Aesthetic beauty treatments have seen a significant transformation over the years, with laser technology taking centre stage. Among various laser systems available, diode and alexandrite lasers stand out, offering remarkable results in a range of cosmetic procedures. Understanding the variances between these two laser types is crucial for both you, as a practitioner and owner, and your clients seeking the best outcomes.
In this article, we will explore the world of diode and alexandrite lasers, delve into their unique mechanisms, and the specific applications that set them apart.
Understanding Diode Lasers
Diode lasers are a popular choice for many clinic owners as it is cheaper and more compact. However, some disadvantages come with such a laser and it is essential to understand how diode lasers work and their specific attributes, to find the right fit for your clinic.
How Diode Lasers Work
In diode lasers, semiconductor diodes are used as the active medium for generating laser light. When an electric current passes through the diode, it releases energy in the form of photons, creating a coherent laser beam. As diode lasers emit light in a single wavelength, they result in concentrated and powerful beams of light.
Wavelength and Cosmetic Relevance
The wavelength of a diode laser is a key factor in determining its applications and effectiveness. Typically, diode lasers emit light in the range of 800 to 810 nanometers. This wavelength is highly effective for targeting melanin, the pigment responsible for skin and hair colour. As a result, diode lasers are specifically well-suited for hair removal procedures. As the laser’s wavelength absorbs melanin, hair follicles are destroyed while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
Applications and Advantages
While diode lasers excel in hair removal due to their effectiveness on a wide range of skin types, they can also be used for skin rejuvenation and in some cases tattoo removal, especially for certain ink colours.
The speed at which diode lasers can treat larger areas, like the legs or back, makes them a time-efficient option. However, as much as the speed is an advantage, multiple sessions are typically required to achieve optimal results. While pain sensitivities vary widely, diode laser treatments usually involve minimal discomfort and downtime, making them a convenient option for busy patients.
The Power of Alexandrite Lasers
Alexandrite lasers offer a unique set of characteristics and capabilities that distinguish them from other laser systems. While alexandrite lasers provide outstanding results, they also have their limitations, just like diode lasers. It is important to understand how alexandrite lasers work to make an informed decision.
How Alexandrite Lasers Work
As the name suggests, alexandrite lasers use alexandrite crystals as the active medium for generating laser light. The produced laser light is a high-energy, near-infrared beam that can be precisely calibrated for a range of cosmetic applications.
Wavelength and Cosmetic Relevance
The wavelength of an alexandrite laser falls within the range of 755 to 765 nanometers. Similar to diode lasers, this wavelength is highly effective in targeting melanin. However, the slight difference in wavelength can impact the penetration depth and applications. Compared to diode lasers, alexandrite lasers have a shorter wavelength, making them particularly suited for precise and shallow treatments.
Applications and Advantages
While alexandrite lasers are incredibly effective for hair removal, especially on individuals with lighter skin types, they are also very diverse. These lasers can be used to target pigmented lesions, such as freckles and age spots, as well as to remove dark and black ink tattoos.
Alexandrite lasers are known for their high repetition rates, allowing for faster treatment sessions and quicker results. However, as effective as alexandrite lasers are on lighter skin tones, they may not work as well on darker skin due to the risk of pigmentation changes.
Key Differences Between Diode and Alexandrite Lasers
Wavelength and Treatments
Alexandrite lasers have a slightly shorter wavelength, ranging from 755 to 765 nanometers. Therefore, these lasers are also effective in targeting melanin, with a focus on hair removal, age spots, and freckles. However, the shorter wavelength used by alexandrite lasers may limit penetration depth compared to diode lasers.
Skin Types and Suitability for Hair Removal
Known for their versatility, diode lasers can be used on a wide range of skin types, including light to medium-dark tones. Because of that, diode lasers are effective for hair removal on a wide range of hair colours and textures as well. However, achieving optimal results often requires multiple sessions.
Alexandrite lasers, on the other hand, are most effective on individuals with fair to olive skin tones, excelling in removing fine and lighter hairs. While they generally only need fewer sessions for hair removal than a diode laser, alexandrite lasers may not be as effective for darker and coarse hair.
Treatment Depth and Speed
Diode lasers penetrate deeper into the skin, making them suitable for hair removal on various body areas. Additionally, these lasers allow for quick treatment sessions, making them efficient for larger areas.
Compared to diode lasers, alexandrite lasers have a shallower penetration depth, making them ideal for precise treatments. The laser’s high repetition rates also contribute to faster treatment times.
Choosing the Right Laser for Your Clinic
Candela GentleMAX Pro
The Candela GentleMAX Pro combines a 755nm Alexandrite laser and a 1064nm ND YAG laser, making it ideal for laser hair removal and various skin concerns. With its standout feature of an adaptable spot size of 20/22/24mm, this device not only ensures precision but also stands out as the most efficient dual laser hair removal device. Additionally, the patented Zimmer Cryo 6 cooling system ensures a virtually pain-free experience as this innovative feature acts like a cool compress for the skin, ensuring the protection of surrounding tissues. By offering effective and safe treatments for a variety of skin and vascular issues, the Candela GentleMAX Pro is more than just a hair removal laser device. Check out our device page to find out if this laser device is the right choice for your clinic.
Our Alma Soprano Devices
With over two decades of unmatched expertise, Alma lasers offer state-of-the-art devices. At Laseraid, we can provide you with the Soprano Titanium, the Soprano ICE, or the Soprano ICE Platinum, each offering unique features and applications. Every device is powered by Alma’s SHR trademark technology, ensuring virtually painless treatments. To find out more about our Alma device range and what each device can add to your clinic, check out our article “Comparing the Alma Soprano Laser Range”.
The choice between a diode and an alexandrite laser can be a tough one. But as we have seen throughout this article, it becomes clear that each possesses unique strengths and applications, making them both a worthy choice. By understanding the individual characteristics, treatment goals, and safety considerations, you can benefit from choosing exactly what your clinic needs from a new laser device. Get in touch with us to find out about our subscription offer and its benefits to you and your clinic.