E-light, the combination of light and RF

E-light is a term commonly used to refer to a machine, mostly an IPL, that combines light and RF. Although it started with the combination of IPL’s and RF, it can nowadays also refers to the combination of laser and RF as well.

What is the benefit of combining RF with light for hair removal?
The idea is to increase the temperature in the tissue surrounding the dermal papilla. If the base temperature is higher, the probability increase that the light pulse will generate sufficient heat to kill the dermal papilla. The base temperature for the average person is 37ºC and coagulation of protein needed to kill the dermal papilla is above 60ºC for at least 100ms.

Thus, if you can increase the base temperature from 37ºC to 43ºC before the light pulse, you increase the possibility of having more dermal papillae that are damaged irreversibly during the treatment.

Please note that the temperatures and times given in the above mentioned example are simplified averages. For protein coagulation you need to increase the temperature of the target molecule to a specific target temperature for a minimum period of time. There are various factors that influence this whole process.

Do you raise the base temperature in the tissue surrounding the dermal papilla to 43ºC when you use your e-light machine? The short answer for most equipment on the market is; probably not. Irrespective of all the promises made by manufacturers, there are very little evidence to substantiate this. But you do have a good chance to raise the temperature by one or two degrees and in some circumstances this will be enough to make a difference.

Does the RF increase the risk of epidermal burns if you use it in combination with IPL or laser?
Radio waves at 1MHz, most commonly used, have the greatest influence on fat and water. Thus, the epidermis is relative invisible to RF. However, you will have a higher risk of causing a deeper burn wound.

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