The word laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In a simpler way it is a single-wavelength high energy source of light which can be accurately focused to a very small area. The laser which is used for treating or enhancing the beauty of an individual is coined as aesthetic lasers. The aesthetic lasers can be broadly classified into two categories namely ablative and non-ablative. An ablative laser works by removing the top layer of the skin by vaporizing it where as a non-ablative laser works deeper into the skin without removing or otherwise damaging the top layers. An aesthetic laser works through a process called as selective photothermolysis which modulates the frequency of light to produce heat over a stipulated area which a patient or physician wishes to destroy. The only thing which needs to be taken care of that the wavelength of the light beam must be in synchronization with the color of the target spot or area of focus to have the effective and desired outcomes.
Depending upon the skin condition and type of treatment required the laser type and wavelength is considered. For fine lines and wrinkles a combination of skin resurfacing and skin tightening procedures can be performed using ablative lasers such as carbon dioxide lasers. For pigmentation lesions such as sun spots or hyper pigmentation spots out of pregnancy such as melasma can be effectively treated with the use of Nd: YAG or Fraxel lasers. For removal of skin tattoos CO2 lasers remains a gold standard treatment option. Collagen is the key fibrous protein in the skin, tendons and cartilages among others which help in maintain skin texture. Natural aging and such factors as sun damage and smoking help break down the collagen layer so that the skin's once smooth surface develops wrinkles. Damages to collagen layer can be effectively treated or rejuvenated with the help of laser treatments.
Aesthetic lasers market has undergone rapid expansion in past few decades since the approval of first aesthetic laser device by FDA in 1990’s. With the growing demand among consumers desiring anti-age treatments with less downtime and advances in the technology with respect to the energy based aesthetic devices market for aesthetic lasers are likely to grow exponentially in the coming years. Market for hair reduction and removal is also one of the fastest growing segments in the aesthetic laser market after skin rejuvenation and skin treatment. Intense pulse light lasers (IPL) are also one of the most prominent laser techniques employed now a days for non-invasive rejuvenation such as wrinkles treatment.
Geographically the market for aesthetic lasers is predominantly led by developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Japan and others. The major reason for growth of this market is the lack of melanin pigments which enhances the skin degradation and ageing among caucasian people. Apart from this the presence and availability of advanced medical and laser based treatment clinics since decades have uplifted the market in past. Market for aesthetic lasers in Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World is among the fastest growing market due to availability of high disposable income, inclination of people towards beauty & cosmetic treatment and mushrooming of private labeled aesthetic centers or clinics.
Major drivers for this market include increase in global warming leading to intense skin damage and sun burns, increasing use of oral contraceptive among women and use of phototoxic drugs has led to an increased prevalence of conditions such as melasma, dyschromia, rhytides, and other signs of photoaging over the past few decades. Despite of such as optimistic future and wider application areas the this technology has met with limited success due to post treatment side effects such as immediate pain, reddening of the skin, bruising and swelling. Other possible side effects include the formation of blisters, infection and burns among others.
Some of the key players in the aesthetic lasers market include Solta Medical, Inc., Zeltiq Aesthetics, Sound Surgical Technologies LLC, Alma Lasers, Ltd. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation among others.