Achieving Maximum Onychomycosis Clearance Rates

As well as our own multi-centre Clinical Study, Ellipse has undertaken a literature review, taken expert opinion from the dermatologists we work with, and picked up information from conferences around the world. Based on this, we are pleased to offer this short professional guide to treatments, and how to get the best possible clearance result. A patient guide is also available.

Background – When we introduced the treatment , we were quite clear that the treatment is ”Temporary increase of clear nail in patients with onychomycosis”. This is also the approved wording of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In other words, this is not a vaccine guaranteeing permanent freedom from nail fungus. An individual patient may have nail fungus because of injury to the nail or because of health or environmental factors – all of which make reinfection possible. This is equally true if the treatment is based on medication or on light, and in both cases health and lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risk of reinfection. A list of recommendations to patients is shown in the patient guide.

The sub-millisecond pulse is better. Our original study compared a 35ms pulse with a sub-millisecond one, and the 12 month follow-up clearly shows the superiority of the shorter pulse.

Ellipse has had no negative feedback about the efficacy of our treatment, but various national conferences have included comments that with other light-based treatments, reinfection occurs before the whole nail is clear. We would therefore make the following suggestions to maximize the treatment effect:

  • If nails are thick, file them down to 1-1.5mm thickness before laser treatment is performed.
  • Perform 4-5 treatments with 1-3 weeks interval to maximize the destruction of the fungus.
  • Use 4 consecutive passes on each nail, before changing to the next nail. Treat a fifth pass as optional.
  • Use a fluence of at least 16J/cm2. Higher fluence will improve the result, so increase up to 22 J/cm2, if the patient can tolerate it.
  • Undertake a 3 month post treatment follow up. If in doubt that all fungus has disappeared, perform an additional treatment.
  • Ask the patient to come for a check-up every 6 months until all nails have completely recovered and perform an additional treatment until complete clearance is achieved.
  • Laser treatment might benefit from the combination of home treatment with a water based topical nail lacquer such as Onytec or Ciclopoli, with 8% ciclopirox(i) (ii) , as the active compound, applied to the nail in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure that the patient is fully aware of his or her role in preventing reoccurrence.
  • If there appears to be no improvement after treatment, check that the patient does have onychomycosis and not another disease such as psoriasis.

(i) Monti D, Tampucci S, Chetoni P, Burgalassi S, Mailland F. Ciclopirox vs amorolfine: in vitro penetration into and permeation through human healthy nails of commercial nail lacquers. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Feb;13(2):143-7

(ii) Togni G, Mailland F. Antifungal activity, experimental infections and nail permeation of an innovative ciclopirox nail lacquer based on a water-soluble biopolymer. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 May;9(5):525-30.


If you want to download the Whitepaper click here.

If you want to download the Patient Guide click here.

Our very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

Wherever you are, Ellipse would like to wish you the compliments of the season, and hope that we all enjoy peace and prosperity in 2014.


Onychomycosis (Nail Fungus) – A NEW Ellipse treatment

October 2013 saw the international launch of the new Ellipse Nd:YAG treatment of onychomycosis (nail fungus). The launch took place at EADV 2013 in Istanbul.

The treatment

Ellipse laser treatment of Onychomycosis offers a quick, painless and effective treatment. Quick: because of a new sub-millisecond pulse, and a high repetition rate, it is possible to treat 10 nails in 10 minutes. Painless: patients were asked to grade the pain on a level from 0-10, and gave an average score of 0.25!  This is because of the short pulse used (which seems to confuse the nerves that would send pain messages) and even more because the Ellipse has SoftCool technology that blows a constant  stream of cool air over the area being treated. Effective: in the study 79% of patients saw an improvement in their nails, shown as an area of clear nail growth. Because nails (especially toe nails) grow slowly, this is not an overnight effect, but a process which can take a year to fully resolve.

Treatment is available on the Ellipse MultiFlex+, and are simple for both the patient and the operator. The nail must be clear of polish, and cut short. Treatment uses a standard pulse and standard energy and the laser moves across to cover the whole nail including the nail folds, with a 50% overlap. Five passes are made over each complete nail.

5 passes ensure complete coverage

A pass-counter ensures that nails can receive the full five passes, even in the busiest clinics.

The disease

Onychomycosis is unbelievably common (estimates vary but between 2% and 8% of the world population is affected).  It affects mainly adults, and the chances of developing it increase with age (although adults who swim or run are at increased risk, because of infection from puddles in communal showers, or trauma to the toes when running). The chance of an individual developing the condition is 20%. A study – the Achilles project –  across Europe and East Asia (China, Taiwan and South Korea) showed that more than 1 person in 4 visiting his family doctor had the condition, and this figure rose to more than 1 in 3 if he was seeing the doctor for anything involving feet.

Onychomycosis can be caused by several  different fungi, and the appearance of nails can vary, but typically nails are thick and discoloured (white, black, yellow or green). The nail may be brittle, broken or even totally missing nails; there may be white or yellow patches on the nail-bed, and surrounding skin may be inflamed, painful or scaly.

Different appearances of onychomycosis

Different appearances of onychomycosis

Other treatments

Various other treatment modalities exist (including various home remedies), but the main options are

  1. to use a topical anti-fungal nail-paint available from a pharmacist,
  2. to use  a stronger (prescription) anti-fungal paint following a doctor’s visit.
  3. to use a course of systemic (taken by mouth) anti-fungal drugs.

Both the prescription paints and anti-fungal drugs carry a significant risk of side effects, which can be unpleasant. And they do not always work: the nail-paints have an average success rate of below 30% (as low as 15% on toe nails) while the various studies of oral medication shows success to be from 50-70% at best. A further complication is the long treatment time, typically between 3 to 11 months, and sometimes a variable treatment pattern where the patient takes them for a while, rests and takes them again. This can cause certain patients to forget to comply with the instructions.

By comparison, Ellipse laser treatment is a series of 3 short treatments, with no side effects and no pain, offering a greater success rate than medication without the side effects.

Before and 4 months after 3 treatments

Before and 4 months after 3 treatments

Before and 4 months after 3 treatments

Before and 4 months after 3 treatments

 Further information

Click on the Link to download a copy of our White Paper, or Information Sheet, or Patient Leaflet.

Click on this Link to see our treatment video on YouTube

Ellipse Acne and Wrinkle Treatments: The Clinical Evidence

Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light Treatments of Acne and Wrinkles

A quick introduction:

Ellipse acne treatment works in combination with a medication called adapalene (marketed as Redap® or Differin® gel or cream). There is a also considerable clinical evidence that using light from the Ellipse PR+ or PL+ applicator, together with a 5-ALA photosensitizer produces a significant improvement in Acne, (or a great-enough improvement in collagen production to reduce fine lines and wrinkles).  Using a light source together with a photosensitizer, is known as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

So we have to add a legal note here. Ellipse is cleared as a light source, but there are currently no photosensitizers approved for treating acne nor improvement of fine lines. For regulatory approval status, please see “Instructions for use” or contact Ellipse A/S. Information is included not as an endorsement of a treatment for which Ellipse does not have regulatory approval of, but to raise awareness of the research.

Acne: The clinical evidence (Ellipse I2PL)

Clinical Study and Evaluation of Treatment of Face Acne Vulgaris with Intense Pulsed Light (Chin J Dermato Venerol Integ Trad W Med 2009, Vol. 8 No. 6)

This quite large study (116 Chinese patients) showed 85% had a 30% improvement in acne and over 40% had a 60% improvement – using light alone  – from 5 treatments.

Treatment of facial acne papules and pustules in Korean patients using an intense pulsed light device equipped with a 530- to 750 nm filter. Sung-Eun Chang, MD et al. (Dermatol Surg 2007; 33: 676 – 679)



A split faced study comparing use of a standard acne medication alone (benzoyl peroxide gel) with a combination treatment of benzoyl peroxide gel and Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light. The study found that use of Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light gave improvements in acne red macules, irregular pigmentation, and skin tone in Korean acne patients.

Acne: The clinical evidence (Ellipse I2PL in combination with 5-ALA)

Liposome-encapsulated 0.5% 5-aminolevulinic acid with intense pulsed light for the treatment of inflammatory facial acne: A pilot study. Chi K. Yeung, MBBS et al. (Dermatol Surg 2011; 37: 450 – 459)


A pilot study looking at acne in an Asian (Hong Kong) population. Results were encouraging showing mean reductions in inflammatory lesions of 52% at 1 month and 65% at 6 months after treatment, and also a drop in the level of sebum production on the forehead (lasting approx. 1 month).  The treatment protocol was subsequently altered to include a waiting period between application of the PhotoSpray and start of light treatment.

0.5% liposome-encapsulated 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) photodynamic therapy for acne treatment. Jee-Soo An et al. (Journal of Cosmetic and laser Therapy, 2011; 13: 28 – 32).

Korean study

Another encouraging Asian study, this time from Korea. The mean reduction in acne grade at the end of the treatment was 43.2%. 69.2% of patients reported improvements in subjective skin oiliness (sebum production). The study also reveals PhotoSpray is better tolerated by Asian patients than the alternative (higher-concentration) ALA sources, causing no side effects.

Photodynamic therapy of acne vulgaris using 5-aminolevulinic acid 0.5% liposomal spray and intense pulsed light in combination with topical keratolytic agents. J. de Leeuw et al. (JEADV 2010, 24, 460 – 469) 

One of the first published studies, and one which showed conclusively that 0.5% ALA is selectively absorbed (and converted) in the sebaceous glands of patients with acne, and also that the light used in the treatment causes the converted Protoporphyrin IX to be photo-bleached (used-up).


A) Before treatment; B) concentration of PpIX in the acne nodule after 1 hour spraying with PhotoSpray C) lower concentration after light treatment

Both the clearance rates, and the before and after pictures are impressive, as is the fact that there were no adverse effects from treatment.


Left: Before Li-PDT-PC. Right: After 6 Li-PDT-PC treatments in 6 months (improvement 90%). No side effects. No effect from previous treatment with cyproteron ⁄ ethinylestradiol and systemic minocycline.

Left: Before Li-PDT-PC. Right: After 6 Li-PDT-PC treatments in 6 months (improvement 90%). No side effects. No effect from previous treatment with cyproteron ⁄ ethinylestradiol and systemic minocycline.

It is worth noting that the study assessed the efficacy and the safety of PDT using 5-ALA 0.5% in liposomal spray and intense pulsed light (IPL) in combination with topical peeling agents (Li-PDT-PC).

Wrinkle Reduction: The clinical evidence (Ellipse I2PL in combination with 5-ALA)

Efficacy and tolerability of 5-aminolevulinic acid 0.5% liposomal spray and intense pulsed light in wrinkle reduction of photoaged skin. Antonella Piccioni et al. (Journal of Dermatological treatment. 2011 Early Online: 1-7)

A study showing statistically significant improvements in periorbital and nasolabial wrinkles. The average overall improvement was greater for periorbital than for nasolabial wrinkles. No side effects were observed during and after treatment. The degree of overall improvement was scored as excellent by 47% of the volunteers.


Ellipse Vascular Treatments: The Clinical Proof

Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light Treatments

A quick definition:
Vascular treatments are treatments of blood vessels, and use of laser and intense pulsed light tends to be restricted to veins, venules (smaller vessels that link veins to capillaries) and capillaries (the smallest blood vessels). The location, structure and rapid flow of blood in arteries and the smaller arterioles makes them unsuitable for light based treatment. Ellipse has two different Intense Pulsed Light applicators, the PR+ (with a waveband from 530-750nm and the VL+ 555-950nm, which allows treatments of vessels at different depths in the skin, as well as an Nd:YAG laser (1064nm). Choosing the correct tool enables Ellipse users to treat vessels of many different sizes, and therefore treatment of many different vascular problems. As always, it is easy to claim success, but Ellipse has a considerable amount of proof – enough to be considered the new gold standard for vascular treatments.

The clinical proof:
Intense pulsed light source for the treatment of facial telangiectasias. P. Bjerring et al. (J Cosmetic & Laser Ther 2001; 3: 169 – 173)

The first Ellipse vascular paper, and one which showed excellent clinical results (All patients showed some improvement, 83% showed a 50% or greater improvement and 67% showed a 75% or greater improvement). Not only that the study showed that the risk of side effects of treatment was lower than with laser, and that no skin cooling was required.

Before and After 4 treatments

Before and After 4 treatments

 Intense pulsed light source for the treatment of dye laser resistant port-wine stains. P. Bjerring et al. (J Cosmetic & Laser Ther 2003; 5: 7-13)

As a quick background information, no treatment has 100% success rates. This study looked at treatment of patients who had previously not responded to the other “state of the art” treatment – Pulsed Dye Laser -  and found that many (all those treated outside a certain central area of the face), called the V2 area) responded to Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light.

Before and After 4 X IPL treatments

Before and After 4 X IPL treatments


The study took a group of German patients and treated part of the PWS with a reputable pulsed dye laser, and part with Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light. Results showed 85% of the treated PWS responded with clearing. Better clearing by PDL was seen in 13%, whereas IPL was superior in 42%. No differences in clearing were recorded in 31%, and concluded ” These preliminary data suggest the IPL technology as a superior treatment option for PWS”.

The superiority of Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light over Pulsed Dye laser was confirmed in a larger study “Comparison of intense pulsed light (IPL) and pulsed dye laser (PDL) in port-wine stain treatment. Michael Drosner et al. (Medical Laser Application 23 (2008) 133 – 140)” and separately by “Split-face comparison of intense pulsed light with short- and long-pulsed dye lasers for the treatment of port-wine stains. Philipp Babilas et al. (Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 42: 720- 727, 2010)

Early treatment of haemangioma in childhood using IPL. M. Drosner (EADV, 16-24 May, 2007)

An important study that found good results in treatment of newborn children with haemangiomas. However, this has partly been overtaken by use of the drug propranolol.

Progressive disseminated essential telangiectasia and erythrosis interfollicularis colli as examples for successful treatment with a high-intensity flashlamp. Sabrina M. Wenzel, MD et al. (Dermatology 2008; 217: 286 – 290)



A study which showed 90% clearance in telangiectasias without the risks associated with using Pulsed Dye Laser .

Clinical application of intense pulsed light in facial telangiectasis in 238 cases (Chinese J Aesth Plast Surg , Apr. 2008 , Vol. 19 , No. 2)

It is often said that clinical studies use only a few patients; here is a study on 238 Chinese patients that found all showed improvement of at least 30% from 1-3 treatments (over 40% showed at least 60% improvement). The study also reported an improvement in wrinkles following treatment.

Ellipse Nd:YAG treatments

Of course, it is possible to treat certain vessels with Ellipse Nd:YAG instead of Intense Pulsed Light.  Leg vessels respond much better to the longer wavelength of the Nd:YAG, but the Nd:YAG can also be used for difficult telangiectasias on the face.

Long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser: does it give clinical benefit of the treatment of facial telangiectasia? J. H. Lee et al. (Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and venerology 2011)


Five men and seven women were enrolled (aged 43 ± 5.8 years). Total clearance of vessels was 78.3%. The number of vessels in diameter of 0.1 mm was reduced by 61.1% and that of vessels in diameter of 0.2–0.3 mm decreased by 92.2% on the average at 12-week follow-up. Eleven of 12 patients were very satisfied with the clinical results. One patient rated as ‘satisfied’ due to hyperpigmentation after the treatment, which improved at 2-week follow-up.

Ellipse Rejuvenation: The clinical proof



Ellipse Rejuvenation treatments  (Skin Rejuvenation or Photorejuvenation depending on the applicator used)  are treatments to improve sun damaged skin – which either presents as redness (leading eventually to formation of larger blood vessels) or as areas of dyspigmentation, and eventually age spots (also called liver spots and medically called solar lentigines). In the US, the term rejuvenation is not allowed (there it is officially referred to as redness and pigmentation). But system operators and patients as always deserve to know that the treatments they offer  or receive work. The list below shows some of the clinical proof provided by Ellipse.

Facial photo rejuvenation using two different Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) wavelength bands. Peter Bjerring, MD et al. (Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 34: 120 – 126, 2004)

The first study, and an important one that should widespread success, but also showed that in European skin, on applicator used , the VL-2 (now remodelled as the VL+) produced better results on pigment, while the PR (now PR+) achieved better results on redness. The study also reported that despite using less energy, success with Ellipse required fewer treatments than  than with other Intense Pulsed Light devices..

Before and After Two Treatments

Before and After Two Treatments

Photorejuvenation by Intense Pulsed Light with objective measurement of skin colour in Japanese patients. Kei Negishi, MD et al. (Dermatol Surg 2006; 32: 1380 – 1387)

A fascinating study that shows not only high patient satisfaction, but highlighted a condition called hidden melasma, rare in Europe but more common in Asia, that had the potential to be impacted by treatment. Even more interesting, the study showed some ability to lighten the skin of the patient


Skin rejuvenation using intense pulsed light. A randomized controlled split-face trial with blinded response evaluation. Lene Hedelund, MD et. al. (Arch Dermatol/Vol 142, Aug. 2006, 985 – 990)

An important study showing that Ellipse treatments not only had a positive result on redness and pigment but also on skin texture


Safety and efficacy of a second-generation intense pulsed source for treating Asian skin. Harue Suzuki et al.

Another study showing good results, but also finding that vascular treatments on Asian skin were better using the VL-2/VL+ applicator, because of the slightly thicker epidermis

Ellipse Hair Removal: the clinical proof

Hair Removal is the basis for many clients seeking Intense Pulsed Light treatment. For the clinic owning the equipment, it is equally important to know that the system used removes hair, and that it stays away.

Hair removal with second generation broad spectrum intense pulsed light source – a long-term follow-up. Agneta Troilius et. al (Journal of cutaneous laser therapy 1999; 1: 173-178)

The first published study by Ellipse investigated the bikini line hair of 10 Swedish patients. A hair count was made before, 4 months (1 hair cycle) after and 8 months (2 hair cycles after) 4 treatments (1 month between treatments).

Troilius Study

Before and 8 months after 4 treatments

The study showed hair reduction of 75% at 4 months and 80% at 8 months

Hair reduction using a new intense pulsed light irradiator and a normal mode ruby laser. Peter Bjerring et al. (Journal of cutaneous laser therapy 2000; 2: 63-71)

In 2000, use of ruby laser for hair removal was the norm, and this study found that 93.5% of patients treated with Ellipse I2PL achieved measurable hair loss, compared to only 55% with the ruby laser.  Figures for both systems were lower than  would now be expected, as treatment parameters and intervals have evolved in the subsequent 13 years.

Comparison of different methods of photo epilation. S. Strangl et al. ( Med. Laser Appl. 17: 349 (2002))

An interesting German study that compared Ellipse 2nd generation Intense Pulsed Light with a first generation system (ie the effect of dual mode filtering) and with Diode and Alexandrite lasers. Various body sites were treated with each system. “The best results were obtained with the second generation  IPL system Ellipse”

Photoepilation results of axillary hair in dark-skinned patients by intense pulsed light: comparison between different wavelengths and pulse widths. Jong Hee Lee et. al. (Dermatol Surg 2006; 32: 239-245) 

Jong Hee Lee study

A Korean study comparing the HR and HR-D applicators  when treating axilla. The HR-D gave an average clearance of 83%, with no side effects.

Hair removal with Ellipse Flex intense pulsed light system. Zeng et. al. (Chinese Journal of Aesthetic Medicine. Nov. 2006. Vol.15. No.11)

A huge study of 365 patients, that showed the HR applicator to remove and average of 96% of hair after 3-7 treatments.

Hair removal of hirsutism caused by endocrinological disease or drug induced – a retrospective study of 253 patients. Lo Rumar et al. (EADV 2008)

An interesting Swedish study that looked at hair removal in various groups of “problem” patients, transsexuals, those with hormone problems (including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – PCOS – and those whose hirsutism was caused by medication. The number of treatments required to get results is naturally higher, but the study concluded that (Ellipse) IPL was equally as effective in patients with hormonal problems as those without.

Intense pulsed light photoepilation turns out to be permanent at 5-9 years follow-up. Peter Bjerring, MD et al. (White paper, 2011)

Hair reduction with intense pulsed light – is it permanent? – a 5-10 years follow-up investigation gives the answer. Peter Bjerring, MD et al. (22nd World Congress of Dermatology, Seoul, Korea, 24-29 May, 2011)

Two papers on a very long term follow-up study (5-9 years after treatment) ended, that found only very modest regrowth after this time, and concluded that treatment could be considered as permanent hair removal.

HR clinical Proof Ref 2

The image shows a clearance of 63%, 9 years after the end of treatments.

Ellipse: clinically proven , safe and effective

Clinically proven, safe and effective

Ellipse has used the slogan ”Clinically proven , safe and effective” for many years, but what does it really mean?

Welcome to a short series of blog entries that will be issued over the next few weeks, leading up to the launch of a brand new Ellipse treatment. To find out more, and be amongst the first in the world to learn about the new treatment, remember to follow this blog.

The series of blogs will cover

  1. The Ellipse commitment to research
  2. Hair Removal: the clinical proof √
  3. Rejuvenation: the clinical proof √
  4. Vascular treatments: the clinical proof √
  5. Acne and wrinkles: the clinical proof √

The Ellipse commitment to research

Ellipse has had an ongoing commitment to research since it was started 16 years ago. Rather than produce a “black box” and try to find what it could be used for, Ellipse has worked with leading dermatologists to build a system “from the skin up”. In other words, we have identified a problem, and then worked with specialist doctors to design a system, an applicator and a treatment protocol to solve this problem. Both users and clients need to be certain that safe and effective means just that. The certainty comes from the clinical proof.

So before each new treatment is made available, it is first tested in a clinical trial. This is a test carried out on a group of volunteers, under very strict conditions that are independently approved, where the improvements  are evaluated both by the patients themselves, and by physicians; where any side effects or feeling of discomfort are noted; and where the final results are measured and statistics produced. Follow-up examinations of the patients are held to make sure that the results are real and long-lasting. When all of this has been done, the clinical trial is submitted to a journal (a trade magazine for dermatologists), where it is independently reviewed – and only published if the reviewers agree with the conclusion.

By following the clinical trial route, we can be sure that your treatment should always produce known “clinically proven” results.  This means that the patient or client is always a patient or client, and never a lab rat.

Campbell De Morgan Spots

Known as Campbell de Morgan spots (after the doctor who first identified them) or as cherry angiomas,  ruby spots, or even blood spots, the sheer variety of names shows how widespread these harmless vascular lesions are.  Appearing first when the patient is aged 30-45 years, at age 75, 3 patients out of 4 have them; for this reason most dermatologists refer to the lesions as senile haemangiomas.

09-07-2013 14-48-54

Found on the trunk, arms and legs, senile haemangiomas are normally small and bright red in colour: However they can darken, grow in diameter (and number) and even rise up from the surface of the skin (so that they catch on clothing and start to bleed).  So, although harmless, they can be an annoyance.

09-07-2013 14-53-48


Senile haemangiomas can be treated easily using either the Ellipse Nd:YAG laser or the Ellipse PR+ handpiece (protecting the surrounding undamaged skin by treating through a hole cut in gauze or white paper). The two alternative methods of treating can be seen on the EllipseDenmark YouTube channel. Only a single treatment in normally required.

Toxins Detected in Diode and Alexandrite Laser Plumes

Ob. Gyn. News* recently reported that laser plumes (the “smoke” released when diode or alexandrite laser are used for hair removal) may be hazardous to the health of the operator.

Ellipse Intense Pulsed Light treatment does not produce the same plume of smoke, because with Ellipse :

  • The hair is shaved
  • The skin is covered with a thin layer of gel. This is designed to aid light penetration, but acts as a barrier preventing the release of smoke.
  • The light goes down into the skin and heats up the hair to around 70C – so the hair does not vaporize as in diode or alexandrite laser treatment.


Ellipse applicators produce no plume

The report is based on a speech given at the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) by Dr Gary S Chuang, of the department of dermatology at Tufts Medical Centre, Boston, who with colleagues at Boston University captured the gas produced from a hair treated with a single pulse from diode or alexandrite laser, and analysed it. He found 300 different compounds were released including 13 that are hazardous to health, including:

  • Benzene, toluene, and ethylbenzene (commonly found in car exhaust, cigarette smoke, glue, paint, wax and detergents, and linked to leukaemia and bone marrow abnormalities.
  • 2-Methylpyridine, which can cause headache and nausea.
  • Diethyl phthalate, used in cosmetics and fragrances, shown to cause birth defects in pregnant rats.
  • Trimethyl disulphide, responsible for the smell of burned hair.
  • Various soap and perfume components of unknown toxicity.

Dr Jeffrey Dover, ASLMS President and a dermatologist in private practice in Chestnut Hill, Mass commented on Dr Chuang’s findings by saying

“I think these findings raise a significant concern about safety, especially for those who repeatedly perform laser hair removal procedures. My guess is that we and our staff are at risk when we do these procedures, and so probably are the patients in that room, and the patients in the neighbouring room and the hallway. For those repeatedly performing the procedure, those risks are magnified.

Short of wearing a re-breather-type respirator such as those worn by workers who handle hazardous materials, masks and evacuators may not offer sufficient protection against prolonged, repeated exposures to the chemical constituents of laser plumes.”

While this is news to most of us, it backs up comments that have been made by many Health and Safety Bodies for some years.  The US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, and UK Health and Safety Executive all give detailed guidance on smoke evacuation and personal protection against smoke.

*Source: Ob. Gyn. News 


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