Fractional laser ablation, photoacoustic method for skin pigment eradication obtains patent

Medical laser maker Fotona (Dallas, TX) has been granted a patent (US9254174) for its advanced FracTat method that lightens or eradicates pigments in human skin, particularly for pigmented skin lesions and tattoos.

When lasers are used to remove tattoos, the laser pulse strikes the tattoo pigment, creating gas and steam that is trapped within the skin. This causes optical shielding, commonly known as a "frosting" effect, that prevents subsequent laser pulses from effectively reaching the deeper-lying pigments. Additionally, gas bubbles that form around the pigment particles can damage the surrounding tissue and cause scarring. The patented method avoids this effect by laser drilling fractional micro-holes in the skin that act as pressure relief ducts, through which the gases can escape without building up excessive pressure. The clinical benefits of using FracTat include enhanced generation of photoacoustic shockwaves; reduced frosting and pressure on the surrounding tissue; multiple nano- or picosecond laser treatments can be done during a single session; and there is also direct pigment removal via ablation and improved healing of fractioned skin.

The steps of the FracTat process.

With the patent, the company combines the benefits of fractionated skin resurfacing with the photoacoustic shattering of pigments with high peak-powered lasers.

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