Laser in Dermatology: A Safety Update

In recent years, Light-based therapies have achieved tremendous progress in dermatology. Lasers have been used to treat various cutaneous conditions, such as hair removal, tattoo removal, scar reduction, depigmentation, and cosmetic rejuvenation. According to the American Association of Dermatology, Laser treatments are also effective in reducing birthmarks, rosacea (a common skin disease that causes blushing and visible blood vessels on the face), broken blood vessels, and other marks on the skin. While laser clinics are gaining popularity globally, the need for protection of clinicians and patients cannot be stressed enough.

Potential risks of Eye damage from Laser for Dermatologists
Lasers with shorter wavelengths, such as the potassium Titanyl phosphate (KTP) and pulsed dye (PDL) lasers, damage the tissues by increasing the temperature, thus denaturing the tissue proteins, commonly referred to as photocoagulation damage. On the other hand, Lasers with a long wavelength, such as infrared and near-infrared lasers (e.g., diode, Nd: YAG lasers), cause either photo disruption (photomechanical) or photocoagulation damage, both of which can lead to retinal damage. Photodisruption can be more dangerous as it can lead to perforation of tissues and irreversible retinal damage. 

Severe pain results from minor thermal injury to the cornea; however, a corneal injury may not always cause vision impairment when the injury is limited to the corneal epithelium. A typical injury can affect both the lens and retina. Damage to the lens can lead to cataract-like conditions. As most of the lasers used in dermatology fall in the hazardous spectrum, it is vital to use adequate safety measures to avoid injury to both the patient and the dermatologist. 

Eye protection as a basic safety standard for patient and clinician
The only practical option to prevent eye damage from the laser light is the usage of laser protective eyewear or laser barriers (for the patient). They filter the hazardous rays from the laser, thus preventing retinal injury. If you are a dermatologist performing laser procedures on patients, especially on the upper face, you and your patient must use protective eyewear. As a standard safety protocol, always remember to provide your patient with a disposable laser shield or barrier that keeps their eye closed while preventing harmful lights from entering the eye. They are simple to use with no sterilization needs.

Innovative Optics provides a wide range of laser eye protection glasses, shields, and barriers with excellent quality and impressive designs. Safety should be the prime concern for the clinician, especially for light-based treatments to prevent avoidable tissue injuries. Always remember safety is a small investment for a prosperous future!


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