Laser and energy devices are increasingly being used for a growing number of dermatological indications from vascular and pigmented abnormalities to resurfacing and rejuvenation. Currently, there are no cohesive regulations surrounding the operation of laser and energy devices in Australia. It is therefore important that GPs advise patients to seek adequately trained providers for best outcomes.
- Lasers can be ablative or nonablative. Ablative lasers are destructive and are used for skin resurfacing. Nonablative lasers target pigment, such as vascular or pigmented lesions.
- Lasers typically emit a specific wavelength, and therefore specific devices are required to target particular molecules.
- Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices offer a spectrum of wavelength emission, thus a single device can be used to treat a range of problems.
- Lasers and energy devices can result in side effects including swelling, scarring and postinflammatory pigmentation changes.
- There is currently no consistent regulation for the qualifications and training of treatment providers across Australian states and territories.
- Most injuries from laser and energy devices are the result of inadequate knowledge and experience of the treatment provider. It is therefore important that GPs recommend or advise patients to seek treatment from adequately certified and experienced practitioners.