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?

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

What exactly is ‘frosting’ in laser tattoo removal?

The whitening, or ‘frosting’, that we often see in laser tattoo removal treatments is often described as ‘steam bubble formation on the surface of ink particles’. While this is true, it is not the entire truth… When ink particles absorb laser energy their surfaces become very hot (potentially thousands of degrees C). All these ink… Continue reading What exactly is ‘frosting’ in laser tattoo removal?

Chasing the ‘crack’ in laser tattoo treatments! Is this right?

I often hear people talking about listening for the ‘crack’ sound during laser tattoo removal treatments. Apparently some people have been trained to do this and they believe it’s an essential part of the process. It’s not! There is absolutely no need for this cracking sound. In fact, it has nothing to do with the… Continue reading Chasing the ‘crack’ in laser tattoo treatments! Is this right?

De-mystifying the physics jargon behind light-based treatments

The world of lasers and IPL systems is full of physics terms and expressions. Many of these are quite daunting to non-physicists and we tend to forget that not everyone is a nerd!! So, here’s a breakdown of some of those terms…. You can download a pdf version of this post here. Wavelength – colour… Continue reading De-mystifying the physics jargon behind light-based treatments

The Fitzpatrick Skin Scale – What is wrong with this idea???

First things first – the melanin concentration (skin colour) is not related to the Fitzpatrick Scale… The ‘Fitzpatrick Skin Scale’ was designed by a Californian dermatologist, Dr Thomas B. Fitzpatrick in 1975. He was routinely treating patients with potential skin cancers and wanted a way of classifying their potential for developing cancer and subsequent treatments.… Continue reading The Fitzpatrick Skin Scale – What is wrong with this idea???

My concerns in today’s aesthetic industry…

I have been around since before the invention of colour…..!!! I have seen many excellent advances in the medical/aesthetic laser industry in that time. But I have also seen a few things which concern me greatly. Poor training I seem to be training more and more people who have already received ‘training’ on their lasers… Continue reading My concerns in today’s aesthetic industry…

How long does tissue take to be damaged by heat?

I often read about human tissue ‘denaturing’ or ‘coagulating’ at some temperature – usually 60 or 70°C. However, these claims are inaccurate. They rarely state the time over which the denaturation process occurs. Denaturation is when the proteins in cells or tissues ‘unravel’. For example, collagen is made up of three amino acid chains, intertwined… Continue reading How long does tissue take to be damaged by heat?