Laser hair removal is no longer provided at VCI. The below is for information purposes only.
What is the Apogee Elite Laser?
The Apogee Elite laser is designed specifically by Cynosure for laser hair removal . The Apogee Elite laser is actually two lasers in one. It has a 755nm wavelength laser (also known as the Alexandrite laser) and a 1064nm wavelength laser (also known as the Nd:YAG laser). Each wavelength is suited to a particular hair/skin type combination. This maximises the types of skin and hair types that can be treated with this laser and the safety and efficacy by which it can remove hair.
The general principles of laser hair removal are that;
- the laser is attracted to melanin (pigment) in the hair much more greatly than the melanin in the skin.
- the skin also releases the heat energy acquired from the laser a lot quicker than the hairs do, and therefore the temperature of the hairs is raised to a critical temperature, and this denatures the DNA in the hair follicle and prevents it from regrowing
The 755nm wavelength can also be used for skin rejuvenation, in particular, it can be useful for the treatment of skin pigmentation, including sun spots and freckles.
The 1064nm wavelength can also be used to stimulate new collagen production through deep dermal heating of the skin. This can result in improvements in skin texture and tightness.
What is the 1064nm Nd:YAG wavelength used for?
The 1064nm wavelength is also used for hair removal treatments. It is used in olive to darker skin types as it has a lesser degree of attraction to melanin than the 755nm wavelength, therefore giving a larger safety margin on darker skin types. However, due to its lower affinity to melanin than the 755nm wavelength, the 1064nm wavelength requires use of higher settings for the treatment, and therefore, slightly higher levels of discomfort. The 1064nm wavelength makes up for this with its ability to penetrate the skin deeply to reach the hair follicle.
The other use of the 1064nm wavelength is for the stimulation of new collagen production in the skin. By deeply heating the skin, it is able to stimulate new collagen production and improve skin tightness and texture.
What is the MPX mode?
The MPX or multiplex mode of the Apogee laser is when it combines its two wavelengths to maximise the effect of the laser in targeting the hairs. The depth of penetration and relative safety on darker skin types of the 1064nm wavelength along with the higher attraction to melanin of the 755nm are exploited in sequential pulses, and this helps remove hair that may be resistant to either wavelength alone.
What is a variable pulse width?
The pulse width of a laser is the time in which the laser energy is delivered. It can range from 5 milliseconds to 300 milliseconds. Coarse hairs will disperse heat slower than fine hairs, and therefore, finer hairs require treatment with a shorter pulse width. This ensures that the energy entering the hair follicle is absorbed quicker than it is dissipated, causing the hair follicle temperature to rise. However, the shorter the pulse width, the greater the chance of affecting/heating the skin. The Apogee laser has a variable pulse width to target both finer and coarser hairs.
How is the skin kept cool and protected whilst heating the hairs?
The Apogee laser is used in conjunction with a skin cooling machine called a Zimmer cooler. It cools the surface layer of the skin, allowing the laser to penetrate through the cooled skin to the hair follicle thus minimising the chance of any injury/damage to the skin, as well as significantly reducing any discomfort.