Science of Laser Hair Removal


Laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. It had been performed experimentally for about 20 years before becoming commercially available in the mid-1990s.

One of the first published articles describing laser hair removal was authored by the group at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1998. The efficacy of laser hair removal is now generally accepted in the dermatology community and laser hair removal is widely practiced in medical clinics around the world.

Many reviews of laser hair removal methods, safety, and efficacy have been published in the dermatology literature.

The primary principle behind laser hair removal is selective photothermolysis (SPTL), the matching of a specific wavelength of light and pulse duration to obtain optimal effect on a targeted tissue with minimal effect on surrounding tissue.

Lasers can cause localized damage by selectively heating dark target matter, melanin, in the area that causes hair growth, the follicle, while not heating the rest of the skin.

Light is absorbed by dark objects, so laser energy can be absorbed by dark material in the skin, but with much more speed and intensity. This dark target matter, or chromophore, can be naturally-occurring or artificially introduced.

Melanin is considered the primary chromophore for all hair removal lasers currently on the market. Melanin occurs naturally in the skin, and gives skin and hair their color.  Laser works best with dark coarse hair.

Light skin and dark hair are an ideal combination, being most effective and producing the best results, but new high powered lasers are now able to target black hair in patients with dark skin.

Laser hair removal has become popular because of its speed and efficacy, although the efficacy is dependent upon the skill and experience of the laser operator and the choice and of different laser or light technologies used for the procedure.

A medical clinic needs to be evaluated on whether Laser, Light and Light/Heat treatments are available to cater for patients with different skin types and hair conditions. Cutis Medical Laser Clinics has the full range of 1064nm Laser, IPL (Limelight) and Light/Head (LHE Radiancy) equipment.

Comparison of different treatment options

A 2006 review article in the journal “Lasers in Medical Science” compared IPL and both alexandrite and diode lasers. The review found no statistical difference in effectiveness, but a higher incidence of side effects with diode laser based treatment.

Hair reduction after 6 months was reported as 68.75% for alexandrite lasers, 71.71% for diode lasers, and 66.96% for IPL. Side effects were reported as 9.5% for alexandrite lasers, 28.9% for diode lasers, and 15.3% for IPL.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) epilators, though technically not containing a laser, use xenon flash lamps that emit full spectrumlight. IPL-based methods, sometimes called “AFT”, “phototricholysis” or “photoepilation”, are now commonly (but incorrectly) referred to as “laser hair removal”.

IPL systems typically output wavelengths between 400 nm and 1200 nm. Filters are applied to block lower wavelengths, thereby only utilising the longer, redder wavelengths for clinical applications.


In Singapore, only physicians can perform laser hair removal while IPL treatments can be performed by trained aestheticians as well.

How many sessions are needed?

Hair grows in several phases (anagen, telogen, catagen) and a laser can only affect the currently active growing hair follicles (early anagen). Hence, several sessions are needed to kill hair in all phases of growth.

Multiple treatments depending on the type of hair and skin color have been shown to provide long-term reduction of hair. Most patients need a minimum of seven treatments. Current parameters differ from device to device but manufacturers and Dr. Sylvia Ramirez of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics generally recommend waiting from three to eight weeks between sessions, depending on the area being treated.

The number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the area of the body being treated, skin color, coarseness of hair, reason for hirsutism, and sex. Coarse dark hair on light skin is easiest to treat. Certain areas (notably men’s faces) may require considerably more treatments to achieve desired results.

Laser does not work well on light-colored hair, red hair, grey hair, white hair, as well as fine hair of any color, such as vellus. For these types of patients, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics uses the LHE Radiancy treatment which combines Light and Heat.

For darker skin patients with black hair, the long-pulsed Nd:YAG 1064nm laser with a cooling tip can be safe and effective when used by an experienced practitioner such as Dr. Sylvia.

Typically the shedding of the treated hairs takes about two to three weeks. These hairs should be allowed to fall out on their own and should not be manipulated by the patient for certain reasons, chiefly to avoid infections.

Pulling hairs after a session can be more painful as well as counteract the effects of the treatment.

Side effects and risk

Some normal side effects may occur after laser hair removal treatments, including itching, pink skin, redness, and swelling around the treatment area or swelling of the follicles (follicular edema).

These side effects rarely last more than two or three days. The two most common serious side effects are acne and skin discoloration.

Some level of pain should also be expected during treatments. Numbing creams are available at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics to minimize pain sensations for patients.

Unwanted side effects such as hypo- or hyper-pigmentation or, in extreme cases, burning of the skin call for an adjustment in laser selection or settings.

Risks include the chance of burning the skin or discoloration of the skin, hypopigmentation (white spots), flare of acne, swelling around the hair follicle (considered a normal reaction), scab formation, purpura, and infection.

These risks can be reduced by treatment with an appropriate laser type used at appropriate settings for the individual’s skin type and treatment area.

Please contact us at or visit to find out whether you are a good candidate for laser hair removal.

Cutis Medical Laser Clinics
9 Scotts Road
#03-06, Pacific Plaza
Singapore 228210



Hair Removal Methods

hair removal 4

Many people have unwanted hair. It’s common on the upper lip, chin, cheeks, back, legs, fingers, feet, and toes.

It can have many causes, including genetics, certain medications such as steroids, higher levels of certain hormones, and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.

There are several ways to remove unwanted hair. With most methods, at least some of the hair will eventually grow back.


Shaving is one of the most common methods for removing unwanted hairs on legs, arms, and face. It can, though, cause ingrown hairs, especially in the pubic region and also needs to be repeated every few days.


Plucking or tweezing can be painful, but it may be a good option if you only have a few hairs you want to remove. Times when you might want to pluck include when you’re reshaping your eyebrows or pulling out a few stray hairs that appear on your face.

You should not, however, use this hair removal method for large areas. It can cause ingrown hairs or scarring and is also a rather slow method.

Depilatory Creams

Hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, are available without a prescription.

They’re not all the same, so be sure to read the label. For instance, you shouldn’t use a hair removal cream made for pubic hairs to remove hair on your face.

The chemicals in these products dissolve the hair shaft. Using a cream improperly — for instance, leaving it on too long — can burn your skin so be careful when using this method.

If you have a history of allergic reactions, you should first test a little bit of the cream on a small area on your arm to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to it. Be sure to follow the directions on the cream.

Hot Waxing

You can do this at home or you can have it done by a salon. Hot waxing can be messy and painful and may leave some hairs behind because they can break off.

Infection is one side effect to watch for. If the wax is too hot, you may get a burn.  You should not use this method if you also use certain types of prescription acne creams (such as Retin-A) or take isotretinoin. If you do, the wax will pull your skin off.


Threading is a traditional Indian method of hair removal that some salons offer. The professionals who do threading use strings they twist in a pattern and use to pull unwanted hair out.

Laser Hair Removal or IPL

There is generally a great confusion between IPL (Intense Pulse Light) and Laser. The easiest way to remember the difference is to compare IPL to a flashlamp and the laser to, well, as laser beam. While they are both light treatments, they work very differently and it is important to know the difference.

While IPLs usually operate in the 520 to 1100 nm range, lasers only have one wavelength such as the 1064nm Coolglide Cutera used by Cutis Medical Laser Clinics which is the first laser cleared for permanent hair reduction in all skin types and is endorsed by physicians worldwide.

Limelight used at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics is a high tech IPL that applies programmable wavelength depending on the skin type of the patient and hence ensuring greater efficacy and safety. Both provide excellent hemoglobin and melanin absorption for uniform treatments and ease of use.

Light and Heat

The LHE Treatment operated at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics combines both light and heat for maximum results. LHE targets melanin in the hair shaft, and then converts light to heat inside the follicle.

The additional heat further elevates the temperature to reach coagulation temperature at a much lower fluence than conventional IPL devices. Future hair growth is inhibited and often prevented.To bring down the energy levels and increase safety, LHE relies on the synergetic relationship between Light and Heat to create an efficient photo thermal technique.

With its unique light and heat combination, LHE maximizes the heat effect on the follicle without damaging the surrounding tissue.

As for all medical treatments, be sure to select a doctor who is highly trained, such as Dr. Sylvia Ramirez of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics and uses US FDA cleared technology for maximum efficacy and safety.

For more information about Hair Removal Methods and which treatment is suitable for you, please contact hello@cutislaserclinics or visit

Cutis Medical Laser Clinics
9 Scotts Road
#03-06, Pacific Plaza
Singapore 228210

2014 Promising SME 500 Business Luminary: Cutis Medical Laser Clinics

PSME 500 plaque

PSME 500 recognizes the exceptional achievements of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore, highlighting commercial success and also recognizing contributions to the economy and the community at large.

Cutis Medical Laser Clinics is dedicated in providing safety and effectiveness, patient-centered approach, and US FDA-approved products and treatments to each and every patient.

Dr Sylvia on stage

Cutis Medical Laser Clinics
9 Scotts Road #03-06 Pacific Plaza
+65 6664 8119

Hair Removal Facts

hair removal 3

Despite many women (and men) trying to get rid of their body and facial hair, it protects the skin against ultraviolet light, insulates the skin against temperature changes and is a barrier to foreign objects and insects.

Hence, removing hair is almost always done for perceived cosmetic or social reasons. It is important to understand in this context that certain hair-removal techniques can damage the skin and produce dark spots, in particular on Asian skin, that may last a long time.

Depilation is hair removal above the level of the pore (follicular opening) and epilation is the damaging of both the hair and the hair bulb below the level of the skin surface.

What are the different types of hair?

All hair is dead protein. Hair’s superficial appearance depends upon its anatomical location. Fine poorly pigmented hair tends to grow on certain parts of the face like the upper cheeks and forehead.

Thick darker hairs grow on the edges of the eyelids and brows, the male jaw-line, the scalp, nostrils, and pubic areas.

These characteristics often change as one ages. The palms, soles, and the vermilion of the lips do not have hair or hair follicles.

What are the pros and cons of laser hair removal?

Laser light is absorbed by pigment in the hair causing the production of heat that can be used to destroy both the hair and adjacent tissues.

When done correctly in the appropriate patient, only the follicular tissues are damaged resulting in hairlessness for an extended period of time.

The process may have to be repeated several times before there is any permanent result. This is because the light can only target hair that is in the growing – Anagen – stage of the hair growth cycle.

hair growth

Patients with contrasting light skin color and dark hair are the easiest to treat where as patients with skin types IV, V and VI (i.e. those in whom there is little color difference between skin and hair) the treatment can be challenging.

Higher skin types i.e. darker skin require lasers that generate longer wavelength light such as the 1064nm available at Cutis Medical Laser Clinics which can be considered a ‘color blind’ laser.

The 1064nm is not concerned with the pigments in the skin and only targets the pigments in the hair follicle which is located at at different depth.

Laser hair removal should only be performed by an experienced medical practitioner such as Dr. Sylvia Ramirez of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics who has been trained by the manufacturer of operating the 1064nm as well as other IPL based hair removal equipment such as the Limelight and LHE Radiancy.

Results from a poor choice of treatment and/or operator are frequently darkening of the treated skin and actual thermal burns.

Please contact or visit to find out whether you are a good candidate for hair removal.

Cutis Medical Laser Clinics
9 Scotts Road, #03-06
Pacific Plaza
Singapore 228210


The Galderma Harmony Programme: A Holistic Approach to Patient Satisfaction

Dr05/09/14, Singapore – Dr Sylvia attended the Galderma Harmony Programme Seminar that focuses on a holistic approach to achieve an overall facial harmony and patient satisfaction.

Galderma, the makers of Restylane, has teamed up with Dr. Ravi Jain, a renowned Aesthetic GP in the UK, and Dr. Peter Huang, a prominent Plastic Surgeon in Taiwan.

Restylane Harmony Seminar

The Harmony Program is an innovative and practical system which places patients at the center of care. It focuses on optimal combination of products and techniques to create overall harmony of the face.

Restylane Harmony

Allergan’s Facial Aesthetic Masterclass Workshop held in New Delhi, India

dr sylvia

23/09/14, New Delhi, India – Dr Sylvia attended an advanced Masterclass for facial fillers and off label Botox use conducted by one of the famous plastic surgeon in Brazil, Dr Mauricio de Maio. 

The Facial Aesthetic Workshop was organized by Allergan, the makers of BOTOX® and JUVÉDERM®.

Allergan Certificate of Attendance

As a world leader in medical aesthetics, Allergan is deeply committed to the Science of Rejuvenation™ — that is, to developing and delivering high quality, science-based aesthetic solutions and experiences. 

Allergan’s Total Facial Rejuvenation™ portfolio is where science and aesthetics meet. The portfolio includes BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA), an injectible to temporarily reduce the appearance of moderate to severe glabellar lines – the vertical frown lines between the eyebrows that look like an “11″ – in adult women and men aged 18 to 65, and hyaluronic acid dermal fillers including the JUVÉDERM® dermal filler gel family of products, the first and only hyaluronic acid dermal fillers clinically proven to last for up to one year.


Masterclass for Advanced Botulinum Toxin Procedure held in Bangkok, Thailand

Dr Sylvia Ramirez


August 17, 2014, Bangkok: Dr. Sylvia Ramirez of Cutis Medical Laser Clinics Singapore attended a Masterclass for advanced procedures with Botulinum Toxin.

Dr Young-Seob Lee, one of Korea’s top plastic surgeons, conducted the workshop which focused on the dermalift, a specific technique using Botulinum Toxin to redefine facial expressions, eliminating deep grooves, furrows and wrinkles.

Botulinum Toxin is a non-surgical treatment that is injected directly into the muscles to iron out unwanted wrinkles. Botox is most commonly used to treat frown lines in between the brows and wrinkles in the corners of the eyes.

It lasts for 3-6 months, and with repeated treatments, the effectiveness of Botox tends to last longer as the muscles become less prominent. After the treatment, there is no recovery time (downtime) needed, patients can go back to their regular activities with a more natural and youthful look.

To know if you are a good candidate, call us at +65 6664 8119.

Your Cutis Team
Cutis Medical Laser Clinics
9 Scotts Road #03-06 Pacific Plaza  - Age Management Program

Aging and Sleep

sleep and agingAlong with the physical changes that occur as we get older, changes to our sleep patterns are a part of the normal aging process.

As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger. It is a common misconception that sleep needs decline with age. In fact, research demonstrates that our sleep needs remain constant throughout adulthood.

So, what’s keeping seniors awake? Changes in the patterns of our sleep occur as we age and this may contribute to sleep problems. Sleep occurs in multiple stages including dreamless periods of light and deep sleep, and occasional periods of active dreaming (REM sleep). The sleep cycle is repeated several times during the night and although total sleep time tends to remain constant, older people spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep than in deep sleep.

Many older adults, though certainly not all, also report being less satisfied with sleep and more tired during the day. Studies on the sleep habits of older Americans show an increase in the time it takes to fall asleep (sleep latency), an overall decline in REM sleep, and an increase in sleep fragmentation (waking up during the night) with age. The prevalence of sleep disorders also tends to increase with age.

However, research suggests that much of the sleep disturbance among the elderly can be attributed to physical and psychiatric illnesses and the medications used to treat them. In addition to changes in sleep architecture that occur as we age, other factors affecting sleep are the circadian rhythms that coordinate the timing of our bodily functions, including sleep.

For example, older people tend to become sleepier in the early evening and wake earlier in the morning compared to younger adults. This pattern is called advanced sleep phase syndrome. The sleep rhythm is shifted forward so that 7 or 8 hours of sleep are still obtained but the individuals will wake up extremely early because they have gone to sleep quite early.

As we age, there is an increased incidence of medical problems, which are often chronic. In general, people with poor health or chronic medical conditions have more sleep problems. In addition, menopause and its accompanying hot flashes, changes in breathing, and decreasing hormone levels for both men and women can lead to many restless nights.

Discussions about sleep patterns are an integral part of the Optimagenics Age Management Program in Cutis Medical Laser Clinics.

#healthy aging #health #optimagenics #cutislaser

CoolSculpting and TriLipo Fat Removal Combination Treatment

Combining the fat loss power of the original Coolsculpting by ZELTIQ with the skin tightening effects of TriLipo by Pollogen, this treatment plan safely transforms your body without downtime.

Please call us at +65 6664 8119 for more details.

CoolSculpting Fat Freezing Treatment


  • US FDA Approved Fat Freezing Technology
  • High Safety Profile
  • 40% Fat Reduction
  • No Downtime

 TriLipo Fat Reduction Technology


  • Safely Increases Fat Metabolism
  • Tightens the Skin
  • Builds Collagen
  • No Downtime

Toxin for that better look: Dr. Sylvia answered common Botox misconceptions

Business Times June 2014

The article, “Toxin for that better look“, that was published in The Business Times Weekend on the 21-22 June 2014, discussed the misconceptions about Botox wherein Dr. Sylvia Ramirez answered the common questions about it.

“…The key to a good Botox treatment is ‘no one should know’. A good Botox treatment should result in a refreshed’ or ‘relaxed’ look” - Dr. Sylvia Ramirez

To view the full article, click here.

Copyright 2014 SPH