Light based therapies for aesthetic applications have evolved significantly in the past decade. They are all based on the fact that light can heat and destroy tissues. Most of us are familiar with this fact in the form of sunburns that we have sustained on occasion. This occurs because sunlight (which contains all colors of light) indiscriminately damages skin cells and leads to a burn. You also know that the higher the dosage of sunlight you get (staying in the sun too long) the more marked the effect of this damage is. It runs the spectrum from no effect with brief exposure to severe blistering that can lead to scarring in the more extreme cases. Sunlight is polychromatic and diffuse (its rays run in many directions).
Therapeutic devices use two different principles to achieve there desired effect. IPL (Intense Pulse Light) devices use limited light frequencies of diffuse or incoherent light rays applied at different energy levels. Different IPL light frequencies effect different parts of the skin to achieve the desired results. The target for applications that reduce hair and remove brown blotches is the pigment melanin. This pigment is found in some cells and is in the hair shaft. It is responsible for the color of hair and skin. The more melanin the darker the hair or skin will be. When the IPL devise is triggered on the skin that contains the melanin, the cells close to the melanin are heated and damaged and later removed by the body. That is how the treatments work. By altering the frequency of the light and the power, Starlux has been able to target this effect to achieve the desired cosmetic effect. In addition to this, and most importantly for the patient, Starlux has successfully designed an application head that cools the skin as it is treated thus eliminating the discomfort that was present with many earlier devices and continues to be a problem with many of Starlux’s competitors.
Besides IPL light treatments, there are true LASER treatments. It is the laser treatments that many of you are familiar with. Laser light is highly concentrated light that travels in parallel (coherent) rays of just one frequency. This property allows many applications in modern society. Low power laser light is used in pencil like pointers that are used at lectures, higher power lasers are used to give laser light shows and target precision measuring instruments and missiles. Medical applications vary according the frequency and power of the laser. The therapeutic effect of medical lasers is achieved by the destruction of cells. The amount of destruction is determined by the frequency and power of the light used. The NdYAG laser that is available from Starlux is specifically designed to effect the very superficial layers of skin. It is not used to treat cancers as some medical lasers are. Starlux’s NdYAG laser, like it’s IPL devise, is also accompanied by a cooling application head that minimizes the uncomfortable effect of the treatments.
There is a direct relationship between the amount of power used in light therapies and the effect of the therapy. The more power used, the more effective the treatment. However, there is also a direct relationship between the amount of power used and the side effects (discomfort and ‘burning’). For this reason, we tend to error on the side of using less power and more treatments. This allows treatments with no anesthetic needed and minimizes the risk of adverse effects.