Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL)

Definition - What does Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) mean?

A pulsed dye laser (PDL) uses a laser light source and an organic dye in a solvent to create a special type of radiation that helps to clear away various kinds of skin blemishes and redness, such as rosacea, scars and port wine stains. It is also used to treat psoriasis and plane warts.

TheConsultation explains Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL)

When operated by a trained and experienced dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, the pulsed dye laser is a safe and effective way of getting rid of many types of unsightly skin discoloration and skin blemishes. It is even used to treat children born with disfiguring birthmarks, also known as port wine stains. However, the laser is usually only able to reduce the discoloration so that it is not as obvious as it was before treatment.

Rosacea, a condition in which the skin is flushed and red, melasma, in which yellow blemishes develop, and the redness in scar tissue can all be reduced after a series of treatments. Pulsed dye lasers also help to reduce or remove the marks caused by dilated veins near the surface of the skin or small networks of broken blood vessels that cause blemishes.

Certain types of skin pigmentation blemishes, such as dark patches caused by sun damage, also respond well to treatment. Cherry angiomas, a non-cancerous type of blemish caused by overgrown blood vessels, can be removed with a single treatment.

The heat of the laser destroys the cause of the discoloration, but doctors must be careful not to damage healthy skin, so several treatments are needed to get the desired results. Side effects include bruising (in about 10 percent of patients), swelling and crusting. Patients are advised to stay out of the sun, should not wear makeup for a time and should avoid shaving. This type of laser very rarely causes any scarring.

Ordinary aqueous cream will help to soothe any skin irritation caused by the treatment, and an anti-bacterial cream can be used if there are any signs of infection. Doctors may prescribe a preventive course of antibiotics.

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