The applications of lasers in the field of medical and cosmetics are mainly because of the high power density produced by the laser beam. Most medical laser applications are aimed at ablating, cutting, or vaporizing tissue or at coagulating (clotting) bodily fluids.
In medicine, a laser is used directly to the affected area via flexible light guides. This makes endoscopic interventions with the help of lasers possible. This refers to surgical interventions inside the body in which the instruments are inserted through small openings without the need for large surgical incisions. Which type of laser is used depends, among other things according to the required power density, the desired penetration depth in the tissue, or which wavelength is best absorbed by the type of tissue to be treated.
Areas of application in medicine
Most medical laser applications are aimed at ablating, cutting, or vaporizing tissue or at coagulating (clotting) bodily fluids. Examples:
- stopping bleeding
- the correction of short-sightedness or long-sightedness through the targeted removal of the cornea
- use of laser radiation as a scalpel in surgery
- breaking up kidney or gallstones (lithotripsy)
- the removal of benign skin growths, skin changes caused by viruses, and skin changes that are considered to be precancerous.
Class 3B and 4 lasers are designed to be highly resistant to radiation, making them the most popular choices for industrial and medical applications. In contrast, class 3R lasers are not as resistant to radiation, but they still provide a safe and efficient way of cutting materials in the presence of high levels of radiation. The use of lasers should only be done by those who are trained to use these instruments. They have to have extensive knowledge of the laws, regulations, and procedures that are in place to prevent any potentially hazardous laser activity. Their job is to ensure that laser systems are safe by getting involved at all levels of the organization and ensuring compliance with the regulations.
Photodynamic therapy is a treatment in which light is used to kill cancer cells. First, a substance called a photosensitizer is applied to the tumor site and then the light is administered. This can help with many types of cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. PDT is a drug that uses light to kill cancer cells, but it also is used by ophthalmologists to treat macular degeneration which is mostly age-related. PDT is mostly used on the skin and its precursors, but it can also be used in ophthalmology.
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Increasingly, lasers or optical radiation sources with a comparable effect are also used outside of medicine for cosmetic purposes. In both cases, effects are to be achieved, for which limit values for occupational safety or the recommendations of the Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection ( ICNIRP ) must generally be exceeded in order to be achieved. The same devices can be used for both areas. Their application in the cosmetics or wellness sector is not limited to people with medical training. Medical supervision of the treatment is also currently not required by law.
Examples of the use of lasers for cosmetic purposes are:
- permanent hair removal (epilation)
- the removal of scars or vascular changes such as the so-called “spider veins”
- fat reduction (“body shaping”) as well as
- tattoo removal.
Conclusion: Lasers in cosmetics and medicine are used in different ways and for diverse purposes. In the field of medicine, lasers are used to treat a broad spectrum of skin diseases such as acne, rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff). In the field of cosmetic surgery, lasers are used to safely and effectively remove unwanted hair (Laser hair removal Calgary) from the face, arms, chest, and buttocks. Lasers are also popular in tattoo removal.