21 Sep 2020
Permanent hair reduction and removal is an easy task for light and radiation-based methods which kill the hair from growing when it absorbs intense light or radiation. The difference in hair and skin like the laser treatment is often used to the advantage of these processes so that the skin absorbs less light and the hair absorbs most light, and in some instances, artificial dark spots can be introduced to increase absorption. Most of the methods that involve radiation are yet experimental.
The advancement of hair removal technologies based on lasers, optics make use of different areas of the electromagnetic spectrum including visible light, infrared, ultraviolet light, and other forms of more intense radiation like a microwave and once X-ray. These devices have to be carefully calibrated to give appropriate dosage to kill only the unwanted hair cells and not to have irrecoverable side effects on the skin. Although cooling equipment can make up for the heat absorbed by the skin, it does not make up for the radiation dosage.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Based Hair Removal
Intense pulsed light normally uses the same concept as the laser treatment to target the hair. The pulses and the wavelengths are customized according to the hair and skin condition; 500 nm to 1200 nm. The feature that makes the laser treatment distinct is the use of monochromatic light. This method has the advantage of safety due to its non-coherence and maintains a near efficiency to the laser treatment.
Biotechnology, Dermatology, and Medical Device manufacturers often fund researches for IPL and laser technologies.
The process emits most wavelengths of the visible light as well as some bands of infrared radiation allowing the expert to better plan and have more flexibility and options in the treatment of skin with special conditions. This process might take up to 10 sessions to obtain a semi-permanent hair removal.
Complicated skin conditions and health problems directly impact the safety and the recovery time of the patient in laser and IPL treatments. Recent use of other methods such as waxing, plucking sugaring, use of creams & sprays often interferes with the pre-treatment skin condition and the patients are recommended to wait before continuing to proceed to the IPL or laser treatment.
The side effects by the intense light include discoloration of the skin, burns, etc. Black garments are also likely to interfere with the process and are a fire hazard might the beam come in direct contact with them.
Photodynamic Therapy for Hair Removal
The process is typically intended for killing unwanted cells like cancer or permanent removal of hair. Being an experimental technology, the process is being tested and experimented upon to get more know-how and fix the side effects and related issues. When combined with the use of hair removal drugs, the process has proved to be a promising hair removal technique. Photodynamic therapy or anti-inflammatory therapy is also used in combination with this process to facilitate a refined removal of hair. Spot size is a primary parameter to be considered in processes involving light such as this.
Use of X-ray for Hair Removal
The observation that radiation such as the X-rays was a cause of hair loss resulted in the development of controlled procedures that use the same to deliberately remove body hair. This was picked up by many clinics who acquired significant expertise in the process. Though an effective and painless method, the side effects were scarring, radiation dosage resulting in cancer, and other radiation sickness effects, the process was banned by most governments.
This has also given the precedence for not allowing further technologies into the commercial industry without first fully understanding the side effects and researching the countermeasures if any.