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Core Messages

— A wide variety of cutaneous vascular disorders can be successfully treated with current lasers.

— The pulsed dye laser (PDL) enabled treatment of cutaneous vessels following principles of selective photother-molysis.

— The PDL is the most effective laser for the treatment of port wine stains but purpura limits its acceptability to patients for more cosmetic indications.

— Leg vein telangiectasia can also be treated with lasers but sclerotherapy remains the gold standard.

— Other cutaneous disorders such as psoriasis, warts, and scars can be improved by targeting the lesions' cutaneous vessels with appropriate lasers.

History

Port Wine Stain Treatment ■ Argon Laser

The earliest studies on the laser treatment of vascular disorders were on port wine stains (PWS) and published in the 1970s using both the argon and ruby lasers (Table 2.1). Most work was undertaken with the argon laser. In the 1980s this was the most frequently used laser worldwide for the treatment of PWS. The argon laser emits light at six different wavelengths in the blue green portion of the visible spectrum.

Table 2.1. Lasers used for treatment of port wine stains

Laser

Wavelength

Pulse duration

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