DermaLase Medical Laser and IPL Training

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About Us

Mike Murphy - A brief history....



Over 30 years in medical lasers

One of the world's leading experts in IPL technology and applications

Opened the first commercial laser tattoo removal centre in the world in 1989

Published reports in peer-reviewed, medical laser journals
Worked with the inventor of IPL technology
(an idea 'stolen' by an American company!)

Opened the first UK IPL clinic outside of London in 1999

Presents at international medical laser conferences
Still developing new clinical techniques and publishing reports today...


Mike Murphy began his career in medical lasers in 1986 in the Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde as part of his post-graduate studies. With a physics degree under his belt from the University of Glasgow he applied his knowledge of lasers and applied it to interactions with tissue - particularly skin, tattoos and and blood vessels.

As part of his studies he worked in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit within Canniesburn Hospital where he helped to develop the scar-free removal of tattoos with a Q-switched ruby laser. He continued to work in laser research looking into the removal of pediatric port wine stains and in the computer simulation of laser-tissue interactions (see a list of Mike's publications).

Visit my BLOG!!!


My first paper on ruby laser treatments of tattoos. Published in 1990 in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery. Click here to read it fully.  

We also first reported the use of the ruby laser on the treatment of benign pigmented lesions in Asian skin, back in 1993. See the full paper here.

Mike's publication in 'Lasers in Medical Science'

His new report on the effects of longer laser pulses applied to blood vessels and hair follicles was published in October 2013 in the prestigious European journal 'Lasers in Medical Science.'










Click to enlarge


Mike wins prize!

Recently Mike presented a paper at the British Medical Laser Association conference in Manchester (May 2013). His report, entitled "Examination of the Importance of Time and Temperature in the Treatment of Skin Conditions using IPL Systems" was favourably received by the conference delegates and won him the 'Best Paper of the Session' prize.

In 2012 I discovered that the pain experienced during laser tattoo treatments could be reduced by applying a glass slide on the skin. Click for more info.

This research was finally published in the journal Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.



Mike's Biography

Mike has spent 30 years in the medical laser industry after gaining his joint honours degree in physics and astronomy from Glasgow University in 1983. Following that, he enroled in the Bioengineering Unit in Strathclyde University for a Ph.D. His first company, Derma-Lase Limited, was borne out of ten year's of clinical research in Canniesburn Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland into the removal of tattoos and benign pigment lesions using the Q-switched ruby laser. During this research they noticed that the laser also vapourised surface hair. At the time this was seen as an 'annoyance' and had to reassure patients that it was "merely a transient issue". Little did we know....

He opened the world's first commercial tattoo removal clinic using this technology in Glasgow in 1989.

He was involved in the original clinical research program from 1986, and also studied the effects of the pulsed dye laser on vascular lesions (such as port wine stains). In fact, his group purchased the second long pulsed dye laser produced by Dr Horace Furomoto in the very early days of Candela (the first being purchased by Dr Rox Anderson's group in Boston).

While working in the hospital Mike became the Laser Safety Officer responsible for the safe use of all the lasers within the Canniesburn Laser Suite. At the same time he had to implement the recently formed COSH regulations where they applied to lasers in hopital settings.


Following a presentation in the ASLMS meeting in San Diego in 1991 Mike was approached by Morgan Gustavsson - the inventor of the world's first IPL system. DermaLase agreed to invest in developing this new technology and launched the first commercial system into the UK's aesthetic market in 1998.

In 1989 Mike and his colleagues formed Derma-Lase Ltd to sell the DLR1 ruby laser across the world with many sales in America and in South East Asia. They opened the world's first tattoo removal clinic in Glasgow using Q-switched lasers. Two years later they launched the world's first commercial Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for dermatological applications, the MultiLine.  

In 1996 Mike left Derma-Lase to pursue new avenues, in particular the removal of hair using intense pulsed light. He worked with colleagues in Sweden to produce one of the world's first commercial IPL systems - the Plasmalite. This system went on to sell extremely well across most European countries, America and in Asia. To open the hair removal market in the UK he established the first salon outside of London with an IPL system in 1999 in Glasgow. The Athena Centre became one of the UK's top hi-tech centres for cosmetic procedures with a varied range of state-of-the-art equipment.

Mike is currently a member of the British Medical Laser Association (BMLA) and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS). In 2014 he became a certifed Laser Protection Advisor (LPA) through the Association of Laser Safety Professionals, and in 2017 he became the General Secretarty of the Association.


In 2002 Mike started working with PhotoNova of Sweden as a consultant. He has travelled across the world representing PhotoNova and lived in China in 2008 for six weeks helping to establish the company in that market.

In 2004 Mike began working in the pain-relief field with a prototype electro-therapy device. He introduced this system into a top Scottish football club, an NHS hospital podiatry ward, an FE college and a number of private clinics. Over the last few years Mike has been working on improvements within the system with a view to producing a smaller, mobile system available to the general public.

Mike is currently working on a report on the thermal effects of IPL pulses on tissue, in particular blood vessels. This area has not been fully explained in the literature and has led to a poor understanding of the best way to treat various skin problems using IPL systems. (Mike has a number of publications to his name in this field and continues to present his research findings at international conferences.)


Timeline of Mike's laser/IPL-related achievements:


Started in tattoo removal research program, Canniesburn Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit, Glasgow


Started in PWS research with pulsed dye lasers & theoretical research into laser-tissue interactions, Univ of Strathclyde


Establishment of world's first QS ruby laser tattoo removal clinic in Glasgow through DermaLase Ltd


Published ‘“Q-switched Ruby Laser Removal of Tattoos : A 9-Year Review.” (click here to view);

Launch of world's first QS ruby laser into Euro market


Opened US subsidiary to launch ruby into US market – DermaLase Inc.


Launch of QS ruby laser into Asian markets for treatment of pigmented lesions (view report number 7 below )


Began development of world's first IPL systems with Swedish inventor (view report number 8 below);

Launch of Europe's first QS Nd:YAG laser for tattoo removal


Launch of first commercial IPL system into the UK 's beauty market

2000 +

Development of IPL systems and training for Asian markets


Began clinical research into electronic tissue repair system


Launch of first clinic utilising eCure 220 Tissue Repair (pain-relief) system


Assisted in launch of hi-end IPL system into China (including a two month stay to setup sales, marketing and training)


Launched new training service


Developed the 'glass slide' technique in laser tattoo removal - resulting in less pain, punctate bleeding and infection risk


Won 'Best Paper' award at the British Medical Laser Association conference (click here)


Published new report on long pulsed treatments of hair and blood in 'Lasers in Medical Science' journal (click here)


Discovered flying ink fragments coming from the skin of tattooed patients during laser treatments (click here for more info)


Became a certified 'Laser Protection Advisor' with the Association of Laser Safety Professionals


Published report on new pain-relief technique for laser-assisted tattoo removal (click here)


Presented four reports at the ASLMS Meeting in Boston, two of which were selected as being in the 'Top Ten' reports of the conference.


I was voted in as the new General Secretary of the Association of Laser Safety Professionals. (ALSP site)


Published a report in the British Journal of Dermatology on the damaging effects of Q-switched 532nm laser light on the capillary plexus vessels. (link)


Published 'High speed ink aggregates are ejected from tattoos during Q-switched Nd:YAG laser treatments' in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. (link)


During the last ten years MM has continued to provide training to medical and beauty professionals across the world in the applications of lasers and IPL systems.

Mike's publications/reports:


1. Reid W.H., Miller I.D., Murphy M.J., Paul J.P., Evans J.H.
“Q-switched Ruby Laser Removal of Tattoo : A 9-Year Review.”
British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 1990, 43, 663-669. (LINK)


2. Murphy M.J., Miller I.D., McKibben M.B., Paul J.P., Reid W.H.
“Port Wine Stains – Optical Assessment and Practical Implementation of Treatment.”
SPIE Vol. 1200 Laser Surgery : Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics and Systems II, pp. 131-137, 1990. (LINK)

3. Murphy M.J., Miller I.D., Veitch A.R.., Paul J.P., Reid W.H.
“Calculation of the Clinical Parameters to Effect Removal of Port Wine Stains.”
SPIE Vol. 1200 Laser Surgery : Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics and Systems II, pp. 138-144, 1990. (LINK)

4. Reid W.H., Murphy M.J., Miller I.D.
“Case 8.17 Blue/Black Amateur Tattoo : Treatment by Q-switched Ruby Laser.”
Atlas of Cutaneous Laser Surgery, The New England Journal of Medicine, pp 436-438, Ed. David Apfelberg, Raven Press, New York, 1992. (LINK)

5. Reid W.H., Miller I.D., Murphy M.J., McKibben M.B., Paul J.P.,
“Treatment of Portwine Stains Using the Pulsed Dye Laser”
British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 1992, 45, 565-570. (LINK)

6. Murphy M.J.
“Introductory Guide to : i) Lasers and their Applications and ii) Laser / Tissue Interactions.”
SkinLaser Today, Vol. 2, No. 2, 15-35, July 1993. (Not available online)

7. Murphy M.J., Huang M.Y.
“Q-switched Ruby Laser Treatment of Benign Pigmented Lesions in Oriental Skin”
Annals, Academy of Medicine, Singapore, January 1994, Vol. 23, No.1 (LINK)

8. Gustafsson M.L.A., Larsson A., Miller I.D. Murphy M.J.
“A Variable Pulsewidth Vascular System for Dermatology”
SPIE Proceedings, Vol 2128,
Laser Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems IV, R. Rox Anderson M.D., Editors, pp.188-19, September 1994. (LINK)

9. Murphy M.J., Veitch A.R.
“Modelling the Optical and Thermal Effects of 575 nm and 585 nm Laser Energy on Blood Vessels”
Presented to the British Medical Laser Association Conference, 1994.
(Not available online)

10. Konstadinos Siomos, Raymond T. Bailey, Frank R. Cruickshank and Michael J. Murphy,
"Q-switched laser removal of tattoos: a clinical and spectroscopic investigation of the mechanism"
SPIE Proceedings, Vol 2623, 40, 1996. (LINK)

11. Murphy M.J.
"Tats all folks" - A warning about cheap, imported tattoo lasers.
Cosmetic News, July 2010 (

12. Murphy M.J.
"Why don't manufacturers supply energy meters with their IPL systems?"
Cosmetic News, October 2010 (LINK)


13. Murphy M.J.

"CE no evil" - The difference between the CE Mark and FDA 'approval'

Cosmetic News, December 2011 (LINK)


14. Murphy M.J.

"IPLs - The State of Play" - A comment on today's IPL systems
Cosmetic News, July 2012 (LINK)


15. Murphy M.J.

"Is your laser/IPL good to go?' (LINK)


16. Murphy M.J.

"A Question of Trust"
Cosmetic News, October 2012 (LINK)


17. Murphy M.J.

"Seeing the Light"
Cosmetic News, December 2012 (LINK)

18. Murphy M.J.

"Cryolipolysis - The Big Freeze"
Cosmetic News, January 2013 (LINK)


19. Murphy M.J.

"No Pain No Gain"

Cosmetic news, May 2013 (LINK)

20. Murphy M.J., Torstensson P.A.
"Thermal relaxation times: an outdated concept in photothermal treatments"
Lasers in Medical Science, DOI 10.1007/s10103-013-1445-8, October 2013 (


21. Murphy M.J., Torstensson P.A.
“Thermal Relaxation Times”
Body Language, Vol 16, Issue 2, No. 62, pages 51-53, Mar 2014 (LINK)


22. Murphy M.J.
"A novel, simple and efficacious technique for tattoo removal resulting in less pain

using the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser"  
Lasers in Medical Science, DOI 10.1007/s10103-014-1542-3, Mar 2014 (LINK)


23. Murphy M.J., Torstensson P.A.
“Radiofrequency energy and Heating the Skin: Heat Shock Proteins and Collagen Denaturation”
Body Language, Vol 16, Issue 2, No. 63, pages 69-71, Jun 2014 (LINK)


24. Murphy M.J.
"Q-switched 532nm laser energy causes significant vascular damage in the capillary plexus - how does this affect laser tattoo removal?"
British Journal of Dermatology. (LINK)



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