The sun powers most of the processes of life on our planet and water is the key medium for the existence of life. It is perhaps unsurprising that light has a central role in the health and wellbeing of humans. Over millennia, mankind has explored therapeutic uses of light culminating in Nobel Prize winner Niels Finsen recommending the use of red light to treat smallpox in 1893, thus establishing the practice of scientific phototherapy.
In the past five years since their US introduction, there has been a rapid proliferation of energy-based hair removal devices intended for home-use. In the last two years in Europe, sales have already run into many tens of thousands of units with well-known multi-national companies entering the market.
By definition, cosmetic use of energy-based therapy by consumers is primarily directed at the skin surface where unwanted body and facial hair, acneiform eruptions, age-related wrinkles, sun and wind damage as well as topographic changes to the skin caused by skin dimpling and excess fat deposits arise. The high demand for hair removal amongst darker skin types demands a careful evaluation of the risks associated with light therapy in skin with high levels of melanin and the uncontrolled nature of the consumer market also requires a precise assessment of ocular and dermal hazards associated with the application of home-use devices.
Cosmetic applications for energy-based home-use treatments include:
• Unwanted facial and body hair removal / management
• Hair stimulation for consumers suffering with alopecia
• Facial lines and wrinkles
• Pigmented skin dischromia
• Pimples and skin blemishes associated with acne
• Cellulite (peau d’orange skin)
• Cold sore treatment
• Scar reduction
• Fat reduction
HUD manufacturers and medical professionals are dedicated to ensuring the marketing of safe and effective at home energy-based devices.