Details of Condition
Unwanted hair is a problem shared both by men and women. Some people experience unwanted or excessive hair growth at puberty; others find it to be a condition that grows progressively worse with age. Some women experience additional hair growth during pregnancy or menopause. A few diseases also have excessive hair growth as a symptom, but these are rare. There are some effective ways to remove unwanted excess hair, however.
Depending on its location on the body and an individual’s hair type, hair can grow in thick, bushy patches or in long thin strands. Hair production sites, known as follicles, can be found at different depths and densities — as close to the skin’s surface as a millimeter or as deep as 5 millimeters or more. Until recently, this great variety in hair types and body locations made long-lasting hair removal a significant challenge.
Occasionally, hair follicles can become irritated or inflamed, causing mild to moderate pain. While unwanted or excess hair is primarily a cosmetic concern, it can be very distressing to those who suffer its effects. Unwanted hair can also be the source of considerable embarrassment, limiting people’s activities and lifestyles.
High-tech lasers and light sources are rapidly changing the treatment for hair removal. Among laser and light-based devices, the LightSheer Diode Laser System and the IPL system are the gold standard for safety, superior results, and patient satisfaction.
Scope of the Problem
Millions of men and women spend a lot of time and money each year attempting to eliminate unwanted and excess hair. Women frequently experience this condition on the face, especially the lip or eyebrow areas, at the bikini line, under their arms, or on their legs. Men often wish to rid themselves of hair on the back or chest. They too may have unwanted hair between their eyebrows or on other parts of the face.
The thickness and color of the hair can have a direct impact on the problem, as does the color of an individual’s skin. Additionally, people in warmer climates where less clothing is generally worn have to deal with this issue throughout the year. Your physician can advise you on the best treatment for your particular condition.
Many traditional approaches have been used to try to solve the pesky problem of unwanted and excess hair. Whether it is shaving, tweezing, waxing, hair-removal creams or electrolysis, most of these methods are messy, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or expensive, with the unwanted hair invariably returning all too quickly.
Shaving, waxing, chemical depilatories and other temporary hair removal methods have also been known to cause irritations, folliculitis, and in some cases, scarring. Electrolysis, the most effective traditional attempt at hair removal, can be painful, time-consuming and expensive, as each hair follicle must be treated individually. The process can take months or even years, and permanent results are not always achieved.
A New Solution: IPL Systems for Hair Removal
Finally, there’s a treatment solution that produces long-lasting results across the full range of unwanted hair problems. This breakthrough technology uses broadband, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology to damage hair follicles for long-term hair removal. Commonly referred to as “laser hair removal”, IPL systems for hair removal go by many names including the EpiLight® system, the VascuLight system and IPL Quantum systems. Each system has shown to be a successful method for reducing unwanted, unsightly hairs. Numerous published studies in professional medical journals attest to the IPL system’s safety and long-term effectiveness.
The IPL system hair removal process is called photo-epilation, which is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis. This means that the light energy is absorbed in the target hair follicles while sparing the surrounding, healthy tissue. Unlike conventional laser systems, IPL systems utilize a broad light spectrum with wavelengths ranging from 590 to 1200 nm (green, yellow, orange, red and infrared).
They also emit light energy in very carefully timed bursts, or pulses, to:
IPL systems treat the hair by directing light energy through a light guide placed on the patient’s skin. A thin layer of transparent gel covers the treatment area to focus the light energy and to cool the top skin layer. The light energy heats and damages the hair follicle, typically causing the hair itself to fall out from the follicle. IPL system technology allows your physician to provide a procedure that is both gentle and non-invasive, with nominal side effects.
With its powerful, innovative software, IPL system treatment parameters can be selected by your physician according to an individual’s specific skin color, hair color and hair density. This major advantage allows the physician to customize each individual treatment based on personal experience, as well as the unique attributes of each hair follicle.
As a result of this computer-generated precision, the IPL system has proven effective on the widest range of hair colors, from blonde through auburn to brown and dark black hair. Most important of all, the IPL system successfully removes hair from all skin types — from porcelain white through olive to dark brown complexions.
In addition, IPL system technology enables the physician to efficiently remove hair from any part of the body, no matter how deep the follicles may reside. Treatment of sensitive areas like the lips, ears, nose, underarms, and bikini line can usually be easily tolerated.
Another IPL system advantage is its wide treatment area, enabling the device to cover more area in substantially less time. In fact, approximately 100 -200 hairs can be treated with each flash of the light, so that large swaths of hair on the legs, back and chest can be treated quickly in a single session. At the same time, IPL systems can be very precisely focused, so that hair is eliminated from delicate places.
Multiple treatment sessions are typically required for long-lasting hair removal. In a recent clinical study, researchers from Cornell and Duke Medical Centers reported an average hair loss of 64% at 6 months or more of follow-up after multiple treatments. Study results also confirmed that the IPL hair removal system uniquely achieves significant long-lasting hair removal through selective cell destruction to hair follicles.