The Recent Rapid Development of the Directed-Energy, Home-Use Device Sector

*Godfrey Town,1 Ron Petersen,2 Dominique Du Crest3

1. Home Use Devices (HUD) Safety Group, UK
2. Longbow Capital LLP, London, UK
3. SkinAid sas, Paris, France
*Correspondence to godfreytown@mac.com 

Disclosure: G.T. is a consultant of Unilever, Trumball, USA, from whom he received honoraria. Other authors have no conflicts of interest.
Received: 07.07.14 Accepted: 19.08.14
Citation: EMJ Dermatol. 2014;2:50-55.

Abstract

This article presents an overview of this exciting new technology category, the development of the industry, and future trends in at-home cutaneous therapy using ‘directed energy’. New equipment directed at unwanted hair removal, traditional skin blemishes, and new targets are being developed using novel Class 1C lasers and intense light sources. Other directed energy devices include electromagnetic energy sources beyond those in the visible light and infrared spectrum, such as microwaves, radio frequency, and high frequency focused ultrasound. Both cosmetic and medical applications are being exploited to provide efficacy and specificity of treatment at the consumer-use level. Future applications will combine different directed energy sources to optimise results. Early clinical data following the use of home-use devices (HUDs) is indicative of at least temporary hair reduction and skin improvements, and several safety studies have shown most devices to be safe for consumer use. The HUD category is a new and fast emerging market, worth multimillions of dollars annually, and the emergence of consumer use devices reflects the needs of an ageing, wealthy, and wellness-oriented population. The new miniaturised products and appliances entering the market employing powerful and complex technology do, however, raise some health concerns. Safety standardisation and national regulation, however, seem to be somewhat behind the market development.

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