Laser Hair Removal - Palomar Icon, YAG or Candela?

I am interested in laser hair removal on my bikini area. I have consulted with 3 Dr. in my area. I am confused as which laser would be best suited for my type 3 skin. There is a large price difference between the 3 lasers & wanted to seek input from the forum. I am not opposed to spending more but if I can get the same results by spending less that would be ideal. By the way the Candela is the most expensive and the Palomar the least expensive. Thank you in advance.

Doctor Answers 5

Laser Hair Removal Advice

I tell my patients that a bad result is not worth a cheap price.  Always choose a cosmetic procedure based on the Physicians skill, knowledge, quality of care, quality of equipment and experience.  Always see a physician who is Board Certified by American Board of Medical Specialties in an accepted aesthetic field.

With regards to your choice of lasers, both Alexandrite and Nd:Yag lasers are excellent options, and Candela makes an excellent line of each (GentleLase Alexandrite, GentleYag Nd:Yag, and GentleMax combines the two.)  The Candela lasers are considered top of the line and have dynamic cryogen cooling that increases their safety-- for this reason, as well as the highly qualified physicians that use them, you may find treatments are slightly more expensive.

The Palomar units are not lasers, but IPL's.  In general, I think of IPL's as "jack of all trades, master of none" and the results with hair removal are general inferior to laser with a higher risk profile, especially in darker skin types.

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Laser Hair Removal lasers

A variety of lasers and light sources are available for laser heir removal, and the bottom line and most important consideration is that the person using the machine understands the technology being used and is just not being a robot following a cookbook. Most lasers in 2014 that are FDA cleared work extremely well and, with type III skin, they will all work for you. The IPLs, not as popular today as they once were for hair removal, are still really effective when used correctly, so when Iread that they are the jack of all trades and masters of nothing, I find itkind of amusing but also really naïve. I worked with the first dedicated IPL for hair removal over 20 years ago and performed all the pertinent and relative FDA studies, so I know how well they can work.

If someone tells you their laser is the best, question them on how many lasers they might have in their office for hair removal. Everyone is different and a device that works really well on skin types 2-3 may not work on types 5-6 that well, and vice versa. So those of us who do this a lot, we usually pick a device based on the skin type and hair texture, not try to match the laser to fit every patient that comes into the office.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Best Laser Hair Removal Treatment

A wide variety of medical lasers and light systems are used to remove unwanted hair, however most lasers are not effective for all skin types and hair colors. The Elos laser hair removal system is designed for permanent hair reduction by combining both optical and radiofrequency energy to deliver satisfying, longer lasting results with less discomfort than previous laser systems. All skin and all hair colors including gray and blonde hair are effectively treated. Faces, backs, arms, legs, faces, and bikini lines can be treated including those individuals with darkly pigmented skin. Treatments are administered every 4 weeks and generally 3 to 5 treatments are sufficient.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Laser Hair Removal

I agree in that the cheapest option is not necessarily the best option, especially in the case of laser treatments.  We use the GentleYag by Candela in our practice and it is excellent. We use it on all skin types and it is safest for darker skin types. Our pricing is very fair and we do package pricing as well.  As mentioned by another physician, Candela lasers have the cryogen cooling which protects the skin during the treatment through its continuous cooling.  Whatever you choose, make sure you are getting your treatments in a physician's office under the supervision of a board-certified physician.  For more information about laser hair removal, click on the link below.



Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Hair removal options

First of all, I think you should beware of the cheapest option. Regarding hair removal, the palomar is an intense pulsed light system which in my opinion is less effective than laser for hair removal. The Yag (is a laser) is a better choice only if you have very tanned skin or dark skin. Candela makes 2 lasers for hair removal - a 755 nm alexandrite or gentle lase which is a great option for most skin types and the gentle yag 1064 nm which is better for dark skin types. An advantage of the candela lasers is the cyrogen cooling which provides very consistent cooling and protection of the skin during treaatment.

Elizabeth F. Rostan, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.