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The Future of Lasers in Skin Care

Oct 20, 2007
Over the course of the last twenty years, members of both the medical and scientific communities have worked diligently to explore the potentials that energy based devices may hold for healthcare and cosmetic applications. As of today, such technologies are a part of modern life, and have become integral tools to medical and cosmetology professionals.

The use of laser, led, intense pulse light, radio frequency, and ultrasonic energies are now commonplace, and recent advances in the efficiencies of these technologies have finally created reproducible services and procedures that meet patient and client expectations.

So what does the future hold for these incredible technologies? While surgical laser equipment, for example, has become prevalent in hospitals and outpatient surgery facilities, the largest segment of market growth has clearly been in the cosmetic and medical spa industry. At roughly $20 billion in annual sales in 2006, the medical spa industry is a force to be reckoned with.

Lasers and energy based technologies are at the heart of this emerging industry. In these environments, lasers and similar devices are utilized for the permanent reduction of unwanted hair, the eradication of tattoos or sun spots, the elimination of wrinkles, the tightening of skin, the treatment of acne, and much more.

Medical Laser Insight and many other industry reporting groups have estimated that the medical spa industry will reach in excess of $110 billion in annual sales revenue within the next ten years. As an integral part of this industry, there will no doubt be an obvious correlation with the growth of equipment manufacturing and medical spa support firms that will all stand to benefit from the increasing popularity of these advanced skin care services.

With each passing year, the medical spa world also becomes privileged to the introduction of new technologies and exciting new applications of energy based equipment. With each new technological threshold, the industry becomes strengthened and, subsequently, increasingly popular. The advent of laser hair removal, laser resurfacing, skin tightening and other services over the last few years have marked significant milestones in the evolution of this field.

As industry leaders and research groups continue to work to understand the potential that these technologies hold, we can only expect that each passing year will be marked by new applications and new tools to further bolster this rapidly expanding industry.

Another topic of interest that will surely receive a great deal of attention with regard to the use of lasers in skin care will be seen in related state and local legislative activities. Currently each state has been charged with the task of regulating its medical spas, but there are no two states that operate under the same exact set of rules. This is likely to change as each state looks for a standard to follow.

Common issues include the question of what type of professional is qualified to provide these services in a safe and effective manner, what type of education or training should be required, what is the role of the physician, and how is the equipment itself to be regulated. It is likely to be at least ten years or more before all of these issued may be settled and standard policies are accepted on a national basis.

The bottom line is that lasers and energy based equipment are now a part of the skin care industry and are no longer a futuristic concept. As the esthetics industry and its clients continue to embrace these technologies, the sky is truly the limit for what the next twenty years may hold.
About the Author
Jason Begley has been a contributor to the medical spa industry for more than 15 years. He is also one of the founders of the nations premier laser hair removal training school as well as the internets top cosmetic dentist and lasik surgeon directories.
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