Professor Paolo Bonan discusses the benefits of CO2 lasers in the treatment of children
Professor Paolo Bonan qualified as a physician and surgeon in 1986 before specialising in the fields of dermatology and venereology. He is a member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, the European Society of Dermatological Research and the Italian Society of Dermatology and Venereology, and is an author and co-author of a number of books and research papers on the topic of light sources in dermatology. Holding professorships at a number of universities in Italy, Dr Bonan heads up the cosmetic, plastic and laser demo surgery unit at the Villa Donatello clinic in Florence. He is a key opinion leader for DEKA, leading the Academy sessions that the company hosts at the clinic.
Which paediatric skin conditions can C02 lasers successfully treat?
Many skin conditions can be treated in the paediatric field and the improvements in C02 laser technology by companies such as DEKA have given practitioners the opportunity to achieve safe, efficacious results. When it comes to treating children, the toleration of the various types of treatment depends on the type of procedure, the protocols, and so on. But with C02, we can treat warts, viral warts, for example, scars and vascular anomalies such as a port-wine stain. This can be treated in combination with other vascular-selective lasers such as the pulsed dye laser.
Could you talk specifically about how you might treat a child’s port-wine stain?
We follow specific protocols and employ a pulsed dye laser in the first instance for three or four sessions, depending on the thickness of the port-wine stain. We can then use the SmartXide Touch with a surgical handpiece and a 7-inch spot size to vaporise the nodular and hypertrophic areas of the lesion before using the device’s fractional modality with the Hi-Scan DOT/RF scanner. Fractional CO2 allows us to remodel and to complete the procedure in this kind of anomaly.
What are the main benefits of the SmartXide Touch?
The device not only offers a practitioner the ability to achieve results quickly while maintaining the safety profile, but they can also be very selective in the procedure. It’s possible, for example, to target a lesion without damaging the apparently healthy skin surrounding it. I would say that the SmartXide Touch is like a gorgeous Ferrari. If you are capable of driving a Ferrari, you will just enjoy your machine; but if you’re not, the likelihood is that you will crash. You need the appropriate training to understand the full benefits of the device.
Are there special considerations a practitioner should take into account when it comes to treating a child?
Yes, and this point is valid whether you are treating children or adults: it is very important to know not just the physics of the laser and the laser-tissue interactions, but the entire protocol of treatment needs to be carefully considered, from the preliminary interview with a young patient to post-treatment care.
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