Super long pulse (SLP) laser results?


#1

Anyone have any experience with the Palomar SLP1000 (or other SLP lasers)? I’d be interested to hear how it went, especially if you’ve also had treatment with either a traditional long-pulse laser, such as alexandrite (e.g. epitouch) or normal diode (lightsheer) laser.

The description given at the Palomar web site implies that the SLP1000 damages the hair follicle without ablating (frying) the actual hairs. This has good and bad aspects. The bad thing is that you leave the session with a fair amount of hair still on your body. The good thing is that a) it will fall out shortly, and b) it doesn’t leave behind stubborn “dots” of fried hair behind.

That’s the theory, anyway. We all know that theory and reality aren’t always the same, so I’d like to know if anyway can confirm or deny the above.

My results with epitouch is that clearance is good, but I have all these dots lying around on my skin for up to over 2 months before they all finally come out. I’d much rather have hair remaining on my skin than all the dots, which definitely look unnatural.


#2

I think the dots are related to the power (fluence) used. My first Lightsheer treatment at 40J there were a few dots. I had a different tech for one session and the fluence was set too low (I wasn’t charged very much for that session, $25). I had no dots but not much hair removal either. I had my regular practitioner back and she used compression and turned the fluence up to 45J I coud feel the pulses going a lot deeper into the follicle. I had a lot more dots that time but more hair was eliminated too. To me more dots means more successful hair removal as more damage has been done to the follicle.

I had dots with the Apogee too. Lots of them but they fell out quicker too. I had more dots with the Lightsheer though.

The interesting thing with the Apogee was that a lot of hairs would fly right out of the follicle. You could actually hear them exploding sometimes. More redness and blistering with the Apogee but it was not a big problem. That happened mostly after the first two or three treatments.

RJC2001


#3

Heh, the dots are an interesting phenomenon. :smile:

Ok, time for more unsubstantiated theories. Do not take any of this too seriously, as I’m not a doctor.

Long pulse lasers (LP) vaporize hair because they deliver a lot of energy to the hair in a short period of time (under 100ms). The hair heats up so quickly and so much that it simply vaporizes. While heating up, the hair transfers much of the heat to the follicle, where it causes damage – hopefully enough to reduce or eliminate regrowth. I’ve been told that the cracking noise you hear is actually the oils in the skin vaporizing, but I don’t know if that’s true.

Super long pulse (SLP) lasers, on the other hand, deliver the energy over a longer period of time (100 - 1000ms). This is good because the hair shaft can cool down much quicker than the follicle, so during the energy delivery, the hair stays relatively cool while the follicle continues to heat up through the duration of the pulse. The skin is similar to the hair shaft in that it cools off relatively quickly. The upshot is that the hair shaft and skin stay cool enough to avoid damage, while the follicle continues to heat up throughout the pulse until it suffers permanent damage.

It’s not obvious to me whether melanin in the follicle itself absorbs the energy, or if the hair absorbs the energy and transfer it to the follicle. If it’s the latter, that hair singing off might actually limit the effectiveness because no more energy can reach the follicle (perhaps this is why they say that only hair in the anagen phase is affected by lasers).

It’s all very clever, really. Of course, I’ve heard very little about the SLP1000 except that it’s better for folks with darker skin, so perhaps it just doesn’t work all that well in practice.


#4

I talked about the dots (a.k.a. "tombstones) in the other thread.

SLP lasers are being positioned in the market as an alternative to shaving for African-Americans and others with darker skin tones. This suggests that they do not expect a permanent results, but a maintenance prgram which may have advantages over shaving, especially for consumers suffering from shaving bumps (or pseudofolliculitis barbae).

Generally speaking, the Nd:YAG lasers appear to be safer but less effective for permanent results.


#5

That explains why my practitioner was not real anxious to use the Sciton Nd:YAG laser on me. She said they have not had enough first hand experience with it to call it a proven method. She said it definitely takes more treatments and is therefore more inconvenient. She said it does work very well on dark skin in that there is little or no skin damage.

She also said the Sciton rep admitted that the Lightsheer is considered to be the best laser on the market.

RJC2001


#6

Part of my teatmenst were long pulse 100ms and they worked ok. The disadvantage is that it takes longer to treat an area at that pulse width. So you can’t treat as large of an area in an hour long session. I didn’t notice much difference in side effects or amount of hair removed between the long pulse and some of the shorter more standard pulse widths.

RJC2001