New low-power lasers for hair removal can deliver advances in efficacy, safety and patient comfort, according to recent studies. The LightSheer Duet diode laser (Lumenis) delivers high speed and vacuum technology with its low-power HS handpiece, offering a 22 mm by 35 mm spot size.
"The LightSheer Duet uses the vacuum to pull the skin up into a concavity in the handpiece. The combination of the large spot size and that concavity appears to increase the effectiveness of each pass," she says.
"There was equal efficacy on both sides," Dr. Halachmi says. The 11 patients who finished the study demonstrated excellent results. Furthermore, she says patients found the larger handpiece provided more comfortable treatments (Halachmi S, Lapidoth M. Unpublished).
The Soprano XL diode laser (Alma) in super hair removal (SHR) mode uses a platform called IN-Motion to provide continuous movement, Dr. Halachmi says.
"It uses a very rapid pulse rate for rapid firing of the device, while you move the handpiece continuously over the treatment area. The idea is to slowly heat the target by giving very short but frequent pulses," she says.
Specifically, the device uses a 12 mm by 10 mm spot size and a repetition rate of up to 10 Hz. Patients tolerate treatment with this laser very well, she says.
In a randomized, prospective study, Dr. Halachmi says, the product proved as efficient as a standard LightSheer ET with a 9 mm by 9 mm handpiece (Braun M. J Drugs Dermatol. 2009;8(11Suppl):s14-17). This study included 25 patients who underwent five treatments with the Soprano XL SHR laser on one leg and the LightSheer on the other. Six months post-treatment, investigators observed comparable hair counts, including reductions of 86 to 91 percent for both lasers. Moreover, patients found the Soprano XL's multiple-pass, constant motion technique significantly less painful than the traditional one-pass, high-fluence (25 to 40 J/cm2 ) diode laser.
The LEDA EPI scanning laser (Quantel Derma) uses a very large spot size (up to 12 mm by 50 mm) and continuous scanning, Dr. Halachmi says.
"The biggest advantage there is that it provides very rapid treatment, which the device's manufacturer says could be as fast as 10 minutes for a man's back.
"The common denominator for those three lasers is that they work with much lower power than prior devices. And the LightSheer Duet and the SHR both have studies to support that their efficacy is comparable," Dr. Halachmi says.