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After 24 treatments

Philips’ RéAura does not yet have FDA approval and has been launched in the UK and the Netherlands. It features a 1435nm laser diode laser. Images courtesy of Philips

Philip’s RéAura is being marketed for use on all areas of the face as well as hands and arms. Images courtesy of Philips ➤

Professor Christopher Zachary is chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of California in Irvine. He sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Solta/Philips project and works with several laser companies on new technology. He says: ‘If an at-home device is powerful enough to do good, then it is powerful enough to cause complications so any company entering this market will need to develop safety mechanisms. Both these devices work and both are safe. It will be interesting to see what marketing strategies the companies use.’

There are three types of light-based cosmetic devices on the market for use at home

LED-based devices There are several companies that have brought LED-based devices onto the market that claim to help with skin conditions such as acne or skin rejuvenation. They use a combination of blue, red and infrared LEDs and claim the light kills bacteria and stimulates collagen generation. While several devices on the market have been FDA approved, many dermatologists are sceptical about the efficacy of such devices.

Intense light pulse (IPL) devices IPL technology uses a broad-spectrum light source and is cheaper and faster than laser hair removal. While the precise effectiveness of IPL compared with Alexandrite and Nd:YAG laser epilation is debated by scientists, equipment manufacturers and practitioners, it is clear that the success of the home-use IPL market has stimulated the at-home laser skin rejuvenation market. Some companies, such as UK company CyDen, are planning to develop at-home skin rejuvenation products based on IPL technology.

14 ELECTRO OPTICS l FEBRUARY 2012 Zachary believes the at-home market is not

a threat to the clinical market: ‘I am totally in favour of the development of home-use devices so that patients might perform facial rejuvenation (or other treatments like hair removal) in the comfort of their own home. It just makes sense, both economically and for the sake of convenience. This is not to say that laser surgeons should be worried they are going to lose any business. It’s probably a different and more expanded group of individuals who will buy these devices.’


Laser-based devices In clinics, laser-based skin rejuvenation has shown dramatic results. There are two types of laser-based technologies: ablative, where the laser removes the top layer of skin; or non- ablative, where the laser is scanned across the skin for a deeper effect. Penetrating deep into the dermis the laser causes tiny wounds that trigger the body’s natural healing response. This process expedites the body’s remodelling of collagen and elastin, which results in tighter, fresher, more youthful-looking skin. Because the treatment is non-ablative and fractionated, the skin heals faster.

As consumers become more aware of this technology, more companies will enter the market for a slice of the action. UK company CyDen, who already has a hair removal product on the shelves of the UK’s largest pharmacy chain, Boots, has hinted that it is looking into the skin rejuvenation market. The company declined to be interviewed, but on its website it states: ‘Through the work carried out by CyDen on hair and on port wine blemish removal, it was discovered that, by altering the length and intensity of the light pulses, a patient’s skin became plumper and softer when exposed to CyDen’s IPL light. CyDen’s founders filed the first FDA Clearances in this area. Look out for an exciting announcement on how consumers will be able to benefit later in 2011.’ As this issue of Electro Optics went to press, this announcement had not yet been made.

US laser systems supplier Cynosure is also known to be working with cosmetics giant Unilever on a home-use light-based skin rejuvenation product, but, again, the company declined to be interviewed.

Non-ablative fractional technology uses microscopic columns of laser power to damage skin to promote healing.

Pantec Biosolutions, based in Lichtenstein, is also working on an at-home version of its professional laser system – Precise Laser Epidermal System (P.L.E.A.S.E.). Unlike the other devices on the market, Pantec’s platform is based on an ablative technology using an Er:YAG laser at 2940nm. Like the non-ablative technologies, Pantec’s system uses a laser scanner to create an array of micropores in a predefined area. However, its ablative technology can also be used for transdermal delivery of drugs or cosmetics. Stefan Summer, product manager at Pantec, confirmed that the at-home device will be based on the same platform as its professional products, ‘meaning a miniaturised diode-pumped Er:YAG laser (2940 nm)’. Pantec’s professional platform has been developed together with laser

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