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What's New in Laser Technology

Deborah Sarnoff, MD July 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
slim body and yellow towel

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This past year has been an exciting one in the world of laser technology. New improvements are being introduced to the market faster than the speed of light. Here are a few highlights from this past year.

Laser hair reduction

Laser hair removal has improved dramatically throughout the past few years. Major breakthroughs include the development of chilling devices to cool the overlying epidermis, as well as longer pulse durations to allow the beam of light to penetrate more deeply into hair follicles without harming the skin. One of the newest developments is a system that combines both an alexandrite 755 nm wavelength with a Nd:YAG 1064 nm wavelength. The alexandrite wavelength is ideal for light-skinned, dark-haired patients, and the Nd:YAG is considered the gold standard when treating patients with darker skin. This type of equipment covers the gamut of skin types. Research is ongoing to develop light-based technology for light-colored hair.

One of the biggest breakthroughs this year has been U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of several home hair removal systems. One such device uses intense pulsed light (IPL) to selectively target unwanted hair. The machine is available by prescription only under the direction of a physician. This type of device complements professional spa treatments, resulting in increased overall client satisfaction.

Laser lipolysis

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