Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, are using the Free-Electron Laser at specific wavelengths (selective photothermolysis) to heat up fat, which is then excreted by the body - without harming the skin. They say this technique could be used for treating cellulite, acne and heart disease.

Researchers used pig fat and two-inch-thick skin samples.

Prof. Rox Anderson, Mass. General Hospital, said "The root cause of acne is a lipid-rich gland, the sebaceous gland, which sits a few millimetres below the surface of the skin. We want to be able to selectively target the sebaceous gland and this research shows that, if we can build lasers at this region of the spectrum, we may be able to do that. We can envision a fat-seeking laser, and we're heading down that path now "

Prof. Anderson presented the team's finding at the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery annual meeting.

This technique could also be used to eliminate cellulite and body fat, say the researchers. Fat build up in the arteries (plaques), which causes heart attacks, could also be treated.

Prof. Anderson said we are still a few years away from testing this technique on human beings.

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today