New to Intense Pulsed light (IPL, VPL, SPL, SHR etc..) ?
Despite what the manufacturer’s brochure may claim their IPL machine can treat, the reality is always different. Laser science is not negotiable and often the claims cannot be backed up with independent clinical studies. The safest people to treat are those with fair skins, the riskiest skin to treat is Asian, olive skin, chronic sun damaged and darker skin types.
What can Pulsed light be used to treat?
- Skin rejuvenation: pigmented lesions, superficial diffuse redness (rosacea), small fine veins on the face, and stimulation of collagen.
- Hair removal: often dubbed ‘waxing with light’ – under powered and inferior technology pulsed light devices can be as effective as waxing and do not produce long term desirable results. However there are selected systems that work within the realm of desirable results and the technology is based on effective science. The latter costs significantly more than the first version. Costs can typically vary between: $5,000 to well over $100,000.
Looking at starting up a Laser clinic ?
There is a lot of competition out there and making the right investments upfront can be the difference between being able to succeed long term and crashing and burning (pardon the pun). This is not the only consideration; marketing plays a huge part in the success as well.
The science behind how these lasers work is quite specific to destroying tattoo ink; this principle depends on effective power being delivered in the right amount of time at the right depth of skin. Considering all of this, the practical side of the treatment looks easy doesn’t it? As mentioned above these devices can vary in price from a few thousand to $100, 000.
The biggest issue with laser tattoo removal devices is the inability to fire quick enough (ideally 7-10 hertz – that’s 7 to 10 shots per second), and to deliver enough peak power to obliterate the ink particles.
What minimum training would be required to get started with laser or pulsed light ?
- Introduction to laser science
- Introduction to laser tissue interaction
- Laser safety
- Eye hazards / safe practise / treatment room guidelines
- How to conduct a thorough client consultation and consent
- Understand how skin typing works and how this effects who can be treated or not and why
- Basic training in correct technique with the hand piece on the skin
- Client safety / operator safety / risk assessment
- Melanoma and skin cancer awareness
On-going training should include:
- Trouble shooting scenarios
- Group discussions to extend practical clinical knowledge
- Advanced techniques - optimising results
- Increasing technical knowledge
- Broad knowledge in matters that include skin and skincare
- Access to professional networks
Frequently Asked Questions:1. Where do I get a good cheap machine ?
Cheap and good don’t fit in the same sentence; you can either have a good machine or a cheap one. If you can’t gather a deposit of around $5000 and finance company who will provide you with the right payment plan, maybe you are better off waiting and saving?
Buying a cheap machine may seem like a good way to ‘make some money’ – but at who’s expense. The inferior results may come back to bite you when your clients don’t get the desired or promised results, then if you get a better quality machine they may not be around.
A good middle ground would be to get an average machine that is priced around $30 - $50K and get started on basic skin rejuvenation and hair removal.
2. How do I know what to ask?
By undertaking a basic training session, you will be in a position to understand how these devices work and what important factors must be considered. This could be as simple as spending a few hours discussing your goals with one of our trainers who can either visit you on-site (Auckland), or arranging a paid remote consultation via video chat. Alternatively it may be worth ‘grabbing a seat’ and coming to see us in Auckland. We also provide some free information which may be of help, however being able to decipher this and ‘read between the lines’ when the sales rep replies, is also essential.
3. Why do quality machines cost so much?
Quality optics and electronics (the important bits of the system) cost money, i.e.: the difference between one crystal filter within a quality system costing around $3K and the cheaper version of the entire machine costing $3K in total, highlights where some variances might be.
4. How do I know who to trust and which suppliers are telling the truth?
By understanding the non-negotiable science of lasers and pulsed lights and by asking the right questions, potential buyers will be able to make informed decisions.
5.The brochures look pretty impressive and they seem to know what they are talking about, the staff are very friendly and I trust what they are saying, should I go ahead with the purchase?
This is your checklist:
- Supplier can provide on-going training, marketing & support materials
- Parts and components are readily available and affordable
- Upgrade platforms are available as your business grows
- Technical service agents are available in your area and loan machines are available
- When you ask for before and after images, clinical studies or reference sites the supplier can oblige
- Underpowered systems unable to deliver sufficient energy to create desired result
- Slow systems due to low grade capacitors, laser cavities, optics and other relevant components - speed is vital in hair removal and tattoo removal
- Large hand pieces claiming to make the treatment faster
- Systems claiming they can safely treat all skin colours and all hair colours