Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure used to remove unwanted hair with an intense pulsating beam of light energy. This minimally invasive procedure removes hair through a series of treatments while leaving the surrounding skin and tissue unharmed. Laser hair removal works by passing a light beam through the skin. The laser targets dark pigment called melanin, in hair. The intense heat of the laser is captured by pigmented hair and subsequently destroys the hair root. Repeated treatment sessions are required to achieve a permanent reduction in hair growth.
The process is relatively painless with minimal side effects when done by an experienced practitioner who has an understanding of hair and an appreciation of different skin types and potential risk and benefits of lasers. Results vary depending on hair types (thick, coarse vs. thin hair, pigmentation of hair, skin types, and number of sessions. Common sites of treatment include face, upper lip, neck, chest, underarms, back, abdomen, bikini line and legs. Goals can include permanent reduction of unwanted hair as well as sculpting target sites .
Candidates for Laser Hair Removal
Any patient is a candidate. The ideal patient for laser hair removal is someone with excessive hair growth who is unhappy with the appearance of the hair and seeking a long-term, simple solution. Excessive hair growth may be caused by a number of different reasons, including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, heredity, medication or disease. There are patients with normal hair growth, who are tired of constantly shaving, waxing or plucking their unwanted hair may benefit from this procedure as well. Laser hair removal can be done on any skin color or body area, as long as the hair is dark brown or black. Unfortunately, blonde, white or gray hairs can not be removed. It is important for patients to have realistic expectations about laser hair removal in order to be satisfied with their results.
Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Prior to treatment a topical anesthetic cream can be applied to the area to minimize discomfort. Our lasers are designed with cooling mechanism to sooth and cool the skin during treatment. This helps to protect the skin and minimize discomfort. Topical anesthetic creams are often NOT necessary. Most patient describe the sensation as a rubber band snapping the skin and is well tolerated. After appropriate eye protection,cleansing of site to remove makeup and creams, the laser hand piece is then moved across the targeted area. Hair follicles in the active growth state are disabled.
Most patients experience effective results after five to eight treatments, spaced four weeks apart. The length and quantity of treatments depends upon the location of the hair and the patient’s individual response to treatment. Patients who wish to remove hair in between treatment sessions can shave or tweeze the treated area if they desire. All tweezing, plucking or threading should stop one week prior to your next laser session.
Laser Hair Removal Recovery and Results
After laser hair removal, patients may experience some redness and swelling in the treated area but these symptoms usually resolve within a few days. Patients can return to work and other normal activities immediately after treatment. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided for some time after laser hair removal. The results of the laser hair removal procedure are visible immediately but hair may continue to grow until the full course of treatment is complete. We educate and emphasize to our patients the need for multiple treatment sessions. The goal is permanent hair reduction NOT permanent hair removal. We also stress the importance of maintenance to help achieve optimal results. We do not over sell our services and do not compete with other practices that provide unrealistic expectations. Unfortunately, many laser clinics claim they can achieve total removal of all hair however this is not possible. Multiple research studies have been performed and concur that 70 to 80% hair reduction is what can be expected. The remaining 20 to 30% is finer and lighter than before and can be maintained with plucking, waxing, shaving or occasional touch up laser treatments.
Laser Hair Removal Risks and Complications
Although laser hair removal is considered a safe procedure, there is always a risk of complication associated with any type of medical procedure. Some of these complications may include:
- Lightening or darkening of the skin
- Change in skin texture
- Incomplete removal of hair
- Regrowth of hair
Our office has several laser systems, Gentlase (Alexandrite), Gentlemax (Alexandrite, Nd:YAG) and Coolglide (Nd: YAG). During your consultation, we will help chose the right laser for you.
Not ready for Laser Hair Removal?
Skinworks also offers hair waxing, performed patiently and with minimal discomfort by our experienced Esthetician. Call today to schedule your appointment for our Medspa services.