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Vectus™ Laser Hair Removal

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There are many devices for clinical laser hair removal.  Recently, Palomar introduced the Vectus™ laser for laser hair removal.  This laser represents several technological advances in the field.  The physical “spot size” or treatment area for the device is fairly large: just under 1” x 1 ½”.  In contrast, many other hair removal lasers have spot sizes around 1/10 to ¾  inches in size.  The larger size offered with the Vectus laser means that larger areas such as the back, legs, or chest can be treated in less time using the larger Vectus laser.  The Vectus also has the option to use a smaller spot size for touch ups or smaller physical areas (such as the upper lip).

Vectus™ LaserSmall Spot SizeLarge Spot Size
Laser treatment applicator  
Spot Size Dimensions

12 mm x 12 mm

½ in x ½ in

23 mm x 38 mm

1 in x 1 ½ in

In addition to the increased size, the Vectus laser distributes the laser energy more evenly than other laser devices, providing less variation across the treated area.  This helps to improve results as well as safety.

The Vectus laser is a diode laser designed as a dedicated single use laser to be used specifically for laser hair removal.  Diode lasers and long pulsed alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers are generally the workhorses for laser hair removal. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) devices are also used but typically are not as specific for hair removal. IPLs are most often used for treating sun damage, uneven pigment or spider veins but sometimes are more effective for red or certain less darkly colored hairs.  Generally the various types of pulsed or in-motion diode lasers provide efficient and effective treatment, but the efficacy varies with the design and brand of devices as well as the technique and treatment settings that are utilized.   The Vectus laser provides some significant treatment advantages over prior diode laser hair removal systems. Nd:YAG lasers are much less efficient at targeting hairs and thus require much higher energy settings, but they are very ‘pigment friendly’ for darker ethnic skin types and have a role for treating some skin of color patients.  Alexandrite lasers still also offer some benefits for certain specific cases as do in very limited cases IPLs and our center offers these as well.  The Vectus laser is the only device currently equipped with Skintel™ and for many reasons the Vectus has emerged as the current dominant laser for efficacy, safety, cost and comfort for the majority of our patients.

Skintel: another advance is that Vectus laser treatments are performed in conjunction with the Skintel melanin reader, which helps to determine how much pigment (melanin) your skin contains.  This measurement is helpful to determine the appropriate laser settings, because laser hair removal actually targets the melanin at the root of the hair.  It is important to carefully assess skin pigment and hair pigment, and the Skintel device provides an immediate result that can be directly sent to the Vectus to help adjust and customize the laser hair removal treatment.

The Skintel melanin reader can even detect pigment that may not be visible yet, such as a tan that is still developing due to recent sun exposure. Without this device, laser settings must be adjusted based on patient history and visual inspection of the skin. Dr. McDaniel helped test the forerunner of this device and he believes that Skintel represents an added safety and efficacy benefit for our patients, especially for laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation.

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