064 nm high-powered Q-switch with additional 532 nm tip to treat tattoos, and erbium:YAG iPixel, to mention a few. This is a perfect system for the first-time purchaser because you can start with the basics and build as your practice grows.”

Dr. Gold adds he has an IPL system that uses cut-off filters for the IPL component and has a nonablative fractional laser option for rejuvenation.



Dr. Tanzi is on the medical advisory boards at Zeltiq, Marimar and Clarisonic. Dr. Alster has relevant financial interests with Cynosure, Home Skinovations, Palomar and Syneron. Dr. Narurkar has performed clinical trials for Palomar, Solta and Zeltiq. Dr. Gold is compensated for research initiatives and speaking engagements when sponsored by laser companies. He works with Alma, Lumenia, Syneron, Ellman, Ulthera and Venus. Dr. Keaney reports no relevant financial interests.

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