Whether it’s on your face, arms, legs, hands or feet, excessive hair growth can be embarrassing no matter where it is. For years, women (and a growing number of men) have had to resort to painfully waxing and tweezing unsightly hair on a sometimes daily basis. Whilst that does provide temporary relief, these methods can often leave the skin feeling irritated, sore, and prone to in-grown hairs. The only real solution is to undergo laser hair removal, which is virtually pain free and has lasting results. Let’s look at some of the laser options available.
Ruby Laser (RubyStar, EpiPulse Rubyand Palomar E2000)
The ruby laser is the original laser hair removal system, and therefore has a longer track record than other lasers but by the same token is an older technology. Because the Ruby laser produces energy at a level which is highly absorbed by the skin’s melanin, it is only recommended to be used on light skin, and is not suitable for people with dark or tanned skin. Similarly, it is only appropriate for people with dark hair, and not on light or white hair.
YAG Laser (CoolGlide, Medlite IV, Varia, Athos, Lyra, and Image)
The YAG laser emits a beam of light which penetrates through the upper layers of the skin safely to reach the strata beneath. Here, the hair follicles are destroyed without damaging the skin. The advantage of the YAG laser is that it can be used on all skin types. The downside to this is that there is no evidence to suggest that it provides long term hair removal.
Diode Laser (SLP 100, F1 Diode, Light Sheer, MeDioStar, LaserLite, Epistar and Apex 800)
The diode laser is virtually pain free and is able to treat most skin colours. Producing light energy, which is absorbed by the melanin, (the pigment in the hair), it is converted into heat energy, which is then transferred to the hair follicle. This then destroys the hair shaft and surrounding cells responsible for hair regrowth. The surrounding areas are not affected by the laser. Because hair has a three-phase growth cycle – growing, transitional and resting, the individual hairs are targeted during the growing phase only, leaving the hair in the other two phases unaffected. This means that a course of laser hair removal treatments is required to achieve the best results.
Alexandrite Laser (GentleLASE, Apogee, Epi Touch Plus)
The alexandrite laser is suitable for very pale skin only, since it uses a short wavelength system with a specific light energy level. The fastest of the hair removal lasers, it is primarily useful for quick treatment on large surface areas of the body. As the laser penetrates deeply into the lower layers of the skin, heat is built up in the hair shaft, which stops the hair follicle from growing, resulting in the hair being removed.
Woodland Hospital is one of Northamptonshire’s leading private hospitals located in Kettering. The hospital has 35 single rooms all with en suite facilities, a day ward and a two bed HDU.