Lasers in dermatology: four decades of progress

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jul;49(1):1-31; quiz 31-4. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2003.582.


Advances in laser technology have progressed so rapidly during the past decade that successful treatment of many cutaneous concerns and congenital defects, including vascular and pigmented lesions, tattoos, scars, and unwanted hair-can be achieved. The demand for laser surgery has increased substantially by patients and dermatologists alike as a result of the relative ease with which many of these lesions can be removed, combined with a low incidence of adverse postoperative sequelae. Refinements in laser technology and technique have provided patients and practitioners with more therapeutic choices and improved clinical results. In this review, the currently available laser systems with cutaneous applications are outlined, with primary focus placed on recent advancements and modifications in laser technology that have greatly expanded the cutaneous laser surgeon's armamentarium and improved overall treatment efficacy and safety.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / surgery
  • Anesthesia
  • Cicatrix / surgery
  • Hair Removal / methods
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers
  • Lentigo / surgery
  • Phototherapy
  • Skin Diseases / surgery*
  • Tattooing