The history of laser treatments and their importance to the industry

With the rising trend of cosmetic procedures, those who wish to change or alter their appearance may wish to find an alternative in the form of non-invasive treatments for minor changes, such as scars, tattoos, or hair removal. Non-invasive treatments are treatments which no surgical incisions or medical instruments are used within the body, one of the biggest forms of non-invasive treatments is laser based.

Laser based treatments were developed within the last 50 years by Theodore H Maiman, this initial prototype and proof of concept was known as the ‘ruby’ laser. This prototype was not without its flaws but without Maiman’s groundwork the medical industry would not be where it is today, and we would be without the option for non-invasive treatments.

The ‘ruby’ laser was designed to destroy hair follicles and was revolutionary for its time as it was the first form of permanent hair removal, the main downside to this machine was that it burned and damage the skin and not just remove the hair, the laser was also an extremely slow method as it would only remove a few follicles at a time.

Lasers offers the patient and the surgeon many benefits which were not available before the development of this non-invasive laser treatments in 1960, these benefits include but are not limited to:

Giving the surgeon more precision and accuracy when conducting the procedure, this is because lasers provide a precise beam which only targets a specific part of the body reducing discomfort and pain. This is also important as it causes less damage to the surrounding skin and tissue, focusing on only removing the hair or tattoo from where it is necessary.

Lasers offer an alternative in the form of hair removal, as traditional methods would cause the recipient discomfort and in some circumstances pain and bleeding. Methods such as shaving, threading and tweezing were typical ways to remove unwanted hair, but laser offers a hair removal method which leaves the patient with less pain and discomfort, traditional methods also did not remove the hair permanently whereas laser treatments offer that.

Lasers also gives a much-needed alternative to tattoo removal as the previous method was to just cover up the tattoo with another but if you wish not to have tattoos anymore or they do not fit your style then laser removal offers this alternative to cover-ups. Having a tattoo covered-up also causes irritation and pain to the tattooed area whereas laser treatments cause minimal discomfort for the same outcome which is the removal of a tattoo.

Laser treatments and non-invasive procedures have really progressed greatly within the last few decades and the downsides have been greatly minimized since their initial development in the early 60s. Without this initial prototype and the genius of Maiman we would be so much further back in the cosmetic industry, and his importance should not be overlooked in the history of medicine. Maiman offered a glimpse in how we could use non-invasive methods to change and alter our appearances using alternative surgeries.