History of the Laser

The name LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The process which makes lasers possible, Stimulated Emission, was proposed in 1917 by Albert Einstein.

No one realized the incredible potential of this concept until the 1950′s, when practical research was first performed on applying the theory of stimulated emission to making lasers. It wasn’t until 1960 that the first true laser was made by Theodore Maimam, out of synthetic ruby.

History of the laser machine

The laser hair-removal systems currently used are relatively new; therefore, long-term results have not been reported. However, many reports about the efficacy of these systems have recently been published.

Success is typically reported in terms of permanent hair elimination or in terms of marked delay in its growth. Most investigators have assessed patients with light skin types (ie, Fitzpatrick skin types I-III), but recent groups have studied newer lasers for Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI

History of the procedure

Goldman et al first described ruby-laser injury to pigmented hair follicles in 1963. In 1983, Oshiro and Maruyama noted hair loss from nevi after treatment with a ruby laser. However, at fluences affecting hair follicles, the epidermis was severely damaged.

The theory of selective photothermolysis that Anderson and Parrish developed in 1983 was based on a laser of particular wavelength and a pulse duration of light to target a particular chromophore. By applying this theory, the target can be destroyed selectively, sparing the surrounding tissue.

Use of a topical suspension of carbon particles followed by treatment with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser was the first laser treatment for hair removal the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. This initial method reportedly delayed regrowth by 3 months, but it did not provide permanent hair reduction.

In 1996, Grossman and associates, who used a normal-mode ruby laser, reported the first application of Anderson and Parrish’s theory for hair removal. In 1998, Dierickx and associates published their report of a 2-year follow-up study demonstrating long-term, permanent hair removal with this laser.

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