Laser Hair Removal

1. How old do you have to be for laser hair removal?

There really is no age limit, but we never treat toddlers. Young people that are not finished growing will develop new hair as they grow, and will require touch ups to maintain the results. We currently do not treat children under the age of 13. Older people usually have gray hair that will not respond to laser.

 

 2. Is it painful?

People have compared it to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Compared to waxing the treatment has very little discomfort. Everyone's pain tolerance is different. If you do find it uncomfortable, we can prescribe a numbing cream for the skin.

 

3. LASER stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Should I be worried about "radiation" to my skin?

No. There are two basic types of radiation, (1) Non-ionizing radiation, and (2) Ionizing radiation. Hair removal lasers produce "non-ionizing" radiation which is simply the radiation of light, and is FDA approved for your skin. Ionizing radiation which represents x-rays, ultra-violet and nuclear radiation is a completely different type of radiation, and is not produced by hair removal lasers.

 

 4. What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a procedure which removes hair from the body utilizing a long pulse laser. Laser hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997. The treatment is performed by a specially-trained laser specialist or a doctor (depending on the clinic and state regulations) by pointing the laser device at shaved skin. Laser heat disables follicles from producing hair. Hair grows in cycles. Since various hairs will enter their growth cycle at different times, about 6-8 treatments at intervals of 8-12 weeks are necessary to disable most of the follicles in a given area.

 

5. Am I a Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

Both men and women seek laser hair removal to remove unwanted hair. Hair removal is commonly done on underarm, pubic area, legs, abdomen, lip, chin, back, buttocks, thighs, face, neck, chest, arms, and toes. Laser technology works by targeting dark pigment. Therefore, it works best on pale skin and dark coarse hair. The lighter the skin and the darker and more coarse the hair, the better are the results. The best candidates are patients treating areas with dark coarse dense hair growth.

 

6. How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Lasers designed for permanent hair reduction emit wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigment in the hair (melanin). If the surrounding skin is lighter than the color of the hair, the energy of the laser is concentrated in the hair shaft, effectively destroying it without affecting the skin or the follicle. Since lasers target pigment, treatments are most effective on coarse hair because it has a lot of pigment and can absorb a lot of heat. Fine hair cannot absorb much heat. The ability of the laser device to produce a very narrow bandwidth on a consistent basis is the key to a safe efficient treatment. While the laser emits a beam that only heats the hair shaft, heat is transmitted from the hair shaft to the surrounding tissue for several milliseconds after the laser pulse. Several lasers possess cooling attachments which cool the surrounding skin to fully absorb any heat transmitted from the destroyed hair shafts. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines are not lasers. These machines use a highly concentrated beam of traditional incoherent light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft. A serious flaw with these systems is that they lack the laser's ability to produce a selective bandwidth of light that will only affect the hair shaft (selective photothermolysis). IPLs produce a wide bandwidth of light that can heat up all of the surrounding tissue, making it less effective in disabling hair and putting the patient at a higher risk for burns, especially on darker skin. IPL devices are generally cheaper than laser devices, which is why many clinics choose to use them. Generally, true hair removal lasers (i.e. alexandrite, diode, and ND:Yag types) tend to achieve better and faster results than IPLs.

 

7. How Many Laser Treatments will I Need and How Far Apart are They Scheduled?

Most patients need at least 6-8 effective treatments spaced 8-12 weeks apart. Because hair grows in cycles, several sessions are necessary in order to affect all hair on any given area. Due to length of hair growth cycles, treatments are usually needed once every 8-12 weeks. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 8 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 12 weeks apart). Shedding of all treated hair should be expected within 3 weeks of each treatment. The hair that doesn't shed and is growing as usual after 3 weeks has likely been either missed or not affected due to inappropriate settings. If this is the case, a touchup treatment is necessary at that time. All 6-8 treatments should be good effective treatments in order to achieve good results. Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for several weeks. Once new hair comes in again, patients should come in for their next session.

 

8. Are They any Laser Hair Removal Risks or Side Effects? come in for their next session.

Some people may experience the following potential temporary side effects:1.Itching 2.Redness for up to 3 days 3.Swelling around mouth of follicle for up to 3 days 4.Tingling or feeling of numbness The following rare side effects are indicative of inappropriate laser type and/or settings:1.Crusting/scab formation 2.Bruising 3.Purpura (purple coloring of the skin) 4.Temporary pigment change (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation)

 

 9. What if I Merely Want to Reduce Hair Density in a Certain Area?

4 Yes. This can be achieved with 3-4 treatments instead of the full course of 6-8 treatments. To achieve an even reduction without patchiness, it is imperative to find an experienced laser operator who overlaps properly while covering the area and doesn't miss spots. It's also a good idea to wait at least 12 weeks between sessions in order to correctly assess the amount of reduction achieved at any point during the course of treatments.

 

 10. What are the Causes of Excessive Hair Growth and How Can They Affect My Treatments?

The causes of excessive hair growth are many and varied, including: 1.Heredity 2.Pregnancy 3.Glandular and/or hormonal imbalances, including diseases causing these effects (i.e. PCOS condition in women) 4.Insulin resistance issues 5.Thyroid problems 6.Reactions to certain medications 7.Normal aging processes 8.Excessive temporary hair removal methods that impact the root (like waxing and tweezing). Before starting laser treatments, patients with excessive hair growth on uncommon areas should explore possible underlying medical reasons for it. Hair removal methods can only impact hair that's currently growing. They cannot prevent the body from developing new hair after treatments are completed. Women with facial male-pattern growth are advised to see an endocrinologist to explore the possibility of PCOS or elevated testosterone levels. Men experiencing excessive growth can get tested for insulin resistance.

 

11. Is it True that Laser Hair Removal Can Actually Stimulate Hair Growth in Some Areas?

 

Some patients report that finer hairs treated with laser become more prominent and more numerous. Related discussions have begun at industry conferences. It is a rare occurrence which happens only when treating fine hair, especially on women's faces and men's upper arms, shoulders and upper backs. It is also a concern when treating sparse hairs of any kind on any body area. Darker skin types (type IV and darker) are more susceptible to experiencing laser-induced growth. It is advised to only choose laser hair removal for body areas with dark coarse dense growth. Laser devices are only effective on coarse growth. Fine and vellus hair should be removed with electrolysis.

 

 12. How does laser hair removal work?

The laser targets the darkness of the melanin pigment in the hair follicle. Since melanin is only produced in the growth phase of the hair, the laser must target the hair follicle during this cycle. At any given time, 10-20% of the hair in a particular area may be in a growth phase. Therefore, more than one treatment needs to be scheduled, preferably at 6-8 week intervals. With multiple treatments all hair follicles can be disabled.

 

 13. Are there any side effects?

Risks are minimal. There is no recovery or down time. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately. After the treatment you may experience a slight reddening of the skin similar to a sunburn that will resolve within a few hours to days. In certain instances (especially in patients with darker complexions) temporary pigment changes may occur, but will disappear within a month.

 

end faq

 

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