I get a lot of questions from laser physicians about the American Board of Laser Surgery. I thought I would leave a short post about the benefits of becoming a diplomat of the ABLS. It is the only recognized specialty board specifically for laser surgery. We have members from many countries because most other countries do not have a laser board. It is like any other board certification with a written and oral exam. Through the process, the practitioner will gain extensive knowledge about laser procedures, safety, theory, physics, and other information. Feel free to ask me any questions about it!
There was a recent posted question on the American Board of Laser Surgery's website about treating a patient who has had basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in the past with a treatment like IPL.
This is obviously a controversial topic for sure!
My protocol (remembering that I am a surgeon) is that anyone with a history of skin cancer must have a full body skin cancer screening in the last six months by their dermatologist prior to me treating them. I must have a letter from that dermatologist stating that there is no active cancer anywhere on the skin and no suspicious lesions that need to be followed. Obviously, if there was a h/o skin cancer on an area I am NOT treating with IPL or laser, I just want a full body check and then we're good. If there is a previous lesion IN the area I am treating, then after dermatology clearance, I have a strong talk with the patient discussing the fact that treatmetns that potentially depigment lesions can mask the warning signs of a potential or growing cancer. They sign separately in consent their understanding and acceptance of risk and wish to proceed with the cosmetic treatment.
This particular question was regarding a simple IPL treatment for a cosmetic concern in a patient that had had h/o BCC in another area. If cleared, you would be fine to treat the cosmetic condition. I did not want anyone reading this to think that I was indicating that the IPL was meant to actually treat the BCC. I do think that it can be preventative of precancers buy removing damaged pigment cells and pigment, but that is obviously an impossible study. Hope that helps!