At-home laser, light devices won't replace dermatologic expertise, clinician says
Dr. Schlessinger, a dermatologist in Omaha, Neb., and director of the Cosmetic Surgery Forum conference, spoke on the topic of hand-held devices at the 2011 Forum in Las Vegas. While available at-home options for hair removal and skin rejuvenation encroach in dermatologists' fee-for-service offerings, he says, the devices are not strong enough to replace what dermatologists do.
"I think that the hand-held devices are training wheels for people looking to get into these types of treatments. Despite the initial concerns that they would be competitors, I think they are going to be a first step on people's roads to having a more intense cosmetic experience with the dermatologist," Dr. Schlessinger says.
What's out there
There are several hair-removal devices on the market, according to Dr. Schlessinger. Among the more popular are no!no! (Radiancy), a thermal filament device, and Silk'n SensEpil (Home Skinovations), which uses pulsed light.
"The thermal filament device ends up burning or singeing the hair. And that's not actually even a laser device, but many people mistakenly believe it is based on the company's promotions," Dr. Schlessinger says.
While users can treat a small body area, to use today's hair-removal devices on a large area, such as the leg, would be time-prohibitive, he says.
A hand-held device, the PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser (Palomar Medical) shows more promise in the area of wrinkle reduction, according to Dr. Schlessinger. The device delivers low-level laser energy to the periocular area.
"PaloVia has a benefit from the standpoint that it is a true diode laser, with the ability for some of that laser energy to actually reach into the skin and penetrate," he says.
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