What is the ‘best’ interval between hair removal sessions (after treatment by lasers or IPLs)? Part 2.

I wrote a blog post back in September 2021 discussing my thoughts on the how to determine the optimum interval between laser/IPL hair sessions. It proved very popular amongst my readers. But, as soon as I posted it I began to doubt my own conclusions. Back then I suggested that we should wait for an… Continue reading What is the ‘best’ interval between hair removal sessions (after treatment by lasers or IPLs)? Part 2.

My history in lasers and IPLs and other stuff…

I started in medical laser clinical research in 1986 as part of my Ph.D. studies in the Bioengineering Unit, Strathclyde University and in Canniesburn Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit. After gaining my degree in Physics and Astronomy from Glasgow University in 1984, I decided not to get a ‘proper job’ for a few more years,… Continue reading My history in lasers and IPLs and other stuff…

New Book – Medical/Aesthetic Lasers & IPLs and Skin Treatments

I have been asked many times in the last few years for a recommendation for an introductory book describing the application of lasers and IPLs in aesthetic treatments. My answer was always the same – “There isn’t one!!” So, I finally took the plunge and decided to write one, with my colleague PA Torstensson. The… Continue reading New Book – Medical/Aesthetic Lasers & IPLs and Skin Treatments

How strongly are different laser wavelengths absorbed in melanin and blood?

These days we use a wide variety of lasers and IPLs to treat various targets in the skin. Two major targets are hair and blood vessels. But how much of the laser/IPL light is actually absorbed by these targets? Using data from two very clever scientists (Steve Jacques and Scott Prahl) it is relatively easy… Continue reading How strongly are different laser wavelengths absorbed in melanin and blood?

The world’s FIRST ever commercial laser tattoo patient…

The other day I was training some very nice ladies and showed them a couple of photos of a tattoo I had treated with a Q-switched ruby laser. I realised, as I was talking to them, that this tattoo was the very first tattoo to be treated in our new, commercial clinic. Prior to this… Continue reading The world’s FIRST ever commercial laser tattoo patient…

The ‘best’ way to cool the skin during laser/IPL treatments

Many laser and IPL treatments require a significant temperature rise in the target cells, to effectively kill them. We use light energy to induce this temperature rise. But, calculations show that, in some cases, less than 1% of the light energy is actually doing the job we want. That means that more than 99% of… Continue reading The ‘best’ way to cool the skin during laser/IPL treatments

“I’ve burnt my patient!!” With IPL treatments, that is precisely what we are tying to do…

I often hear laser/IPL operators saying that they “don’t want to burn their patients/clients.” They are wrong!! They DO want to ‘burn’ them, but in a very controlled manner… Every photothermal treatment (the removal of hair, blood vessels, benign pigmentation etc) requires delivering light energy to generate a thermal (heat) response in the tissues. We… Continue reading “I’ve burnt my patient!!” With IPL treatments, that is precisely what we are tying to do…

How strongly do blood and melanin absorb light energy and how does this affect laser/IPL treatments?

WARNING – This post is a bit more scientific than my usual stuff. BUT, it is worth persevering because you will (hopefully) understand more about your laser/IPL treatments, if you do… When we fire light energy at the skin, to treat hair, blood vessel, pigmentation etc, we know that some of the energy is absorbed… Continue reading How strongly do blood and melanin absorb light energy and how does this affect laser/IPL treatments?

Thick and thin hair – how much light energy do they actually absorb during photothermal treatments?

How thick is a hair? Well, according to some research by physicist, Brian Ley (they do all the best research!!!), it ranges between 17 and 181 microns in diameter (see his results here). That is between 0.017 and 0.18 mm. So, that means that their cross-sectional areas [A = pi x (radius)2] are between 0.0000023 and 0.00026 square… Continue reading Thick and thin hair – how much light energy do they actually absorb during photothermal treatments?

“I’m scared to use my laser/IPL.” Why?

I’ve heard this comment many times from laser/IPL users, through the years. It is perfectly understandable – most people don’t want to hurt or injure their clients. For all sorts of reasons… In particular, they are scared of “burning” their clients. They are scared that they might not use their equipment correctly or use the… Continue reading “I’m scared to use my laser/IPL.” Why?

Laser/IPL hair removal. How long should we leave between treatments? It’s definitely NOT six weeks…

Laser/IPL Hair Removal – what are the best intervals between sessions? Laser/IPL hair removal has been around since the 1990s. We first noticed that a Q-switched ruby laser could remove surface hair in the mid 1980s when we were treating tattoos. But we didn’t consider it a ‘treatment’ since the hair always grew back (the… Continue reading Laser/IPL hair removal. How long should we leave between treatments? It’s definitely NOT six weeks…

Chapter 2 – Fundamentals of Laser Tattoo Removal

Our second chapter – Fundamentals of Laser Tattoo Removal – is now available… In this Chapter we discuss the basics of lasers and their application to scar-free tattoo removal. This Chapter covers the following topics: What is a tattoo? Tattoo Lasers Q-switched and picosecond pulsewidths Ink colours and wavelengths The ‘ideal’ treatment protocol Eye and… Continue reading Chapter 2 – Fundamentals of Laser Tattoo Removal