Medical Definition of Excimer laser

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Excimer laser: A laser that emits very concentrated light in the ultraviolet (UV) region of the spectrum.

Excimer lasers are used, for example, in:

  • Ophthalmology -- to vaporize part of the surface layer of the cornea and thus reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.
  • Dermatology -- to treat psoriasis and vitiligo.

An excimer laser uses a noble-gas halide. Excimer is a chemical term that refers to a substance formed by the joining of two atoms or two molecules of the same chemical composition in an excited state; it is an excited dimer.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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