How does the Erbium YAG laser work?
The laser works by emitting a wavelength of high-energy light that, when focused on a skin condition, generates heat and destroys diseased cells.
The Er:YAG laser can treat the following skin conditions.
Atrophic acne scars
Herpes simplex. scars, smallpox scars
Sun damaged skin
Mild to moderate facial wrinkles
Uneven pigmentation (brown age spots, freckles, dark brown)
Seborrheic keratoses and other benign skin growths
Some superficial non-melanoma skin cancers
Some vascular birthmarks (capillary malformations)
Commonly used erbium YAG laser settings
Typical settings for ablation of birthmarks, age spots and surface skin are 2940 nm wavelength, short pulses, 2.5-5 J/cm2 laser output, and 250 microsecond pulse duration.
For deeper scars, a longer pulse setting is better, at a wavelength of 2940nm, with a laser output of 3 J/cm2 and a pulse duration of 1000 microseconds.
Patient Selection and Contraindications
Erbium YAG laser treatment may not be indicated for the following conditions:
Unrealistic patient expectations
Tendency toward keloid or hypertrophic scar formation
Reduced number of incidental skin structures (hair follicles, sweat glands) such as in scleroderma, and burn scars
History of prior ionizing radiation to the skin
All patients should be carefully examined prior to treatment.
The eyes must be examined for scleral.Show (visible whites under the iris), lid lag (slow eyelid movement), and lid ectropion (lower eyelid ptosis) in patients wishing to have Periorbital.laser treatment.
Presence of skin disorders including seborrheic roles, solar nevi, actinic roles, and skin cancer should be noted.
Skin cancers must be adequately treated by other methods before any resurfacing procedures are performed.
Laser skin resurfacing can lead to reactivation of an underlying herpes simplex virus infection either by sending the patient to the underlying skin surface to heal prior to the herpes infection.
Little data support the use of prophylactic antibiotics because of the relatively low incidence of bacterial infections reported.
Does erbium YAG laser Resurfacing have any side effects?
The side effects of Er:YAG laser treatment are usually mild and may include:
Highly precise, tissue-selective treatment
Intuitive, easy-to-use parameter selection
Minimal residual thermal damage to underlying tissues, resulting in less chance of persistent post-treatment redness and change in hyperpigmentation