Burns to the outermost layers of skin, the epidermis, are common adverse event from conventional laser therapy for dermal vascular abnormalities (such as port wine stains and spider veins). An apparatus was previously developed by researchers at UC Irvine, which uses a cryogen spray to cool the epidermis prior to laser treatment, protecting against burns. The inventors of this device have additionally created a device for determining the optimal amount of skin cooling, guarding against overcooling or undercooling prior to laser treatment.
Vascular malformations, such as port wine stains and spider veins, are common dermal abnormalities. Both conditions may be treated laser therapy, in which lasers are used to heat and occlude the malformed blood vessels. A common adverse side-effect from this treatment, however, is burns to the epidermis, as the laser must traverse the epidermis to reach the reach the site of the target blood vessels.
Researchers at University of California, Irvine previously created a device that uses cryogenic cooling to pre-treat the epidermis of patients undergoing laser therapy for vascular malformations of the dermis. One drawback, however, was that the amount of cooling necessary was not obvious. To optimize the cooling procedure, they have additionally invented a device and method that estimates the thermal properties of skin from data collected by a metallic thermal conductor. The researchers can extrapolate from these data to determine proper patient exposure to the cryogen spray. This allows the treating physician to strike the proper balance between protecting the epidermis from damage and increasing laser power to therapeutic levels. The increased efficiency of the cooling-laser treatment procedure may improve therapeutic results.
Determination of proper cooling technique for skin prior to laser treatment of dermal vascular abnormalities
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||6,669,688||12/30/2003||2000-276|