Laser Hair Removal

Printable PDF

 

Long pulsed Alexandrite, Diode, and Nd:YAG lasers are state of the art devices that effectively remove unwanted facial and body hair.

 

How do these devices work?

These lasers produce a bright beam of light that is preferentially absorbed by melanin (the pigment in hair). The light causes thermal (heat) damage to the hair shaft and follicle without damaging the surrounding tissue. With laser treatment, the hair follicle is treated and the dark terminal (adult) hair is either permanently removed or replaced with a vellus (fine, light colored) hair.

 

What are the advantages of Laser Hair Removal?

Traditional hair removal techniques such as waxing, shaving, and plucking provide only temporary relief. Electrolysis is a painful, slow, and tedious process that may cause pitted scarring. Lasers are safe, effective, and convenient because they allow larger areas to be treated in a single visit. One notices improvement after just one treatment though repeat treatments are required to achieve the best possible result.

 

What does it feel like?

During treatment, you will experience mild discomfort similar to being snapped by a rubber band. Most patients tolerate the procedure without any anesthesia. However, if larger or sensitive areas are treated, a topical anesthetic can be applied for 15 to 30 minutes prior to treatment.

 

How will I look after the treatment?

Immediately after the procedure, the treated area may appear swollen, slightly red in color, and may feel like a mild sunburn. This reaction usually subsides within hours to one or two days. Cool compresses and topical corticosteroid creams will improve these symptoms.

 

What are the expected results?

The results of laser hair removal are excellent. Almost all hair types in most skin colors achieve delayed hair regrowth for periods as long as six months after a single treatment. With each treatment, patients experience on average a 20-25% reduction of their total hair count depending on the area treated. Because lasers target hair in the active growth phase, multiple treatments (four to six) are necessary. Arm and leg hairs tend to be the most responsive, while facial hair, especially of the lip and chin, can be more resistant to treatment. Treatments are performed approximately every six weeks.

 

What are the possible side effects?

There are rarely any permanent side effects with laser hair removal. Skin lightening (hypopigmentation) is rare, but darkening (hyperpigmentation) may occur especially in patients with darker skin tones. These changes in color usually tend to fade away, but may be permanent. There is a small chance of scarring (less than one percent), appearing as either thickened or depressed areas. To minimize the chances of these possible risks, it is important to follow all pre and post procedure instructions carefully.