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Dermatol Ther. 2005 May-Jun;18(3):267-81.

Treating vascular lesions.

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Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The treatment of acquired vascular lesions is one of the most commonly requested and performed cutaneous laser procedures. Furthermore, every year, 40,000 children are born in the United States each with congenital vascular lesions and malformations. Laser treatment of vascular lesion is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis, conceived in the 1980s. A variety of different lasers and light sources have since been used in the treatment of vascular lesions: lasers with wavelengths between green and yellow, near infrared lasers, and broadband light sources. Despite limitations, this remains the treatment of choice today. This publication addresses acquired and congenital vascular lesions as different entities and proposes a separation of vascular lesions into those that can easily be treated from those where clearance is difficult. Different treatment modalities and the various endpoints of individual vascular lesions will be discussed.

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