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Guidelines and recommendations for picosecond lasers in dermatology

Review shows the picosecond laser, originally developed for tattoo removal, is effective in the treatment of a range of aesthetic indications.

By Emilee Green | May 20, 2020



Wausau, WI (May 20, 2020) – The use of picosecond laser in dermatology was originally focused on optimizing the removal of unwanted tattoos. Subsequent advances in this technology have broadened its clinical indications to include treatment of benign pigmented lesions, photodamage, melasma and scar revision. In this systematic review, evidence-based recommendations are developed for the use of picosecond laser in dermatology.

This review article, published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS), was selected as the May 2020 Editor’s Choice.

The study, led by Douglas C. Wu, MD, PhD, is titled “A Systematic Review of Picosecond Laser in Dermatology: Evidence and Recommendations.”  

This study was a detailed analysis of the current worldwide literature on the uses of picosecond laser in dermatology. Over 200 studies were reviewed, and the best available evidence was formulated into guidelines and recommendations for the clinical optimization of picosecond laser.

“Picosecond laser has continued to advance the capabilities of laser physicians in providing safe and effective treatments for a broadening range of aesthetic indications,” said Wu. “Although still a relatively new technology in the commercially available realm, the past few years have seen rapid growth in the number of clinical studies on and our understanding of dermatologic picosecond laser. To date, there hasn't been a truly exhaustive systematic review of the literature and so this was the perfect time to undertake this endeavor. We found that the Picosecond laser is a safe and effective treatment modality for an increasing range of dermatologic indications and that further development of this technology is warranted.”

Dr. Douglas C. Wu is a double board-certified dermatologist in both Canada and the USA with a PhD from Oxford University and specialty training in cosmetic dermatologic surgery via the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery Fellowship program. He has authored over a hundred medical articles and textbook chapters in both the general and aesthetic dermatological literature and has lectured at major conferences across the globe.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. ASLMS membership includes physicians, surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals representing multiple specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, industry representatives and manufacturers. For more information, visit

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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