WHAT IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Laser hair removal is a non-surgical, non-invasive method of removing unwanted hair. A laser beam travels through the skin and is attracted to the pigment in the hair. The energy then flows to the hair follicle growth cells to inhibit further hair growth.



WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?

Most people will respond to laser hair removal unless there is pigment absent from the hair, such as light blond or white hair. This is because laser hair removal works when the laser beam targets pigment. Generally, if your skin is light and your hair is dark and coarse, you are the ideal candidate. However, hair removal lasers from Lutronic treat most skin and hair types. If your skin is dark, then the laser settings will be adjusted to protect the skin's surface. If your hair is light, it may take more treatments because the lighter pigment in your hair will take longer to respond. Your physician is well-versed on how to optimize the treatment settings.


HOW EFFECTIVE IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL?

In 1997 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hair removal lasers for permanent hair reduction. This means that hair removal lasers will be effective as long as the right laser and settings are applied and the appropriate number of treatments are administered. However, there is no guarantee that every hair will respond. Some hairs can be resistant to treatment and may return as thin hairs and/or may be lighter in color.


HOW LONG DOES THE TREATMENT TAKE?

The treatment could take only 4 minutes, or more than an hour, depending on the size of the area. For example, the treatment of an upper lip or chin will be faster than a back.


HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

Hair grows in cycles and most patients need at least 3 or more treatments spaced at least 4 to 8 weeks apart for a satisfactory result. At least 10 to 25% reduction in hair growth can be expected with each treatment.


IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL PAINFUL?

Most patients experience mild pinching of the skin as the laser handpiece moves over the hair. Lutronic lasers have specialized pain management systems, such as the Chilled Compression Tip of the ADVANTAGE that makes the treatments more comfortable. The chilled tip also protects the surface of the skin during the laser treatment.


ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS WITH LASER HAIR REMOVAL?

Side effects are usually mild. The skin may appear red similar to a sunburn, but this subsides within 24 to 48 hours. Other side effects, such as blisters, are extremely rare.


HOW WILL I PREPARE FOR A LASER HAIR REMOVAL TREATMENT?

If you decide to proceed with treatment, your doctor will provide you with instructions. The area to be treated is usually shaved first to ensure a faster treatment with less discomfort.


TREATMENT OPTIONS 

Depilatories, waxing and shaving are the most common home remedies but have to be repeated often. Electrolysis is effective but is a tedious, uncomfortable procedure performed one hair at a time and it requires many treatments. Also, today there are home hair removal lasers on the market. Over the counter hair removal devices have many draw-backs including: cost, speed/coverage, pain, limited skin types, and they are not permanent.

Permanent Hair Reduction

Before

After

Courtesy of Wooseok Koh, MD, South Korea

Permanent Hair Reduction

Before

After

Courtesy of Wooseok Koh, MD, South Korea
 

Background

Laser technology for hair removal is well into its second decade of popularity and remains the most sought after laser treatment today.
  • 1 million procedures performed yearly with women comprising 88% of those receiving treatment
  • Steady growth trend in men in recent years
  • Cultural factors influence preference as women and men desire to achieve a certain look
  • Cosmetic reasons or disease states such as hirsutism--a common condition in females that results in excessive hair growth
  • Ethnic heritage plays a major role in the color and density of hair; leads both men and women to seek medical solutions
  • Long term time savings over traditional modes, such as shaving and waxing


SYSTEMS:

ADVANTAGE laser system

  • Treatment times, on average, are at least 40% faster than seen with other devices.
  • Treatment settings can be easily adjusted to customize treatment to your specific needs, even if you have darker skin.
  • The cooling tip improves safety and comfort during treatment.
  • Even time consuming or hard-to-treat areas, such as the male back, can be quickly and effectively treated.
  • In most cases, fewer treatment sessions are needed and results may be seen after only one treatment.

CLARITY laser system

  • The device’s wavelengths are commonly used for laser hair removal.
  • Treatment settings can be easily adjusted to customize treatment to your specific needs, even if you have dark skin.
  • Doctors can choose between different cooling methods for maximum comfort during treatment.
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