Laser Hair Removal
Dermatologists use lasers to remove unwanted facial and body hair safely and effectively. Advances in technology, most people can safely have laser hair removal. Removing the unwanted hair often requires a few office visits. Most patients need between 2 to 6 treatments. Afterwards, most patients are free of the unwanted hair for several months. When the hair regrows, most patients see noticeably less hair than before. The hair also tends to be finer and lighter in color. Laser hair removal can be repeated when the hair regrows. The lasers designed for hair removal can be used on most parts of the body. Many lasers effectively treat large areas such as Back, Bikini area, Chest, Face (especially the upper lip and chin), Neck or Shoulders.
Why choose laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal can remove unwanted hair, be it from a condition that causes excess hair growth or just the desire for a new look. Most individuals will require a series of treatments over time which will result in the removal of the unwanted hair. Most of the lasers and light sources are FDA cleared for permanent hair reduction, which means reduction over time. Some individuals will see very long term hair removal which may last for many years. Others may require maintenance treatments over time to maintain their degree of hair loss. It is truly impossible to determine in advance who will require how many treatments and how long the hair will remain gone. As stated above, laser hair removal works best in those with dark hairs on lighter skin, however newer technologies and newer lasers and light sources have made the procedure safe and effective in those with darker skin and those individuals of color.
How does Laser Hair Removal work?
Laser hair removal technology is the use of an invisible beam of light and a constant source of heat that penetrates the hair follicle, disabling and then destroying it at its root while preserving the surrounding skin.
The procedure of removing unwanted hair is simply targeting the follicle and then directing the laser beam at its root. The hair removal process begins as the laser beam finds the hair follicle that it is targeting by first finding the melanin (the dark color of the hair).
Most body parts will require 6-12 sessions for complete removal of hair per area. This depends mostly on your skin type and hair color. Yet; other factors such hormones, may also influence the hair growth cycle. At time of your consultation, the physician or hair removal specialist will advise you on a number of treatments, but cannot fully guarantee maximum results on a specific number of treatments. The choice of option of treatments is ultimately, the patient’s decision. We do not have to see hair to remove it. Therefore, you will not have to grow your hair out prior to laser hair removal procedures.
What does the treatment include?
Depending on the amount of hair treated, the procedure varies from patient to patient. Generally the treatment will include:
- Wearing safety eyewear to protect the practitioner and patient’s eyes from the laser light during the procedure.
- A small handpiece will be used that touches the skin to deliver the laser light. A light spray of coolant onto the skin will be felt just before each laser pulse.
- Most patients experience little discomfort at the treatment site because of thedynamic cooling device.
- The procedure can take as little as ten minutes or up to an hour, depending on the area treated.
- The treated area may become pink or red within 30 minutes of the treatment; this may last a few hours to several days.
What precautions should be taken before and after treatment?
- Avoid the sun before and after the treatment until your practitioner allows it.
- You must avoid electrolysis, plucking or waxing hair for 4 weeks prior to treatment.
- If you have had a history of perioral herpes, prophylactic antiviral therapy may be prescribed.
You should discuss your desired results and the improvements you expect to achieve with your practitioner. Together you can decide if your expectations will be met and if this laser treatment is the best option.
How many treatments will I need?
Hair grows in cycles. The number of treatments required depends upon your skin color, hair color and coarseness of the hair. Everyone will require at least 6 treatments as the process is only effective on hair during the early growing cycle. Repeat sessions might be necessary to retreat these follicles if they re-enter the early growth phase