Permanent Hair Removal Through Laser Epilation
This method is most recommended by the medical community, and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved almost a dozen laser epilation systems for use in the United States.
We should note, however, that current laser epilation systems cannot claim or guarantee permanent hair removal, although they’ve been in use for a few years.
But the early signs are promising: Regrowth rates in patients treated with today’s technology have tended to drop with each successive treatment, and new procedures offering the prospect of permanent removal appear to be just around the corner.
The most popular FDA-approved systems currently in use are the following:
The Ruby laser heats and ultimately destroys the hair root with intense laser light energy. The heat generated by this type of laser can be painful, so cooling tips are used on the probe to blunt the burning sensation.
Another significant drawback of the ruby laser is that darker-skinned persons have a tendency to develop white scars as a result of the procedure. Physicians, at least for the time being, must therefore restrict its use to light-skinned patients only.
Alexandrite lasers are often used to treat larger areas like the legs and back because they remove hair faster than the ruby laser. Although these systems have been used with some success on dark skin, most dermatologists confine their usage to medium-complected patients.
The Epilight system directs an intense light pulse to the hair root to heat and destroy it. This system is quick, relatively painless, and, like the alexandrite laser, good for regions that require broad coverage. However, it too works best on light- to medium-skinned patients. A newer Epilight system has shown the potential to work effectively on darker skinned people, but is still under evaluation.
The Diode laser was developed as a less painful alternative to early lasers. Like the ruby laser, the diode laser works relatively slowly, and has a cooling tip on the epilating needle to minimize patient discomfort. Among the currently approved systems, this one is the most effective for use on dark skin.
The latest system, Long-pulse 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers are the best for dark skin and are effective for all skin types. Many forms of this laser are less painful than other lasers.
DID YOU KNOW? That of the laser epilation systems used for hair removal can also be used, but at different settings, to eliminate unwanted tattoos, birthmarks, and other patches of dark pigmentation. The ruby laser, in fact, was not initially designed to remove hair.
That step came only after doctors noticed that hair regrowth seemed to be delayed in regions whore tattoos had been zapped by the concentrated beam of the laser. You should understand, however, that laser removal of a tattoo is neither cheap, quick, nor risk1 100.
A tattoo that cost you $100 to put on can easily cost upward of $2,000 to take off, and there is no guarantee that you won’t wind up with scars, especially if the tattoo is multicolored or engraved deeply into the skin. Several separate treatments are necessary in most cases and depending on the colors used in the offending image trend the equipment your doctors owns, more than one type of laser may need to be used.
Before leaving the subject of permanent hair removal methods, we need to mention that these procedures should be avoided—or at the very least, approached with caution—by anyone who is susceptible to dark spots, or hyperpigmentation. Patients with this condition are often predisposed to suffer the scarring and localized skin discoloration that sometimes results from electrolysis, thermolysis, and laser epilation..