It seems that photo-epilation with Laser or IPL pulsed light epilation no longer hides any secrets. Almost all beauty therapy centres and esthetic medical clinics in the country offer these kinds of treatments promising to remove unsightly hair without any kinds of problem or discomfort forever.
¿How much truth is behind these claims? Is Laser and IPL the same thing?¿What works better?¿Is photo epilation permanent?¿Will it remove grey hairs?¿Can it be used in Summer?¿Why does it work for some people better than others?¿What factors will influence the result of the treatment?
Next we will give you the answers to all these questions, so that you can choose the best treatment for you and make an informed decision for the best results.
¿How does photoepilation work?
There exists two well known techniques of photo epilation: Laser and IPL (pulsed light).The principle functions are similar, whereby the luminic energy emitted by each piece of equipment is absorbed by the melanin that gives color to the hair and converts it to heat (the darker the hair and the lighter the skin tone, the better the results will be. This heat, applied correctly, destroys certain cells inside the hair follicle without damaging any surrounding tissue. Thanks to this process, the hair follicle loses the ability to produce hair and therefore preventing regrowth.
¿Is photo epilation definitive?
We could say that photo thermolyses is definitive, but the overall results cannot be defined. There exist many factors to take into account that may alter the results:
- Photo epilation works with the contrast of hair colour and skin tone. If there is less contrast, the treatment won’t be as effective and can also be dangerous.
- Grey hair cannot be eliminated with photo epilation (as it contains no melanin). The only way to eliminate grey hair is through electrolyses.
- If all treatments are carried out using the same laser the probability is that there will be some hair that will not be eliminated (fine hair, light hair, deep hair, etc). In most cases, to get the best result, it is best to use two or more different types of laser.
- The use of anesthetic creams has a negative effect on the result of each session, slowing the progress. In these cases it is likely that double the number of sessions will be needed to achieve the same result. This has been scientifically proven.
- The use of certain medications can reduce the efficiency of the laser, also increasing the risk of burns during and after the treatment.
- Any alterations in hormones, long or short term may influence the final result of photo epilation. Diabetes, thyroid, polycystic ovaries, hormonal imbalance due to menopause, etc.
In short, the difference in technology, the level of training of the staff and the correct use of equipment are all keys to eliminating the maximum amount of hair possible and to achieve permanent hair removal.
¿What is the difference between Laser epilation and Pulsed light epilation?
Even though both systems use luminous energy to transport heat to the hair follicle, they do so in different ways, therefore varying the results of the treatment. In the case of laser, the treatment is much more precise (and for this reason more effective),as the light that it projects is of one colour, therefore it is absorbed more easily by the melanin, and the photons travel on the same wave length and in the same direction.
On the contrary, with IPL the light is policromatic (various colours).The plaques tend to be bigger and they work on more hair follicles at once than in the case of laser. It is less effective because the light that it projects doesn´t travel in the same direction or on the same wave length, the energy that ends up reaching the hair follicle is less.
In general, the effectiveness of a good IPL machine is roughly about 50-60% hair elimination. With laser hair removal we can achieve an effectiveness of up to 80-90% hair removal, in other words eliminate all the dark and thick hair that are in the growth phase when treated with laser.
¿Can photo epilation be performed in summer?
The main problem with performing luminic epilation (laser or IPL) treatments in summer is the photosensitivity of the skin and the change in contrast between the hair color and the cutaneous surface. There exist various factors, associated with the time of year, that increase the risks of suffering burns or to not obtain the results expected:
- If the skin is tanned (because of exposure to the sun or because of the use of self tanning products, or if the hair is much lighter than usual, not only will the treatment not be as effective, it may also become dangerous due to the possibility of burns occurring. It is important to make sure that the hair is always darker than the skin. There exists certain types of lasers that allow safe and effective epilation to be carried out when there is minimum contrast and in the cases where the patients skin photo type is higher: Diode laser and Neodymium YAG laser.
- The intake of certain medications may increase the photo-sensitivity of the skin significantly (for example ibuprofen, most contraception pill, etc). This change cannot be detected with the naked eye or at the time of treatment, but can cause burns afterwards. That is why it is extremely important to communicate to the centre any medication that you may have taken in the last 48-72 hours so that they can take the safety measures necessary.
- The exposure to sun immediately before or after treatment increases the risk of burns, even if it is indirect exposure to the sun. But what´s more, you have to take into consideration the overheating of the skin directly after the epilation treatment can increases the risk of infections.
¿What can I do to improve the results of the treatment?
A good result for a photo epilation not only depends on the type of technology used or the level of training the staff have, but it also requires certain effort from the patient.
- Maintain informed at all times the centre where the treatment is carried out of all the relevant information listed above.
- During the period of treatment it is important not to carry out any other kind of hair removal treatment (waxing, creams or threading). Follow the guidelines provided by the centre.
- Stick to the sessions that have been scheduled.
- Once all the hair has been removed using the lumic techniques (laser epilation or IPL), electrolyses can be done to remove any grey hair or extremely fine hair that photo epilation could not remove.
Remember that at Clinica Dr Campos we have all the latest technology to carry out Medical laser epilation safely and effectively even during the summer months. Our team is highly qualified for these treatments with years of experience. This year we have incorporated the latest in laser technology: Diode Laser, which allows us to improve the prices of the treatments, offering our patients a personalized plan every time.
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