Laser hair removal LightSheer


#1

Today I had laser hair removal with the LightSheer. I had my underarms, legs and bikini line done. If I knew what I knew now after today’s extensive research I would not have had this done at all.
Two days ago I ran into a friend who said she was just starting laser hair removal at their medical practise. She said she would give me a great discount since we are friends. The total cost was $200 dollars. So yes I figured this was a bargin. I respect this friend and her medical knowledge.
I assumed a lot of things prior to this treatment. I assumed that since this laser was FDA approved that it was safe (past history with the FDA should have been my first clue). I now understand there are no long-term studies on its safety. This is serious business. This is my health.
I also assumed that a medical office would have done research on such issues before introducing a new procedure into their practise for their patients.
Anything to do with esthetics such as hair removal is big business. But it could come at the cost of your health. It is an FDA sham that these lasers can pretty much be operated by anyone, on top of the fact that their release in the market in the first place is premature. More extensive studies need to be done. Better control of these units, who is allowed to operate them etc. Once again money takes priority over safety and health.
I was also led to believe that 1 to 2 treatments would take care of the bulk of my hair regrowth. With maybe one or two more treatments for problem areas. I will not return for any of these treatments. It is not worth the pain or the cost. Also the fact is this may not be true. I may end up with the same amount of hair as before.
I have some redness on my legs. A slight warm burning sensation in areas though no significant post treatment pain or discomfort. If this procedure was proven to actually work and that it was shown to be safe then yes, I would continue with the treatments.
I was never asked to fill out a health history. I worry about pregnancy and the use of the laser. Even future pregnancies when this laser is used over the reproductive area mainly ovaries. How about skin damage we do not know about at this time? Who is following up on the negative side effects? There is not a general data bank. Who knows? no one does.
I am an angry patient and consumer. We pay our tax dollars to an agency that is failing to protect us.
This issue angers me. I can not believe I did not research this in advance. I hope this will help others. Do the research.
FDA Sham


#2

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

I’d like to tell you from my personal experience and as a physicist in laser field (different laser).

Laser hair removal is not a once off method, and it is not painless. I would say that your friend did not tell you enough information about the procedure/pain and all related information.

Personally, I don’t see laser can possible cause any health concerns. Laser is just intensed light beams. Laser is not radioactive at all. I don’t see how future pregnancies would be affected since you only been zap for that very short of time with just some intensed light beams (energies). Also, the spectrum used in LightSheer is just slightly out of visible spectrum, it is no where near the spectrum of radio or tv transmissions.


#3

My personal experience with LightSheet is very,
very positive. I’ve been operating LightSheer
for 2 years and I can tell you that it is a
dream come through for my clients. LightSheer
obtained FDA approval for permanent hair reduction
in 1999.

A preoperative evaluation is mostly
important consideration with Laser Hair Removal.
The patient’s skin type and hair color. The
differential absorption of melanin in the hair
follicle and melanin in the epidermis determines
the amount of energy that can be safely used.

Contra-indications to Laser Hair Removal include
patients who have healed poorly after other types
of laser treatments, patients prone to skin
discoloration, patients with grey or white hairs,
and patients who are pregnant. There’s no
scientific evidence to suggest that laser light
used in hair removal can injure a fetus, but the
question of injury will not arise should any
fetal problems occur.

Treatment: Details may vary slightly with each
device, but all the techniques involve the even
application of laser energy over the area, with
some mechanism to cool the epidermis, which
allows a higher fluence to target the follicle.
The speed of coverage depends on the spot size
of the beam or scanning pattern, operator fatigue,
and patient comfort. The amount of discomfort
varies with the amount of absorption, either by
melanin in the epidermis, or melanin in the hair
follicle. As a practical matter, discomfort
increases with increased follicle size and
increased melanin in the epidermis. Discomfort
can be minimized by pre-cooling with ice packs,
topical anesthetic creams, or decreasing the
fluence of the laser beam.

Postoperative care: My recommendations are: treat
with ice packs, and oral pain medication. In
cases where blistering occurs, topical antibiotic
cream and a non-adherent dressing can be applied.
Sun exposure shoudl be avoided, and an SPF 25 or
greater sunblock should be used. Moisturizing
lotions and makeup may be applied the next day.

During the week or so after, damaged hair
follicles and hair shafts are extruded or shed,
and maybe misinterpreted as early regrowth of
hair. This is especially noticeable in areas
with thick, coarse hair.

Efficacy: The Permanence of laser hair removal
is often called into question. In practice,
no laser destroys all the hair follicles.
Multiple treatments are needed for best results.

Conclusion: When used properly, by qualified
personnel, all of the devices discussed are
safe and effective for laser hair removal.
The eventual outcome is ultimately based on
the patient’s hair color and skin type.


#4

FDA has deemed hair removal issues a low priority, it seems. They rarely take action, even in the most egregious cases, probably because the department was gutted and they are very understaffed. Because lasers emit non-ionizing radiation, they are what FDA classifies as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). That means when used properly, FDA expects minimal likelihood of serious health risks. However, long-term laser use constitutes and nunknown risk. Some lasers operate at or near light frequencies that can cause sunburn-like damage to the skin. There is no published data on whether there is an increased risk of adverse health effects from electrolysis or laser. This is a real problem, if you ask me.

FDA has left the regulation of who can use laser to each state, which means they’ve washed their hands of the issue. Their recent decisions allowing home-use lasers to be prescribed by doctors suggests they are taking a “free market” approach to the whole issue. That means devices are allowed to come online witgh minimal safety data, and they just figure market forces will sort out what works and what doesn’t.

Where does this leave consumers? We are basically paying to be guinea pigs in both the short run and the long run. There are no guarantees regarding results or long-term health effects. This is not to be alarmist, because I agree that the risk from a course of laser treatments is probably low. But that is just a guess, since no one has bothered to force these companies or practitioners to keep data.

My goal with this site is to keep pressure on the government and on practitioners and manufacturers to provide consumers with data and information that allows us to make informed purchasing decisions. Right now, I don’t think that’s happening, from the federal level right down to many of the people selling devices and treatments. We’re pretty much on our own, which is why I am so happy so many of you are sharing your experiences and helping others. It’s the only thing we can do to counter the general lack of concern among those who should be obligated to put consumers first.

[ February 22, 2003, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]