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Pigment meters add security to laser treatments, says study


In a new study headed by Dr E. Victor Ross, it was hypothesised that a pigment meter could help laser operators provide the very best and safest settings for their patients.

The use of a pigment meter would help erase overestimation and underestimation of melanin content before treatment.

In the study, a 755/1064 nm laser with pigment meter guidance was used to optimise outcomes for the reduction of hair and benign vascular/ pigmented lesions.

Over 24 areas were treated among 20 patients. Areas included patients with leg veins, angiomas on the abdomen, lentigines on the hand, lentigos on the chest, three cases of pseudofolliculitis barbae on the neck, and nine facial treatments including pigment and telangiectasia.

The study, ‘Use of a 755/1064 nm long pulse laser equipped with pigment meter guidance in the treatment of pseudofolliculitis barbae, vascular lesions, and epidermal pigmented lesion,’ was published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM) and selected as the August 2023 Editor’s Choice.

With a typical laser, practitioners choose settings guided by their eyeball and possibly an application-driven menu guided by skin phototype. With the introduction of a pigment meter, the operator can choose settings in a more predictable and reliable fashion.

It was noted in the survey that when the skin was tanned, for example, a typical skin type II patient, the MI increased from roughly 14 to about 22. This pigment change resulted in a proportional reduction in suggested settings, particularly with the alexandrite laser, to avoid excessive crusting of background normal skin.

A patient satisfaction survey near the clinical findings showed overall improvement was approximately 70%. The study concluded that a 1064/755 nm long pulse laser complete with integrated fluence guidance via melanin density proved effective in treating leg telangiectasia, facial telangiectasia, pseudofolliculitis barbae, and reduction of brown dyschromia.

“The work was important to give laser providers information about new exciting tools to guide them in treatment, as far as safety and efficacy,” said Ross.

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