What is laser hair removal ?

Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure designed to reduce unwanted body hair permanently. Unlike traditional methods such as shaving, waxing, or plucking, which provide temporary results. This treatment is highly effective for removing hair from various areas of the body, including the face, arms, legs, bikini area, and back. Laser hair removal is suitable for both men and women seeking a convenient and efficient way to achieve smooth, hair-free skin.

How does laser hair removal Work?

Laser hair removal works by delivering concentrated beams of light into the hair follicles, where it is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) within the hair shaft. The absorbed light energy converts into heat, which damages the hair follicle and inhibits its ability to produce new hair growth. Since the laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle, the procedure is most effective on individuals with darker hair and lighter skin tones. However, advancements in laser technology have made it possible to safely treat a broader range of skin and hair types.

How long is the treatment?

The duration of laser hair removal treatment varies depending on the size of the treatment area and the density of hair being targeted. Smaller areas such as the upper lip or underarms may take as little as 15 to 30 minutes per session, while larger areas like the legs or back may require 60 minutes or more. The actual treatment time can also depend on the specific laser technology used, as some devices offer faster treatment speeds and enhanced comfort features. While significant reduction in hair growth can be achieved after a few sessions, complete hair removal may require multiple treatments over several months.

1. Avoid sun exposure 4-6 weeks before and after treatment until your healthcare provider allows it. Epidermal melanocytes compete with melanin in the hair.

2. Your provider may ask you to stop any topical medications or skin care products 3-5 days prior to treatment.

3. Avoid bleaching, plucking or waxing hair for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. The melanin-containing hair must be present in the follicle as it is the “target” for the laser light.

4. If you have had a history of perioral or genital herpes simplex virus, your provider may recommend a prophylactic antiviral therapy. Follow the directions for your particular antiviral medication.

5. If you have a tan or have a darker Fitzpatrick Skin Type, a bleaching regimen may be started 4-6 weeks before treatment.

6. RECENTLY TANNED SKIN CANNOT BE TREATED! If treated within 2 weeks of active (natural sunlight or tanning booth) tanning, you may develop hypopigmentation (white spots) after treatment and this may not clear for 2-3 months or more.

7. The use of self-tanning skin products must be discontinued one week before treatment. Any residual selftanner should be removed prior to treatment.

The DCD cryogen cooling device will be used with the laser to cool the skin during treatment. Safety considerations are important during the laser procedure. Protective eye wear will be worn by the patient and all personnel in the treatment room during the procedure to reduce the chance of damage to the eye. In addition, your Provider will take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. 

1. Immediately after treatment, there should be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of each hair follicle in the treatment site, which may last up to 2 hours, or longer. The erythema may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.

2. Your provider may use an optional cooling method after treatment to ensure your comfort.

3. A topical soothing skin care product such as aloe vera gel may be applied following treatment if desired.

4. Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment as long as the skin is not irritated.

5. Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation).

6. Use a sunblock (SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of treatment.

7. Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or similar treatments (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area for 4-6 weeks after the laser treatment is performed. Shaving only should be done between treatments.

8. Anywhere from 5-14 days after the treatment, shedding of the treated hair may occur and this appears as new hair growth. This is NOT new hair growth. You can clean and remove the hair by washing or wiping the area with a wet cloth or Loofah sponge.

9. After the axilla (underarm) is treated, you may wish to use a powder instead of a deodorant for 24 hours after the treatment to reduce skin irritation.

10. There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the skin gently, as if you had sunburn, for the first 24 hours.

11. Return to the office or call for an appointment at the first sign of the return of hair growth. This may occur within 4- 6 weeks for the upper body and possibly as long as 2-3 months for the lower body. Hair regrowth occurs at different rates on different areas of the body. New hair growth will not occur for AT LEAST three weeks after treatment.

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