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The Apilus Platinum 27MHz Technology… Demystified

Many questions have arisen in connection with the Apilus Platinum technology developed by Dectro International. Some may wonder as to the real advantages of using the 27Mhz radio frequencies over the more conventional 13.56Mhz frequencies. Others, may altogether doubt the value of such technological advances. The time has come to demystify the benefits of using 27Mhz radio frequencies and clearly explain how the Apilus Platinum epilating system surpasses all other epilators on the market today.

What Is a Radio Wave?

A radio wave is the propagation of an electromagnetic field in the atmosphere or within a conductor. Radio waves fall within a specific range of frequencies. The use of these frequencies is jointly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the World Radiocommunications Conference. Surely the most important use for RF energy is in providing telecommunication services. However, specific frequencies are reserved for medical equipment, electrolysis, and scientific applications (Figure 1). The frequencies designated by the FCC, which can be used for epilators, are 13.56MHz, 27.12MHz and 40.68Mhz.

Medical Frequency Graph
Figure 1: Position of designated medical frequencies within the radio frequency spectrum

See Didier for input on this graph.

A Brief History

In order to understand the present technology, it is essential to re-examine its evolution.

Beginning in the 1940’s, and for the next twenty years, many short-wave epilators were introduced into the US and World markets. These epilators, all claiming permanent hair removal, used different frequencies, 535KHz to 1.75MHz, 3.35MHz or 6.75Mhz. These first epilators were constructed using very basic technology, vacuum tubes and with only one or two settings. As a result, clients could not tolerate long sessions because of the pain involved and often suffered adverse skin reactions after treatments.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s new regulations forced manufacturers to develop epilators based on the authorized frequency of 13.56 MHz. In response to the need for more sophisticated technology to regulate the increased RF output, the New York-based Kree Co. developed an epilator with a special probe-holder. The Kree Model 1000 was designed with a built-in transformer to boost and regulate its output.

In the early 1980’s, Dectro International (at the time called Dectronique) introduced its Electropil 240 HF, EL-250 Blend and later the 260 Logic Blend. These epilators were produced with analog transistor circuits, using a 13.56 MHz crystal, and ceramic RF output transistors to produce strong power. These High Frequency epilators had an important advantage over previous epilators. By enabling quicker tissue coagulation, they reduced treatment times to a few tenths of a second. However, analog circuits were not linear and they couldn’t deliver power with precision at every insertion, nor could they consistently treat different body areas or skin types.

Committed to overcoming this technological problem, Dectro International initiated the development of a computerized epilator, using micro-controller chips to deliver a very precise linear output. With the introduction of Apilus in 1989, improvement in client comfort increased dramatically and efficient treatments could be performed consistently in hundredths of a second or Flash timing as we know it today.

Apilus was the first digital epilator capable of multiple pulses of Flash Thermolysis and a variety of Blend techniques that could be combined with a Tolerance Test. Its comprehensive internal database stored information on all body areas and types of hair resulting in 360 specific program settings that allowed electrologists to administer exceptionally precise treatments. At this early stage, the new technology already had the ability to store settings and treatment history specific to each client and produce statistical reports for professional follow-up.

A few years later, Dectro introduced the Apilus SM-500, a 13.56MHz advanced version that offered an ultra rapid Flash pulse in milliseconds, defined as MicroFlash technology. Whenever multiple HF pulses were increased, we included a safety feature called the “MicroFlash Proportional Pulsing” (MPP). This feature automatically reduced each HF impulse.1 However, distorted follicles were difficult to treat with RF. Thus, in order to overcome this problem, Dectro created the MultiPlex and MultiBlend modalities. These computer multiplexing modalities used a slow-process RF Thermolysis to induce heat in the follicle, with combined Galvanic and /or quick MicroFlash pulses.

Although the electrolysis market faced a powerful challenge by Laser manufacturers towards the end of the 90's, Dectro continued its research and development in electrolysis. In 1999-2000, it launched a more sophisticated and powerful generation of Apilus computerized epilators and in 2001 Dectro introduced iMM-Pac technology, a micro chip providing MultiPlex and MultiBlend capabilities for the Apilus Senior II. At the same time, specialized programs to prevent over-treatment when using insulated probes were developed. Then, in 2005, Dectro revolutionized the electrolysis profession by unveiling its, now patented, Apilus Platinum system using the 27MHz radio frequency.

Why use 27MHz frequency?

It is important to understand the effects of specific radio frequencies in order to better identify the benefits and limitations of their use for permanent hair removal.

The reserved frequencies of 13.56MHz and 27MHz produce radiation, which safely generates enough localized heat in water-rich tissues such as human follicles. Both frequencies meet strict safety standards. However, the 27 MHz frequency has the advantage of a more efficient power absorption by water molecules. This means, that at 27Mhz, less power is needed to epilate a hair than at 13Mhz or, at equal power, the 27MHz will need less time to do so. Another important advantage of using 27MHz is the rapid positive to negative polarity changes, 27 million cycles (Hertz) per second. This frequency, that we call PicoFlash, distinguishes the Apilus Platinum from conventional 13.56MHz epilators by coagulating tissues twice as fast.

As well, extensive research has proven that at 27MHz the area of destruction is limited to within close proximity of the probe, where stem cells for hair re-growth are located. Dectro's new Synchro modality takes full advantage of this precision to coagulate the cells responsible for hair growth in a concentrated manner. It delivers a very powerful 27 MHz signal, controlled in a very short timing cycle of milliseconds. In contrast, at 13.56MHz a wider heat pattern (up to three times greater) is produced and diffuses more deeply into the dermis causing a greater possibility of irritation.

Apilus Platinum meets all applicable international standards for radio frequency emissions: electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), electromagnetic interference (EMI) and is protected against external disturbances (electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Scientific Studies

The effectiveness of the Apilus® Platinum Pure™ device has been confirmed in comparative scientific studies performed in cooperation with Dr. Charles Doillon, research scientist and professor at the University Laval Hospital Center in Québec City, Canada. These studies clearly show that the high-speed radio frequency 27 MHz of Apilus Platinum allows a more localized coagulation at the base of the hair follicle than frequency 13.56 MHz and that a less great quantity of heat is lost in the surrounding tissues. Moreover, according to our experiment and that of our customers, Apilus Platinum makes it possible to obtain results much more rapidly than with any other epilator on the market. The number of treatments to obtain complete and permanent results is approximately 25% less than usual.

To conclude…

Say what you will, due to the continuous investment in research and development by committed companies, such as Dectro International, electrolysis has evolved from an archaic and unsafe technique into a leading-edge technology that is safe, secure and, with 27Mhz, virtually painless. New 27 MHz frequency has not finished to impress us in terms of effectiveness and comfort. For those who still doubt it and need "to see it to believe it", we invite them to test Apilus Platinum 27 MHz, because after all, a feeling is worth thousand words!! A profession must advance, and always going beyond the limits. Dectro is there to make sure that electrolysis will continue to progress, for a long time.

1 Following the introduction of the SM-500 to the market, a dispute with a Canadian competitor, claiming a Patent protection on these applications, challenged Dectro to cease production of the Apilus SM-500 epilators. After years in the courts, all allegations were dropped after Dectro submitted a multitude of source documents proving the existence of similar applications found on older models.

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