The Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery

The 33rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) – Laser 2013 took place this year on April 5-7, with preconference activities on April 3rd and 4th. Held in Boston, MA, the conference covered a range of topics regarding cutting-edge techniques, products and research in laser medicine and surgery. The following are a few highlights from the conference.

Reduction Of Axillary Hair

In an e-poster titled Reduction of Axillary Hair of All Colors after Single Treatment with Microwave Technology, Jeremy A. Brauer, MD, and colleagues explored techniques for removing unwanted hair, noting the options are varied and often produce diverse results. With the implementation of the theory of selective photothermolysis, lasers have been developed to target follicles to achieve permanent hair removal. Permanent hair removal occurs more consistently with darker hair as compared to lighter hair.

In a single-center, prospective study of individuals with unwanted axillary hair growth, 6 women and 1 man with an average age of 36.7 years were enrolled. Patients had natural hair colors of brown (N=3), light brown and/or blonde (N=3) and blonde/red (N=1). Patients were treated with a noninvasive focused microwave energy device (miraDry System, Miramar Labs, Sunnyvale, CA).

Immediately after treatment, patients reported mild discomfort, edema and bruising, with an average duration of 6 days. At 30 days post-treatment, an average reduction of 43% in axillary hair was noted across hair types. The authors note that multiple treatments could be performed and that longer follow-up is needed.

Treatment Of Acne Scars

Nazanin Saedi and colleagues developed a single-center study to assess the safety and efficacy of fractional ablative radiofrequency (RF Pixel, Alma Lasers, Chicago, IL) for the treatment of acne scars that was explored in their presentation Fractional Ablative Radiofrequency for the Treatment of Acne Scars — Safety and Efficacy Study. The study included 10 patients with mild to moderate rolling boxcar acne scars. Full-face treatment consisted of 4 passes for a total energy of 360 W.
The investigating physician assessed improvement based on visual appearance and fixed magnification photography. Both the patients and the treating physician rated improvement as very good to excellent. Treatment was moderately well tolerated, with no sequelae of dyspigmentation, prolonged erythema or scarring. Photographic results did not show improvement in acne scarring severity; however, the researchers noted there is a possibility that variations in lighting, distance and camera angle of the photographs may explain differing results.

Dangers Of Smoke Plume In Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular aesthetic procedures in current practice, but the smoke plume that accompanies this procedure produces an unpleasant odor. In addition to the unpleasant smell, the resulting smoke plume may pose a potential health risk. In an abstract titled Smoke Plume from Laser Hair Removal: Gas-Chromatography Analysis, Gary Chuang and colleagues described a study they conducted to determine the contents of smoke plume that results from laser hair removal.
Using gas chromatography with mass spectroscopy, the study identified volatile organic hydrocarbons produced during laser hair removal, including known carcinogens. As a result, the researchers advocate the use of a smoke evacuator system when performing this procedure. They also note that further studies are needed to investigate best practices for eliminating smoke plume during laser hair removal.
 
Melanin Measurements

In Real-Time Melanin Measurements to Optimize Treatment Settings and Avoid Complications, E. Victor Ross and colleagues state that assessment of epidermal melanin content with the naked eye is inconsistent and inaccurate, which may lead to poor treatment results. The predictive value of real-time Melanin Index (MI) measurements for appropriate treatment settings was evaluated across 5 treatment centers in a prior study and 450 additional patients were included for further verification/validation and optimization. Experienced operators assessed treatment settings compared to “skintel” settings provided by the system and based on MI readings (Icon™ and Skintel™ Melanin Reader, Palomar Medical, MA). Per the findings, utilizing real-time measurement of epidermal melanin content accurately guides the selection of appropriate treatment settings, which can result in improved safety.

For more information about the Laser 2013 Annual Meeting, please visit http://www.aslms.org/index.shtml.