Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal
is a cosmetic procedure that uses pulsed laser energy to remove unwanted hair from a targeted area, while leaving surrounding skin unharmed. Common areas on which laser hair removal is performed are the chin, upper lip, chest, underarms, back, bikini line and legs.
Although there are many temporary treatments, including tweezing, shaving, using depilatory creams and waxing, to remove unwanted hair, patients seeking more permanent and less irritating/painful methods are frequently good candidates for laser hair removal. Through what is a safe and usually painless procedure, hair can be removed from nearly any area of the body (the eye area is an exception because of the possibility of serious eye damage).
Some redness, soreness or swelling may occur immediately after laser hair removal, but they almost always disappear within a few days. Cold compresses or ice packs, moisturizers, and anti-inflammatory creams may minimize discomfort. Sun exposure should be avoided as much as possible for some period of time.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
There are many benefits to having unwanted hair removed through the use of laser therapy. They include the following:
- Hair is precisely targeted
- Procedure is quick
- Results are permanentor long-lasting
For many patients, laser hair removal is painless, although some experience minor discomfort, usually described as something like a rubber band’s snapping against the skin.
Candidates for Laser Hair Removal
Because the laser beams used to remove hair target its melanin (pigment), the best candidates have dark hair and light skin. Conversely, those with blond, red, gray or white hair and dark skin are usually not good candidates. Recent technological advances have made laser hair removal for those with dark skin more successful, while techniques for using lasers to effectively remove light-colored hair are being investigated.
Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Laser hair removal is performed while the target area is numbed by a topical anesthetic. A handheld device that emits intense laser pulses is moved across the area, focusing on individual hair follicles. There are several different methods of laser hair removal, some of which combine laser impulses with radiofrequency. The appropriate method for each patient is decided in consultation with the physician administering treatment.
Hair growth takes place cyclically, in three stages. The most effective laser hair removal takes place during the andogen (full-growth) stage, because the hair follicles in this stage are susceptible to laser energy.
But, because all hair is not in the same stage of growth at any given time, several laser treatments, usually between three and five, spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart, are necessary. To some extent, the length of treatment depends on the texture of the patient’s hair, and the location from which it is being removed.
While our bodies are almost completely covered in tiny, fine hairs, for some people hair may be more noticeable or troublesome. Unwanted hair can be embarrassing for many people, especially women, and can lead to low self-confidence, restricted clothing options or constant shaving or waxing to remove the hair. These problems most often arise in people with light skin and dark hair, although anyone can experience excessive or unwanted hair on the face or body. Men and women alike are affected by unwanted hair, which often appears on the face, upper lip, neck, chest, underarms, back, abdomen, bikini line and legs, although it may appear nearly anywhere on the skin.
If you are experiencing unwanted hair, please schedule a consultation with us to discuss your concerns. Our doctors will take the time to evaluate your areas of concern and determine the most effective treatment option for removing or reducing the appearance of unwanted hair through the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques.
IPL Hair Removal
Forget shaving, waxing, tweezing and electrolysis – Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology provides long-lasting hair removal on any area of the body. IPL photoepilation uses high-energy pulses of light to remove unwanted hair from the face, back, legs, bikini line and other areas without damaging nearby tissue. First, a cold gel is applied to the skin. Then the IPL handpiece is moved back and forth across the selected area. Hair beneath the skin surface absorbs the light and heats up, loosening from the follicles and eventually falling out.
Patients can return to work and all regular activities immediately after the procedure. The results are immediate and long-lasting, with some permanent thinning. Several treatments may be desired for optimal results.
Electrolysis is a commonly used process for removing unwanted hair from many areas of the body. Frequently targeted areas include the face, neck, shoulders, arms, underarms, breasts, abdomen, legs, chest, bikini line, and back. If performed correctly by a qualified professional, electrolysis can provide permanent results. During electrolysis, a very thin needle is inserted into the follicle, or growth center, of the hair. The process works by destroying the follicle through the use of a mild electrical current. Once the hair follicle is destroyed, the hair is removed with tweezers. Because the follicle has been destroyed, that hair cannot grow back.
Unwanted hair growth can be very troubling to some individuals. A thick growth of hair on a woman’s upper lip or a man’s back, for example, may cause embarrassment or self-consciousness. Affected by hormone levels, genetics, certain medications and some illnesses, such hair may prompt a desire to undergo electrolysis in order to solve the problem once and for all. While electrolysis is almost always performed for cosmetic reasons, in rare instances it can be a medical necessity. In the unusual circumstances in which infection makes permanent hair removal crucial, electrolysis may be covered by insurance.
Electrolysis is a safe, effective treatment, approved by the FDA and the American Medical Association as a permanent process of hair removal. Any healthy individual may have electrolysis, with the notable exception of people who have implanted pacemakers. The procedure is not recommended, however, for those wishing to remove hair from inside the nose or ears.
Electrolysis may be slightly uncomfortable, although the discomfort is short-lived and modern methods have reduced most sensations to a mild tingling. If necessary, a topical anesthetic may be applied. Each individual hair follicle is typically destroyed about 20 seconds after coming into contact with the needle. Usually the treatment takes multiple sessions, the number varying from patient to patient. Each session lasts between 15 minutes and one hour. After a few weeks, the disappearance of unwanted hair becomes noticeable. Immediately after a treatment session, the skin may be red or swollen, but this effect usually disappears quickly. Possible complications of electrolysis, including skin color changes, scarring or infection, are possible but rarely occur.