*Disclaimer: Individual results may vary from patient to patient based upon the circumstances and the patient’s specific situation, as well as the time taken to see final results.

Laser Hair Reduction

UNWANTED HAIR is a concern for many people. Many dermatologists offer treatment for unwanted hair whereas one treatment option is laser hair reduction. which reduces the amount of unwanted hair. A laser sends beams of light through the skin and as the heat from the laser light is absorbed, or soaked up, by the color in the hair. This heat destroys the hair follicle and makes it difficult for that hair to grow. Since hair grows in cycles, repeated treatments are necessary to destroy all hair follicles.

Body Areas that Can Be Treated

Laser hair reduction can be used on most parts of the body, including:

  • Face
  • Bikini area
  • Armpits
  • Back and Chest
  • Neck and Shoulders
  • Arms and Legs

The amount of hair removed during each treatment varies. Areas that have thinner skin such as the armpits and bikini area may require fewer treatments than thicker-skinned areas. The back and chin are areas that have thicker skin.

Several treatments are necessary to reduce the amount of hair. Treatment can be repeated every four to eight weeks.

Did You Know That?

After each treatment, you might expect a 10 % to 25% decrease in hair growth. With repeat treatments, it is possible to destroy about 80 % of the hairs. Any new hairs tend to grow in lighter and finer.

  • Follow Pre-Treatment Instruction

    If laser hair reduction is an option, you will be given instructions to follow for a few weeks before the treatment begins. For laser treatment to be effective, you should:

    • Apply sunscreen daily before going outdoors, using sunscreen that offers UVA/UVB protection and SPF 30 or higher.
    • Not get a tan
    • Stop using sunless tanners
    • Stop removing unwanted hair in the area to be treated for as long as instructed. This includes plucking, waxing, threading or having electrolysis done on the area to be treated.

    Be sure to follow all instructions as it will help to deliver the best possible results and  prevent possible side effects. If a dermatologist suspects that side effects may occur because a patient failed to follow pre-treatment instructions, treatment may be delayed.

Consultation

If you are considering laser hair reduction, you should consult a dermatologist since laser hair reduction is not suitable for everyone.

During the consultation, the dermatologist will evaluate your skin type and unwanted hair.Only after that our specialists could tell whether laser hair reduction is the right solution for you. The recent technological improvements in the laser devices, have made them safer for people with dark skin, including African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and those of mixed race to have laser hair removal. Gray or white hair cannot be treated effectively and light colored hair is difficult to treat as well which increases the number of sessions needed and additionally,  the desired result may not be achieved.

Treatment

Treatment Day

The amount of time treatment takes depends on the size of the area to be treated. The upper lip takes several minutes. Treating a large area such as the back can require more than one hour. Prior to treatment, the area to be treated will be cleansed. A gel may be applied to protect your skin. Many patients say that the laser pulses feel like warm pinpricks or a rubber band being snapped against the skin. You also may feel a cool spray. This is used to protect the skin from the heat created by the laser. Before leaving the office, you will be given post-treatment instruction. It is very important to follow all of the instructions. The instructions will include:

  • Protect your skin from the sun for several weeks.
  • Stay out of tanning beds and do not use other tanning devices.

Following your dermatologist’s instructions greatly reduces your risk of developing side effects.

Possible Side Effects

Under a dermatologist’s care, the risk of side effects is small. Everyone has some swelling and redness on the treated skin. This is a normal reaction that goes away in one to two days. To reduce the redness and swelling, your dermatologist may recommend an ice pack, or topical medication.

Some people see the treated skin temporarily lighten or darken. The laser also may permanently lighten or darken a tattoo, remove freckles, or lighten a mole that is present on the skin in the treated area.

In skilled hands, serious side effects are rare. When this procedure is not performed or supervised by a dermatologist, serious side effects that can occur include burns, scarring and a permanent change in skin color.

Results

Many people see long-lasting results. Some people have permanent hair reduction. To keep unwanted hair under control, most people need maintenance treatments.