Laser hair removal is big. Real big. In fact, laser hair removal is the most popular cosmetic procedure performed in dermatologist's offices today.
Dr. Friedman, former assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University and presently chief of laser surgery at the Jerusalem Medical Center, when asked if laser hair removal was a popular procedure in his office answered, "No question. In my practice, for every one resurfacing procedure that I do, I'll do 100 hair removals."
This makes laser hair removal training a lucrative choice, as there is obviously a large market for the services.
For people who pluck wayward eyebrows or shave areas other than the face every day, or are constantly ridiculed for their abundant hair, permanent hair removal is a quality-of-life issue. Others are just tired of the inconvenience and pain of shaving, waxing or electrolysis.
There is a danger inherent with laser hair removal regarding the amount of energy used. It's necessary to use high enough energy to destroy the hair follicle, without permanently damaging the skin.
Two approaches taught in proper laser hair removal training have helped to correct the potential scarring problem.
Longer pulse durations increase the time that the laser is on. Skin is a smaller structure than the hair follicle and, therefore, has the ability to lose heat faster. Longer pulse durations give the skin time to lose heat.
The second approach, using a cooling mechanism, allows laser hair removal technicians to use higher energies because the skin is protected. "Never buy or use a laser without a cooling option," Dr. Friedman said in his laser hair removal training.
Other aspects of laser hair removal training include: the benefits of varying laser wavelength, speed, and spot size. Spot sizes run from 5 mm to 18 mm.
"I like to see spot sizes at least 10 or 12 mm. If it's too small, the laser will not penetrate sufficiently. The larger it is, the faster the treatment will be. However, realize that when you go higher on the spot size, there is often less energy because the energy has to be divided over a larger area," Dr. Friedman said.
Lasers hair removal training teaches technicians to deal with the different treatments for various skin types. The ruby laser, which is an excellent option for people with dark hair and white skin, gives dermatologists the least options.
"As the skin type gets higher, the ruby is less effective and is more dangerous. With dark skin, the alexandrite is better than the ruby. The diode can be better than the alexandrite with dark skin. With light skin, most of the lasers will do a good job," he said.
Laser hair removal training teaches technicians about the possible side effects from laser hair removal, including temporary redness. Hyper pigmentation is possible in patients with dark skin. Patients with very dark skin can experience hypo pigmentation. Pigmentary changes sometimes last years, especially when they are associated with scarring. Acne sometimes gets worse after laser hair removal, though it is usually a temporary problem.
Because the most common areas of laser hair removal on women are: face, armpits, bikini line, under the belly button, around the breasts, legs, arms, and lower back, and on men are between the eyes, above the beard line, around the ears, and on the back these are the areas that laser hair removal training focuses on.