New Orleans—Advances in light technology already benefit people with hirsutism, pigmented lesions, unwanted tattoos, and other dermatologic conditions. Light technology also holds promise for novel drug design and more precise dermatologic diagnoses. It may even aid the criminal justice system by improving fingerprint identification, according to R. Rox Anderson, MD, associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.
Anderson explored present and potential applications of what he calls "optical dermatology" in his Marion B. Sulzberger Memorial Award Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology held here in February.
This optical coherence tomography image of a human fingertip shows an eccrine duct spiraling through the epidermis and stratum corneum, overlying the dermis. Optical coherence tomography provides vertical "sections" of the light reflected from skin in vivo, up to about 2 mm in depth. (Credit: Courtesy of Johannes F. de Boer, PhD, Harvard Medical School)
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