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

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?

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?

Carbon Facial treatment with a QS Nd:YAG laser

Recently I tried the new ‘carbon facial’ treatment using the 1064nm wavelength of the Q-switched Nd:YAG laser. My wife was keen to try it! I painted a little black carbon ink solution (which I made myself) onto my wife’s face. After about 20 minutes, or so, to allow it to dry, I applied the laser… Continue reading Carbon Facial treatment with a QS Nd:YAG laser

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