Living Reference Work Entry

Daily Routine in Cosmetic Dermatology

Part of the series Clinical Approaches and Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology pp 1-47

Date: Latest Version

Lasers, Lights, and Related Technologies in Cosmetic Dermatology

  • Alvaro BoechatAffiliated withBLB Fotomedicina LTDA Email author 
  • , Luis TorezanAffiliated withFaculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo
  • , Nuno OsórioAffiliated withPrivate Practice


Lasers have been widely used in dermatology for almost 50 years. Selective targeting of the skin chromophores allowed practitioners to treat many skin conditions which were difficult or had no available treatment until introduction of selective photothermolysis in the early 1980s.

The demand for laser surgery has increased substantially in the past few years. Refinements in laser technology have provided patients and dermatologists with more therapeutic choices and improved clinical results. Innovations have allowed the range of conditions and the skin types suitable to treatment, including vascular and pigmented lesions, scars, tattoos, improvement of photoaging, and hair removal. More recently, fractionated laser devices were developed which contributed to higher efficacy and safety especially for higher skin types.

In this chapter, we present the basic concepts of lasers and tissue optics and also the different laser types, which are classified according to their tissue target and tissue interactions, such as vascular, pigment, photoepilation, and resurfacing lasers. Non-laser technologies, such as intense pulsed light, radio frequency, ultrasound, and cryolipolysis, are also discussed.


Laser Radio frequency Photothermolysis Intense pulsed light Tissue interaction Wavelength Ultrasound Light amplification Fluence Stimulated emission