KTP Laser to Remove Brown Spots?

I have one large brown spot on my face about 1 cm in diameter. I went to see a dermatologist who told me that his office can use KTP Laser to remove this brown spot and smaller ones around the face.

But then I read online that KTP Laser is use to remove red vessels on the face? I'm confused.

Doctor Answers 6

KTP laser works well for blood vessels AND pigmented spots.

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KTP lasers utilize laser energy at 532nm, which is coherent green light. (KTP stands for Postassium--chemical symbol K, T stands for titanyl, and P for phosphate: the potassium titanyl phosphate crystal is  used to double the frequency (halving the wavelength) of a Nd-YAG 1064nm near-infrared laser).

At this green wavelength of 532nm, there is pretty good absorption of the laser energy by two things present in skin, hemoglobin and melanin, the skin suntan pigment. The rest of the skin doesn't absorb this wavelength of laser energy well, so when you have either tiny superficial blood vessels you want to eliminate, or brown spots (sun spots, freckles, keratoses--not moles or skin cancers) that you want removed or lightened, this is an excellent choice.

Your doctor is giving you good advice. Listen to him. Online research should supplement, not replace, consultation with experienced, board-certified physicians that you trust. If your doctor won't take the time to answer good questions, find another who will.

IPL good for brown spots

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There is a variety of laser to treat brown spots. Ruby lasers have been used for years. I prefer IPL as it is gentle to the skin and has a rejuvenating effect  as well.

Robert Kasten, MD
Mainz Dermatologic Surgeon

Lasers Confusion

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If you are confused, then ask questions! Of course then you must decide which questions to ask and this is where a lot of patients get confused. How do you know what to ask? Lasers are different becauue they generate laser light in different wavelengths and therefore have different effects on the target tissues. Some lasers are better for wrinles, some for vascular lesions (hemangiomas, telangiectasias or small blood vessels), some for brown spots, some for pigmentation, some for hair, some for fat, some to tighten skin, and on and on. If the only laser that your physician has is the KTP, then that is the only one he/she will use whether it is the best or not. Seek a second opinion by an experienced laser physician who can determine what your particular problem is, what the cause is, and which laser would best treat that. Most experienced laser physicians do have more than one laser in order to address different problems. Do not be afraid to ask the physician what their experience and background training is, how long they have performed these procedures, what results they have achieved, what are the risks, how often to complications arise, how are complications treated, etc. It is complicated, but it is YOUR body. Protect it and arm yourself with information.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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The most up to date modality for brown spots on face is the IPL or Photofacial

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KTP is an older multi use laser that will remove brown spots.

I use IPL Green because it is effective but also "gentler" than the laser and creates minimal down time. It is also much easier to use IPL to treat the whole face to machieve a uniform skin color free of brown spots and broken blood vessels.

Lasers for brown spots

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 There are many different lasers and skin care programs that can treat brown spots. The KTP is one modality. I prefer IPL.  Some patients do fine with skin care regimens of hydroquinone and retin-A based products as well.

Laser treatment of brown spots

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A  KTP (532nm) laser can be used to treat pigmented lesions.

The ideal treatment for "brown spots" varies depending on the details of the spot.  This can be determined by your physician when he/she examines you prior to treatment.  If there is any question as to whether a pigmented lesion is benign then it should be biopsied prior to starting treatment.

Paul Carniol, MD
Summit Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.