WHAT IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Laser hair removal is a safe way to remove unwanted body hair with long-term results. It’s an in-office procedure that treats unwanted hair on the back, bikini area, chest, face, neck, arms and legs. It’s essential to understand that the results of laser hair removal are not completely permanent. However, hair is less in volume, lighter in color and more delicate when it does eventually grow back.
The laser used for hair removal is a pulsating beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicles. The heat of the laser causes damage to the hair follicle, which inhibits hair growth.
At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, we use the GentleMax Pro© device for our laser hair removal procedure.
Continue reading to learn more about laser hair removal.
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BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER TREATMENT
Prior to a laser hair removal procedure, your dermatologist will sit down with you to discuss if you are a good candidate. Laser hair removal is best for people with light skin and dark hair. Those with white, gray, red or blonde hair that cannot be “seen” by the laser, making it difficult to target the follicle.
Before the Procedure
Before treatment, you’ll meet with your dermatologist for a consultation. You’ll discuss your current medications, health history, expectations, benefits and risks. Additionally, you’ll talk in-depth about the cost of the procedure and how many sessions you will need to achieve your desired results. Laser hair removal is always an out-of-pocket expense not covered by health insurance.
Leading up to your procedure, you should stay out of the sun and avoid sunless tanning products for six to eight weeks. A tan increases the risk of skin lightening, scarring and pigmentation changes. You should also avoid:
- Electrolysis: Electrolysis is a method of removing individual hairs from the face or body. It destroys the growth center of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the hair is removed with tweezers.
These hair removal methods interfere with your procedure. Shaving won’t affect laser hair removal. We recommend you shave the treatment area prior to your appointment. This prevents the laser from coming into contact with hair growth above the skin’s surface.
During the Procedure
When you arrive for your appointment, the clinician will clean the treatment area. During the procedure:
- You’ll wear protective eyewear.
- The clinician will pull your skin taught to start the laser treatment.
- Most people say that the procedure stings and feels like a rubber band snapping against the skin.
- The laser system used at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC has a patented Dynamic Cooling Device™. This device protects your skin by delivering a cooling mist to it during your treatment.
- You’ll notice a sulfur smell, which is the laser vaporizing the hair. The treatment can last for a few minutes for a small area like the upper lip to over an hour for a more significant area.
After the Procedure
Your dermatologist may suggest you apply ice to the area to aid with any discomfort. Please avoid direct sunlight and tanning beds, as this can aggravate the treated skin. Finally, you may experience some hair shedding after the treatment, which is often mistaken as hair growth. Your dermatologist will explain this more during your appointment.
WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Results vary from patient to patient, but they’re usually immediate. After the first treatment, you can expect a 10 to 25 percent reduction in hair. Most people need four to eight treatments to achieve their desired results; however, the number of treatments required varies. Our patients usually don’t see hair growth on the treated skin for months or even years. When hair does eventually grow back, it’s less in volume, lighter in color and finer. You may need maintenance treatments to keep the area free of hair, which is something you will discuss with your dermatologist.
HOW CAN MY DERMATOLOGIST HELP?
At The Dermatology Center for Skin Health, PLLC, our laser system allows for reduced treatment time. We practice safer and more effective procedures for all of our patients.