Top Non-cosmetic Laser Indications Vary by Laser Type

April 15, 2024

Treatment of psoriasis, vascular lesions, and hypertrophic disorders were the most common non-cosmetic indications for dermatologic use of excimer, vascular, and ablative lasers, respectively, based on data from more than 55,000 individuals.

Non-cosmetic laser therapy in dermatology has experiencing significant growth in recent years, but the demographics and indications have not been examined, wrote Serena Yun-Chen Tsai, MD, of Harvard University, Boston, and colleagues in an abstract presented at the annual conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

In a population-based study, the researchers reviewed electronic health records for 56,784 adult patients who underwent non-cosmetic laser therapy (excimer, ablative, or vascular) at 92 healthcare organizations in the United States between January 2013 and December 2023.

Overall, the mean age of the patients was 45.3 years, and half were female. Among the 42,898 patients underwent excimer laser therapy, psoriasis was the most common indication (65.7%), and was most often observed in white patients (77%). Among the 13,373 patients treated with vascular lasers, the most common indications were vascular skin malformations (43.3%), most often observed in Asian patients (47.8%). Among the 983 patients treated with ablative lasers, the most common indication was hypertrophic disorders, including keloids and skin tags (88.8%), most often observed in African Americans (94.7%).

The mean ages were not significantly different among the excimer laser, vascular laser, and ablative laser groups (48.3 years, 36.5 years, and 33 years, respectively). No significant gender differences were observed; approximately half of the patients in each group were female.

“The utilization of each laser modality was associated with particular dermatological diseases and conditions,” the researchers wrote.

The findings were limited by a lack of data on socioeconomic status, disease prevalence, and skin tones, and further studies are needed to examine whether these factors affected racial differences in laser use, they concluded.

Tsai SY et al., DEMOGRAPHICS AND INDICATIONS OF NON-COSMETIC LASER USE IN DERMATOLOGY IN THE U.S.: REAL-WORLD DATA FROM A LARGE NATIONWIDE DATABASE, 2013-2023. Presented at: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery 43rd Annual Conference on Energy-based Medicine and Science. April 11-14, 2024; Baltimore.

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