Argon laser treatment

Author: Anoma Ranaweera, Medical Writer, Auckland, New Zealand, April 2016.

What is a laser?

The term "LASER" denotes Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser is a device that generates an intense beam of light. Laser light has three special qualities that distinguish it from the conventional light source.

  1. Laser light travels parallel in a single direction with very little divergence (collimated).
  2. It consists of one colour or wavelength and thus the laser beam is very pure (monochromatic).
  3. All of the light waves move parallel in phase together in both time and space (coherent).

Ordinary light from a lamp consists of a mixture of wavelengths radiating in different directions and out of phase. 

What is an argon laser?

The argon ion laser emits a specific wave length (488–514 nm) of blue-green light found in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. About 80% of the energy is at wavelengths of 488–514 nm

The excitation medium is the ionised argon gas in a sealed laser tube, which is excited by a direct current electrical discharge.

How does argon laser work?

What is argon laser used for?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a range of argon laser machines for various skin disorders. These include The LASOS® Ar-Ion lasers (LASOS Lasertechnik, Germany), and Modulaser(Modulaser,Utah, USA). Individual machines are designed to treat specific skin problems.

The following skin disorders can be treated with argon laser beams.

Argon lasers are FDA approved for use in photodynamic therapy to treat actinic keratoses and basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

What are the advantages of argon laser therapy?

What are the disadvantages of argon laser therapy?

What are the side effects of argon laser treatment?

Side effects from argon laser treatment may include:

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