Diode Laser, Nd:YAG Laser and IPL Laser Comparison
Lasers are widely used to treat hirsutism. But it is important to choose the right laser for the right skin type. Before starting laser treatment, it is important to evaluate the skin type, energy density, pulse duration and the type of laser to be used.
Hirsutism is a very common problem. Laser hair removal is an important modality in the treatment of hirsutism. Permanent hair removal is defined as a significant reduction in the number of terminal hairs in a specific body area that is stable for longer than the full growth cycle of the hair follicle.
During laser hair removal, the laser beam passes through the skin to reach individual hair follicles. The intense heat of the laser can damage the hair follicle, leading to a reduction in the number of hairs and a decrease in the quality of the hairs. The hair will be less visible, finer and possibly lighter. The degree of hair reduction depends on the number of treatments.
The diode laser is most effective on deeper terminal hairs and less effective on lighter, finer hairs. It covers large areas and has a fast repetition rate, allowing for rapid treatment of large body areas.
The Nd:YAG laser can be used safely on all skin types, including tanned patients. The large coverage area and fast repetition rate allow for rapid treatment of large areas. It can cause more discomfort during treatment. It is also less effective on fine hair compared to other lasers.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices are not lasers but "laser equivalents" because they use the same concept of selective photothermolysis to achieve hair removal. IPL devices are more difficult to use than lasers and require a very skilled and experienced technician to operate.
Multiple treatments will undoubtedly produce more effective results in hair reduction, as lasers can only target the anagen or active phase of the hair growth cycle. At any given time, only 50-65% of facial hair is in the hair growth cycle. The anagen phase lasts 3-4 weeks. Therefore, even if 100% of all anagen hairs are destroyed after each treatment, only a fraction of the total hairs are removed. Therefore, several treatments are required to achieve the best situation.
Diode laser systems, long pulse Nd:YAG lasers and non-laser light source IPL systems have steadily evolved during this time and today remain one of the most common and reliable systems available for hair removal. Diode lasers are solid-state laser devices that have become popular over the past few years due to their reliability and ability to penetrate deep into the skin.
Long-pulsed Nd:YAG is the safest laser for hair removal on darker skin types. At this wavelength of light, melanin absorption is reduced, which requires a higher energy density to effectively damage the hair. The epidermal cooling device included in these devices ensures that the potential for epidermal damage is reduced and allows them to be used successfully on darker skin patients.
IPL is much less effective for laser hair removal. The energy is produced by a lamp, somewhat like a light bulb, which produces a variety of light waves, which means it is more diffuse and less powerful. It is usually limited to lighter skin types.IPL devices also offer sophisticated, computer-driven precision and tremendous versatility.The main advantage of the IPL system is its cost effectiveness. Larger treatment areas can be easily treated because of the larger spot size.
In conclusion, for dark-haired Asian skin, diode lasers still stand the test of time. However, due to the small safety range of diode lasers, proper pre- and post-operative cooling is recommended. Nd:YAG lasers have fewer side effects but are less effective compared to diode lasers. IPL has more side effects and is suitable for lighter skin, however, this treatment is cheaper and more cost effective.
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