This week is the AAD 2009 week. American Academy of Dermatology annual meetings (this year in San Francisco) is traditionally used by all developers and manufacturers of laser, light-based and radio-frequency devices for surgical, aesthetic, and ophthalmic applications to announce their new blockbusters of the year to jolt up sales.

Lumenis has announced today plans to launch the LightSheer(R) Duet(TM) Diode Laser System for high-speed permanent hair reduction. “The LightSheer Duet is the most exciting innovation in laser hair removal since LightSheer first revolutionized the industry in 1998. LightSheer Duet reduces hair removal treatments up to 75% and vastly improves patient comfort, eliminating the need for topical anesthetics. These ground-breaking changes will significantly improve practitioner and patient acceptance of hair removal, as well as increase the revenue potential for physician practices and clinics,” said Mr. Robert Mann, General Manager of Lumenis Global Aesthetics and Dermatology in the corporate press release.

The original LightSheer diode laser introduced by Lumenis many years ago was the preferred system used by the first generation of hair removal professionals. The pioneers of the business still swear by it and sometimes use the brand name as a definition of the laser hair removal.

The laser was great for its time, and the second generation of laser hair removal became aware of its obvious limitations: skin type I-III only and pretty expensive for a start-up.

The new LightSheer Duet is the same 800 nanometer diode laser, but faster thanks to the a large 22×35 mm diode array, which is useful for the treatment of larger body areas such as legs, arms, chests, abdomen, shoulders and backs. Dr. Mitch Goldman, a dermatologic and cosmetic surgeon in La Jolla, CA. says, “For example, with the LightSheer Duet, it is possible to treat an entire back in 15 minutes instead of an hour or more. That makes back and leg procedures a lot more viable than before, and will enable our practice to be more competitive in our market”.

The new LightSheer is expandable and can include a vacuum assist technology to lift skin into the treatment aperture prior to applying laser energy. With this approach, the targeted tissue is gently stretched and thinned, minimizing competing chromophores by blanching vessels and spreading skin pigmentation over a larger area, in addition to pulling the hair follicle closer to the skin’s surface. comment

We believe that clinical efficacy may in fact be better than other diode laser hair removal systems. Time used to laser a man’s back has to include the prep work: applying cooling gels, numbing, etc., and if a physician does the procedure himself (no offense, but we do not see Dr. Goldman actually spending his time doing a hair removal treatment himself), he or she will save a few minutes.

Besides the obvious constraint to working only on untanned Caucasian skin, the hurdle in adopting the new LightSheer diode system will be the economics of this investment: saving a few minutes versus a very expensive investment with questionable return on the current market, which is very saturated with cheaper machines and disappearing legs and backs to work on.