Should I get a laser procedure if I had in situ melanoma?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD

There is currently no evidence that lasers or intense pulsed light devices cause DNA changes to skin cells, and there have been no reports of this happening in the decade that they have been in use. Adequate safety studies have been done on these devices, and they've been proven safe. At Mount Sinai an in vivo study was done to see if pigment lasers (Q-switched Nd:YAG) could change the DNA or cause mutations in skin cells. Preexisting brown spots (benign nevi and lentigines, or freckles) were lasered and later tested to see if they were converted into cancerous lesions. No signs of mutation were found after biopsying the areas. (In fact, the ruby laser is a proven treatment for in situ melanoma, as augmentation to excision).

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.