The term "laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers are instruments which can convert electrical energy into light which can be used for a variety of purposes. Lasers have come to occupy unique and important roles in medicine and surgery.

Lasers are the brightest known source of light, and can have extremely powerful effects on the human body. The uniqueness of lasers derives from a number of special properties. Among these are extreme high intensity, coherence, which permits focusing on a very small spot size, and provides the capacity for delivered in very brief pulses. The skin is a highly accessible target organ for the diagnostic and therapeutic uses of lasers.

Dermatologists have used lasers since the 1960's for the treatment of skin lesions, although generalized acceptance of laser therapy has occurred only in the last few years. Most recently, revolutionary technological advances have improved lasers to the point where they now offer significant advantages over standard techniques used for the treatment of skin blemishes, tumors, birthmarks, facial aging changes and gynecological surgery. Specific lasers are chosen based on the condition one wishes to treat.