Equipment Types

For laser hair removal different types of laser equipment is available. The choice of particular laser hair removal equipment and the selection of appropriate parameters to achieve best laser hair removal results should be individualized according to the patient needs. Here is a brief discussion about the various types of laser hair removal equipment currently available; laser hair removal equipment

For laser hair removal different types of laser equipment is available. The choice of particular laser hair removal equipment and the selection of appropriate parameters to achieve best laser hair removal results should be individualized according to the patient needs. Here is a brief discussion about the various types of laser hair removal equipment currently available;

Alexandrite laser

The long-pulse alexandrite laser has the ability of deep penetration into the dermis. The resultant heat build-up in the hair shafts disables the hair follicles in the active growth phase which enables it to achieve effective laser hair removal.

Specifications
Wavelength: 755
Pulse width: 2-20
Fluence: 10-40
Spot size: 5-10
Repetition rate: 1-5

Devices available
Three different alexandrite lasers are available. These include,
Apogee-40 (Cynosure; Chelmsford, Mass),
EpiTouch Alex (formerly ESC Sharplan, now Lumenis; Santa Clara, Calif)
GentleLASE (Candela; Wayland, Mass)

Disadvantages
Hair removal is short term
Occurrence of side effects in 2% of dark colored patients treated with Alexandrite lasers.

Diode laser

The diode laser is a very effective device. Laser production is triggered by small diodes or semiconductors that are arranged together to produce light. The diode laser has a longer wavelength than other lasers used which may improve treatment results on darker skin types.

Specifications
Wavelength: 800-810
Pulse width: 5-30
Fluence: 10-40
Spot size: 9
Repetition rate: 1

Devices available
Several 800-nm diode lasers have been granted FDA approval. These include;
Apex-800 Iriderm (IRIDEX, Mountain View, Calif)
LaserLite (Diomed; Andover, Mass)
SLP100 (Palomar Medical, Burlington, Mass)
EpiStar (Nidek, Fremont, Calif)
MeDioStar diode laser (Aesculap-Meditec; Jena, Germany) (waiting for FDA approval)

Advantages
Longer wavelength safeguards achievement of good results for darker skin types.
Deep penetration and targeting of deep hair follicles.

Disadvantages
In some cases after treatment with Diode lasers certain patients developed urticaria. It is a severe allergic skin reaction similar to hives and can be managed by anti allergic drug therapy.

Q-Switched Nd: YAG laser

This laser has the ability to deliver two different wave lengths of light. One is an invisible infrared light used for deeper penetration. This wavelength is used to get to deeper hair follicles. The other wavelength, a green light, is employed for treating hair follicles closer to the surface. In both cases, the Q-switching device emits rapid bursts of laser light to the treatment area.

Specifications
Wavelength: 1064
Pulse width: 10-50
Fluence: 20-100
Spot size: 3-5
Repetition rate: Up to 10 Hz

Advantages
Availability of surface cooling and epidermal protection due to surface cooling and longer pulse duration of these lasers.
Long-term studies show that these laser systems can achieve a significant delay in hair regrowth
Nd: YAG 1064 nm system may be best for darkly pigmented patients

Disadvantages
The waxing and carbon lotion application is cumbersome.
No clinical data to support that added benefits are achieved when pretreatment waxing or carbon suspension is used.
Not proven effective for long-term results.

Devices available
Carbon suspension Q-switched lasers SoftLight (ThermoLase; London, England)
Q-switched Nd: YAG laser MedLite IV ;( Hoya ConBio, Fremont, Calif)
Long-pulsed Nd: YAG lasers e.g., LaserScope (Depilase; Phoenix, Ariz)

Ruby laser

This laser emits red-colored beam which seeks out the target melanin inside the hair shafts and adjoining hair follicles. Due to their specific melanin targeting these are best suited for individuals having light skin and dark hairs.

Specifications
Wavelength: 694
Pulse width: 0.85-3
Fluence: 5-40
Spot size: 3-10
Repetition rate: 0.5-1.2

Devices Available
Three normal-modes, 694-nm ruby lasers are commercially available for laser hair removal .These include the E2000 (Palomar Medical; Burlington, Mass) (cleared from FDA), EpiPulse Ruby (formerly ESC Sharplan, now Light Sheer from Lumenis; Santa Clara, Calif), RubyStar (Aesculap-Meditec; Jena, Germany)

Advantages
Long term hair removal is achieved.
The E2000 series is equipped with sapphire cooled hand piece Epiwand which serves as epidermal coolant .Other devices are also equipped with in built cooling devices which minimize the chances of burns and other laser hair removal side effects.