Combining Lasers to Maximize Results, Patient Satisfaction

SAN DIEGO – In the clinical experience of Mathew M. Avram, MD, JD, fractional lasers work best in combination with other devices and wavelengths when treating signs of photoaging, such as dyspigmentation, wrinkles, and actinic damage.

Dr. Mathew Avram

“Using a fractional laser as a solo treatment is missing an opportunity to achieve more dramatic improvement for your patients,” Dr. Avram, director of laser, cosmetics, and dermatologic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said at the annual Masters of Aesthetics Symposium. Among the laser treatments he performs, “combination fractional treatments, typically using the 1927-nm laser,” are associated with the highest patient satisfaction, he said.

The order of device use matters, he noted. First, he recommended, use a pulsed dye laser, KTP, or intense pulsed light (IPL) for erythema and telangiectasias, and/or a Q-switched or picosecond laser for pigment. Second, use an ablative or nonablative fractional laser for resurfacing. “A lot of seborrheic keratoses don’t respond to selective photothermolysis well, so I’ll use liquid nitrogen at the time of treatment and before or after treat with a picosecond laser,” added Dr. Avram. “This combined treatment approach is less painful than ablative fractional treatment. You’re going to have downtime anyway, so why not maximize the results at that one treatment session?”

The fractional 1927 laser delivers hundreds of thousands of microscopic pulses and fosters high water absorption, so it targets superficial skin conditions such as actinic keratoses, lentigines, and ephelides at depths of 200-250 microns. It thermally coagulates 30%-40% of skin, which heals without affecting surrounding skin and leaves no perceptible scar, he said.

Clinicians can also combine devices to treat scars. “For red scars, it’s often best to treat both erythema and scar texture with two lasers at the same session,” Dr. Avram said. Again, the order matters. First, he recommended using the pulse dye laser, IPL, or KTP at low fluence and short pulse duration. Second, treat with an ablative or nonablative fractional laser at a low density. “In my experience the ablative fractional lasers are far more efficacious,” he said. “Then we typically add a little Kenalog and 5-FU via laser-assisted drug delivery.”

Dr. Avram disclosed that he has received consulting fees from Allergan. He also reported holding shareholder interest and intellectual property rights with Cytrellis Biosystems.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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Publish date : 2023-09-19 18:55:10

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