Guidelines for Laser Operation and Safety Procedures

Guidelines for maintaining safe working conditions while using laser technology

As laser treatments to remove unwanted hair, pigmentation and other skin conditions become more popular, the number of laser treatment facilities are also growing. It is important that all owners and technicians of laser equipment operate under strict laser safety conditions to protect their clients, themselves and others.

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates the importation of both lasers and IPLs when they are used for therapeutic purposes. Thus, it is very important that all safety and training procedures are strictly adhered to in Australian clinics to prevent injuries.

The primary hazard associated with laser hair removal technology is from inadvertent exposure to laser emissions. Exposure can occur directly or when the beam is reflected on a shiny surface. The following is necessary to protect various body parts:
• Eyes: Use protective eye wear with the appropriate optical density.
• Skin and Fire Hazards: Intense laser radiation can burn the skin and initiate fire in combustible materials. Lasers must only be operated by trained and knowledgeable technicians and doctors to avoid injury to clients. Facilities must also have appropriate extinguishers and other technology in place to deal with electrical and other fires. Staff should be trained regularly on fire safety precautions.

Creating a laser safety program:
Each clinic operating laser devices should maintain an adequate safety program. Each facility should have a designated laser safety officer (LSO) who is charged with the following tasks:
• Establishing laser treatment controlled areas
• Approving standard operating procedures
• Recommending and approving safety equipment
• Auditing the functionality of control measures to ensure correct operation
• Approving signs and labels
• Assuring adequate safety education and training are provided

The above is only a brief guide to laser safety and it is important that each clinic follow the appropriate regulations in their state, obtain necessary operating permits and licenses, and take any additional measures to prevent health hazards from occurring. Operators should also refer to manufacturer supplied user information and training manuals.

zimmer cooling device

Zimmer Cooling Devices

Reducing patient pain and providing relief with the Zimmer Cryo Cooling device

The Zimmer Cryo Cooling device is an award winning system that minimizes pain and injury during laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments and provides temporary relief for cosmetic injections. According to data released by the Aesthetic Buyers Guide, over 51% of the most profitable aesthetic office procedures could be made more comfortable using the Zimmer Cryo Cold Air Cooling system. Some of these procedures include skin rejuvenation, laser hair removal, laser wrinkle reduction, Botox, chemical peels and sclerotherapy.

The Zimmer Cryo Cooling system uses a compressor system similar to a refrigerator to generate a permanent stream of cold air with a flow of 500 to 1000 litres per minute and a temperature as low as -30 Celsius, depending on the cooling level required (range of 1 to 9). The system consists of a thin tube with a special cooling adapter and the stream of cold air that hits the skin exactly at the place of the laser beam application. The adapter is easily fitted onto all laser types.

In a study carried out in Germany of 166 patients undergoing various treatments using different laser systems, 86% preferred cold air therapy. This study also found that, on average, the analgesic effect was 37% better with cold air than cooling with ice gel. The increased protection of the epidermis also made it possible to increase laser energy levels by 15-30% and, at the same time, to reduce the rate of side effects (erythema, purpura and crusting). All patients in the study who were epilated in the armpit and bikini area said that cold air therapy had a better analgesic effect than icepacks and gels. Doctors performing the treatments noted that the procedures became more practical, safer and more pleasant with application of cold air. This resulted in treatments carried out more quickly and with no breaks to apply a cooling medium. They also noted that the treatment area remained visible at all time and after treatment the patient did not have to clean any remaining cooling substances off of themselves.

Candela Lasers: Best in Market

Candela lasers are used in the latest treatment processes for hair removal and across a complete range of skin rejuvenation procedures. Candela offers gold standard hair removal devices suitable across all skin types. Typically Candela GentleLase machines are used in the treatment of sun damaged skin, age spots, freckles and hair removal.

Many technicians and clinic owners call Candela GentleLase devices the “Rolls Royce” of laser hair removal machines. Candela GentleLase machines are built using alexandrite lasers that are quicker, safer and less painful than other laser machines on the market. Alexandrite lasers are proven to provide better results as well. The GentleLase delivers a high-energy pulse that delivers the laser beam at a much faster rate than other more common ruby laser machines. In the United States, these machines have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for permanent hair removal.

The three most popular machines are the Candela Mini GentleLASE, Candela GentleLASE Plus and Candela Mini GentleYAG. All of these machines can be used across all skin types and feature the patented Dynamic Cooling system to maximize patient safety and comfort. Candela is one of the most trusted laser devices available on the market, winning the prestigious “Favorite Laser and Light Manufacturer” in American Spa Magazine’s Professional’s Choice Awards 2013.

Training to Become a Laser Hair Removal Technician

Training as a laser hair removal technician presents an exciting career move.

Laser hair removal technicians safely remove unwanted body hair permanently using laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) technology. Laser hair removal is a specialised area of beauty therapy and requires specific training and skill sets to remove hair safely and efficiently. Similar to cosmetologists and cosmetic surgeons, professional laser hair removal technicians work hard and take pride in improving each client’s self image.

The role of a laser hair removal technician involves meeting with clients and understanding their specific hair removal needs. During the initial consultation the technician must review skin type, ancestry, medication history and health habits to assess the safest and most effective settings for the laser device. The technician will then begin to apply the IPL or laser device over the client’s skin. For many clients new to laser hair removal the process may feel uncomfortable or they may be embarrassed and it is the technician’s job to put them at ease. This will involve managing any discomfort they may feel during the hair removal process.

In Australia, laser hair removal technicians are required to have certain certificates in order to operate laser hair removal technology. Many beauty colleges offer nationally recognised qualification courses and certificates such as the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Hair Reduction. During this course, students are trained in skin type analysis, as well as how to operate, design and apply laser hair removal systems on different types of skin and individuals. Generally, the student must already have a Diploma of Beauty Therapy or the equivalent relevant qualification to complete the Certificate.

As laser hair removal and IPL become increasingly popular, the demand for experienced laser hair removal technicians is growing. For beauticians looking to take that next step, training as a laser hair removal specialist could be an excellent and lucrative career move.