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The Quest for Beauty

Photonics Spectra
Aug 1999
Michael D. Wheeler, News Editor

The desire to preserve youth has its roots in ancient civilizations. The Egyptians used pumice to smooth wrinkles and remove flaws. Recipes for smoothing the skin with lemon juice and cucumber appeared in India centuries ago. This age-old desire to erase the physical manifestations of age, coupled with a growing number of people willing to pay for procedures that cost thousands of dollars, has sparked interest in using lasers for hair removal and skin resurfacing.

Frost & Sullivan, a market forecasting firm in California, estimates that the sales of lasers used in aesthetic surgery in the US generated $233.5 million last year and will rise to $286.5 million by 2005. This growth will be driven by the popularity of these cosmetic procedures.

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