Laser, light treatments expanding, combining modalities

June 1, 2006

Key developments from the recent American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) meeting include broader applications for existing devices and the growing availability of treatments that combine modalities, sources tell Dermatology Times.

Key developments from the recent American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) meeting include broader applications for existing devices and the growing availability of treatments that combine modalities, sources tell Dermatology Times.

According to a study Dr. Alster presented, clinical results obtained after three Fraxel treatments remained evident for 12 months thereafter (Tanzi EL, Alster TS. Lasers Surg Med. 2006; suppl.18:25).

As with other technologies, she adds, physicians are beginning to use Fraxel for additional indications, including acne scars and stretch marks.

Ultimately, he predicts these developments will be as important to laser surgery as are cooling technologies.

PLASMA SKIN RESURFACING

The meeting also represented many attendees' first in-depth exposure to plasma skin resurfacing (Portrait PSR3, Rhytec), Dr. Alster says.

In addition to extended reporting on facial rejuvenation results, presenters revealed new research into the device's safety and efficacy on the neck, chest and hands.

"Plasma skin resurfacing packs a bit more punch than does Fraxel, but it does require some postoperative recovery by patients," reports Dr. Alster, who co-authored a study which found 40 percent to 60 percent long-standing improvement in 30 sites on the neck, chest and hand after a single treatment at low energy settings of either 1, 1.5 or 1.8 joules (Alster TS, Tanzi EL. Lasers Surg Med. 2006;suppl. 18;20).

"This is just the beginning of using plasma skin resurfacing off-face," Dr. Alster says, "but we clearly showed that it was safe using the technique and relatively low fluences applied. Further research is necessary to determine the effect of multiple treatment sessions, as well as optimal device parameters, treatment intervals and longevity of results."

CELLULITE

"Cellulite is a pervasive problem among post-pubertal women," Dr. Alster says, "and we still don't have a great treatment for it."

Based on a review of studies done to date, she says the VelaSmooth (Syneron) device, with a combination of radiofrequency, infrared light and mechanical negative pressure massage, appears to be more effective than TriActive (Cynosure), which combines a diode laser, suction and rollers, though other technologies could emerge.

"There's little doubt that cellulite treatment remains imperfect, and that some sort of combination treatment - whether it's radiofrequency, light and massage or another combination, including perhaps ultrasound or mesotherapy - represents the wave of the future," Dr. Alster explains.

HAIR REMOVAL