What is the Erbium laser? What does it best treat and how does it compare to other types of lasers?
The Erbium laser is a family of lasers that use the laser medium Erbium to produce monochromatic light. The wavelength produced varies somewhat from devise to devise, but the chromophore or target of the energy in each circumstance is water. The Erbium laser is very strongly absorbed by water and has less collateral thermal injury than a CO2 laser. This has the effect of allowing faster recovery, but also may not have as much tissue tightening. We use two different Erbium lasers, the Whisper, which is a very superficial skin treatment and the Fraxel re:store. This laser is useful for pigment, fine lines and acne scarring. It requires multiple treatment sessions to be effective. We also have a fractionated CO2 laser that provides a greater degree of improvement, but also a longer recovery in appropriate patients.
Posted by Dr. Buckingham