Selective photothermolysis of cutaneous pigmentation by Q-switched Nd: YAG laser pulses at 1064, 532, and 355 nm

R. Rox Anderson, Randall J. Margolis, Shinichi Watenabe, Thomas J Flotte, George J. Hruza, Jeffrey S. Dover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

274 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure of skin to nanosecond-domain laser pulses affects the pigmentary system by a process called selective photothermolysis, in which melanosomes and pigmented cells are preferentially altered. Due to the broad absorption spectrum of melanin, this effect may occur with wavelengths that penetrate to vastly different depths within tissue, potentially producing different biologic responses. The effects of single near-ultraviolet (355 nm), visible (532 nm), and near infrared (1064 nm) pulses of 10-12 nsec duration were determined in guinea pig skin using gross, histologic, and electron microscopic observations. Threshold response in pigmented skin was a transient immediate ash-white discoloration, requiring 0.11, 0.20, and 1.0 J/cm2, at 355,532, and 1064 nm, respectively. At each wavelength, melanosomes were ruptured within keratinocytes and melanocytes, with cytoplasmic and nuclear alterations. Delayed epidermal depigmentation occurred, followed by gradual repigmentation. Deep follicular cells were altered only at 532 and 1064 nm, which produced permanent leukotrichia. The action spectrum for threshold response was consistent with mechanisms implied by selective photothermolysis. These data may be useful for consideration of treatment for cutaneous pigmentation abnormalities or unwanted follicular pigmentation, or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Volume93
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1989
Externally publishedYes

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Skin Pigmentation
Solid-State Lasers
Melanosomes
Laser pulses
Skin
Ashes
Skin Abnormalities
Discoloration
Wavelength
Melanocytes
Melanins
Pigmentation
Keratinocytes
Absorption spectra
Guinea Pigs
Lasers
Electrons
Tissue
Infrared radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

Cite this

Selective photothermolysis of cutaneous pigmentation by Q-switched Nd : YAG laser pulses at 1064, 532, and 355 nm. / Rox Anderson, R.; Margolis, Randall J.; Watenabe, Shinichi; Flotte, Thomas J; Hruza, George J.; Dover, Jeffrey S.

In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Vol. 93, No. 1, 07.1989, p. 28-32.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rox Anderson, R. ; Margolis, Randall J. ; Watenabe, Shinichi ; Flotte, Thomas J ; Hruza, George J. ; Dover, Jeffrey S. / Selective photothermolysis of cutaneous pigmentation by Q-switched Nd : YAG laser pulses at 1064, 532, and 355 nm. In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 1989 ; Vol. 93, No. 1. pp. 28-32.
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