Hoyun at Popgadget.net asks: What do you think of home laser treatment devices? Do they work?
The Right Brain responds:
Thanks for the question, Hoyun. We’re big fans of your blog and we saw your recent post on the Vitalmed Softlaser Wand for do-it-yourself laser skin treatments. Here’s what we think:
What do lasers do for skin?
As we previously posted, lasers are effective tools for the treatment of wrinkles and for skin resurfacing and specific laser devices have been approved by the FDA for use by dermatologists. Derms use these “professional strength” lasers to abrade the upper layers of skin, revealing “fresh” skin below. This is a serious treatment: some patients report mild pain and slight reddening (which can last for months.) For more information, you can read these laser facts from the FDA’s website.
What is the Vitalmed Softlaser Wand?
The Vitalmed Softlaser Wand (also known as the Beurer Softlaser) is a hand-held 5 milliwatt Aluminium – Gallium laser that produces a light beam with a wavelength 635 to 670 nanometers. According to a website that sells this thing, here’s the laundry list of things it does:
- Help reverse the effects of aging
- Reduce wrinkles & fine lines
- Stimulate collagen & tone skin
- Clears acne & erase blemishes, bruises
- Diminishes scars, stretch marks, cuts & burns
- Treats herpes / cold sores
- Helps treat tennis elbow, tendonitis, arthritis, sinusitis / rhinitis
- Heals eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, burns, spider veins & more…
- We make no medical claims in the U.S. – yet.
It’s interesting that they say they don’t make medical claims in the US, yet here it is for sale.
Does it really work?
We can’t find any evidence that laser devices sold for home use are effective. In the US, the FDA does not legally sanction these devices. In Europe, according to the websites, Softlaser is a certified Medical Device that complies with the EU Directive 93/42/EEC. We’re not experts in interpreting EU legal directives, but we scanned the 46 page document and couldn’t find any indication that product performance is a criteria for certification. It appears to be more of a safety registration document.
It seems to us that any device strong enough to produce the side effects mentioned above (when used by a dermatologist!) is probably not safe for home use. And if the home version is weaker and doesn’t have potential side effects it seems like it would be less likely to work.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
Since it’s not approved by the FDA and since we couldn’t find any clear evidence that this device actually works, we’re really skeptical. If any of our community in Europe, where this device is supposedly approved, have any additional information please let us know and we’ll update this post. In the meantime, you see a picture and find out more about a similar product, the Nuphase Soft Touch Laser here.