Given the widespread prevalence of laser equipment in our country, unfortunately, sometimes non-standard situations arise when working with laser equipment, as a result of which the patient may get burns or other skin injuries. Theoretically, every doctor can fall into this situation, but in this article we will analyze how to avoid them or at least minimize their likelihood.
The most common causes of side effects during laser therapy
The vast majority of complications in patients with lasers can be divided into the following groups
- Errors made by a doctor during laser therapy. These include the wrong choice of settings for the laser device, the choice of the wrong nozzle due to incomplete training or lack of experience, incorrect diagnosis of the disease, the use of unprofessional or uncertified laser equipment, failure to take measures to protect against laser radiation, etc.
- Non-compliance by the patient with recommendations after the procedure.
- Hidden factors of the patient’s health, which the doctor was not informed about or could not be established during the medical history.
All types of complications that can occur during the laser procedure are divided into two types – the early ones, which can occur immediately after the procedure, and the late ones, which theoretically can manifest themselves over time.
If the medical laser equipment is used improperly, the following side effects may occur immediately after the procedure:
- Burns. Their main causes of appearance are: the use of too high energy densities, tanned skin, the repetition of pulses when firing at one point, the incorrect operation of the epidermal cooling system.
- Allergic reactions after laser therapy using contact or gas-spray cooling. They are not observed so often, but it is recommended to use in such cases only cooling with cold air.
- Decreased severity or even damage to vision. These serious side effects can occur in patients or even doctors when incorrect eye protection is used during laser procedures.
If you consider the types of late side effects, the following types should be noted:
- Hypo – and hyperpigmentation. These complications are consequences of thermal damage to the skin. They sometimes occur in patients with III-VI skin phototypes for the reasons described above.
- Scars appear due to a deep violation of the integrity of the dermis at a level below the basement membrane. If a burn becomes infected during the healing process, then hypertrophic scar formations almost always appear, which are very difficult to treat.
- Paradoxical hypertrichosis – an increase in hair growth after using incorrect laser equipment for laser hair removal. It is a consequence of the use of low energies, which do not destroy hair follicles, but rather stimulate their growth due to the stimulation of the capillary feeding network and other photochemical processes.
Each attending physician should remember that avoiding side effects is one of the most important goals when performing laser procedures. The most reliable and proven method is the use of certified and reliable laser devices with proven treatment protocols.