Unwanted hair is a very common complaint among both men and women. It can occur most anywhere on the face and body, and it can be very embarrassing and difficult to remove. Many people are looking for simple ways of permanently removing hair so they no longer have to worry about shaving, waxing or other short-term solutions. Two common methods of long-term hair removal are laser hair removal and intense pulsed light, also known as IPL.
IPL vs Laser Hair Removal
IPL and laser hair removal are often confused. During the intense pulsed light procedure, non-coherent intense pulses of light ranging between the wavelengths of 500 nm and 1200 nm are used to remove hair. Laser hair removal, on the other hand, uses coherent and monochromatic light generated by a laser.
During an IPL treatment, the light is directed to the surface of the skin using an articulated arm or hand-held device. The light passes through the surface of the skin to the root of the hair. The light is converted into intense heat that destroys the root and the majority of the hair shaft instantly. The heat also destroys the papilla that produces hair. The procedure does not permanently remove all hair, but it does permanently decrease the amount of hair in the treated area.
Laser hair removal utilizes a precise laser beam to pinpoint the darkly pigmented hair without affecting the surrounding tissue. Like IPL, laser treatments rely on heat to kill the root of the hair and prevent it from regrowing. The hair is not destroyed immediately, but it falls out in time. Multiple sessions are usually required, but it is often possible to achieve permanent hair removal or reduction. Some of the best laser available on the market are the EpiCare DUO and the EpiCare LPX that guarantee permanent hair removal.
Side Effects of IPL vs Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is generally associated with fewer side effects or complications than IPL. The most common side effects of each are redness, itching, acne or swelling. These side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within two to three days. More serious complications include changes in skin pigmentation, burning, scarring or changes in skin texture.
Intense pulsed light is an older technology. Laser hair removal is a newer and more advanced method. Though each session is cheaper, patients will benefit more from laser hair removal because fewer sessions are typically required. Laser hair removal also provides better and more permanent results.