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Thermal relaxation times: an outdated concept in photothermal treatments

Abstract

Thermal relaxation times were introduced into modern skin-laser science with the inception of selective photothermolysis. As a result, laser pulsewidths were determined according to the thermal relaxation times of the tissue targets. The Arrhenius Damage Integral shows that this approach is incorrect. The important parameter is the time required to induce irreversible protein denaturation within the target. This time is determined by the tissue’s intrinsic structure, not its physical dimensions. This report explains why thermal relaxation times should not be considered when treating many skin conditions with lasers or IPL systems.

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Correspondence to M. J. Murphy.

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Murphy, M.J., Torstensson, P.A. Thermal relaxation times: an outdated concept in photothermal treatments. Lasers Med Sci 29, 973–978 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-013-1445-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-013-1445-8

Keywords

  • Photothermal
  • Relaxation time
  • Arrhenius equation
  • Protein denaturation
  • Lasers
  • IPL
  • Vessels