Common Laser Types

• CO2 Laser: invisible beam (aiming beam must be used in conjunction with laser), primarily absorbed by water, excellent for cutting, coagulation, or ablating (depending on area of focus)

• Nd:YAG Laser: near-infrared beam, invisible (requires an aiming beam), primarily absorbed by pigmented tissues, deeper penetration, more scatter than CO2 lasers, may use a fiberoptic carrier, indicated for cutaneous lesions (port-wine stains, telangiectasias, hemangiomas, etc)

• KTP Laser: visible laser, primarily absorbed by oxyhemoglobin, may use a fiberoptic carrier, indicated for cutaneous lesions and as a cutting tool

• Argon Laser: visible, broad-band blue light, primarily absorbed by oxyhemoglobin, depth of penetration between CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers, similar indications as the Nd:YAG laser

• Flashlamp-excited Dye Laser: visible, yellow light, vascular sensitive, less scarring and hypopigmentation than Nd:YAG and argon lasers, indicated for cutaneous vascular lesions

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