Home laser hair reduction appliances may very well be your future treatment of choice! Just like their physician-directed counterparts, they are only effective against dark hair, and should be used only in areas in which you are confident you want the hair gone FOREVER. (i.e. I discourage treating the eyebrows-since fashions change, and certain portions of the bikini area-anatomy can change ladies and gentlemen!) The home laser systems operate at about 5-10% of the energy of office machines so are considered “safe,” although I would still avoid treatment during pregnancy/nursing and around small children.
Since the home lasers are FDA-approved as over-the-counter devices, their effectiveness data, when compared to physician-directed machines, is unclear. It would be appropriate to calculate, since they generate 5-10% of the energy of office lasers, it would take roughly 10 times the number of treatment sessions to reach equivalent results. While time-consuming, they may be more convenient for many since sessions are conducted in privacy at home. The two most-commonly marketed home laser hair reduction systems are the Silk’N intense-pulsed-light (IPL), widely-available at Sephora stores, and the Tria, a diode laser available online. Both cost between $500-$800 and can be used on all skin types. From my personal experience with diode lasers and IPL’s in my office, I recommend the Tria diode system for safety and effectiveness. As these home lasers become more prevalent, I intend to procure the best and will report my findings and pertinent studies. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting development in hair removal technology!
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