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Macular Injury With Rapid Onset of Choroidal Neovascularization From Laser Epilation

Georgios A. Kontadakis, MD, MSc1,2; Dimitrios Karagiannis, MD, FEBO2; Artemios S. Kandarakis, MD, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Institute of Vision and Optics, School of Health Sciences, University of Crete, Crete, Greece
2First Department, Opthalmiatreion Eye Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133(4):488-490. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2014.5838.
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Lasers used for laser hair removal operate between 700 and 1000 nm to be absorbed by the hair follicle melanin and destroy it by thermal injury. Consequently, there is a theoretical risk of retinal damage due to the high melanin concentration in the retinal pigment epithelium. Thus, ocular protection during laser epilation is instructed. So far, there are reports of iris laser thermal injury and uveitis during epilation of eyebrows, but there is no report, to our knowledge, of retinal damage by this procedure.

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Figure 2.
Early- and Late-Phase Fluorescein Angiography With Leakage From Choroidal Neovascularization

Early-phase (A) and late-phase (B) fluorescein angiography revealing hyperfluorescence in the fovea, with leakage in the late phase from choroidal neovascularization.

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Figure 1.
Optical Coherence Tomography of the Macula With Severe Disruption of Macular Contour

Optical coherence tomography of the macula revealing severe disruption of the macular contour with thickening, disruption of the photoreceptor inner segment–outer segment junction layer, retinal pigment epithelium disruption, and signs of choroidal neovascularization with presence of intraretinal fluid.

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