Laser Hair Removal - FAQ
What is laser hair removal?
An infrared laser selectively targets microstructures such as hair follicles. The laser is very effective for lighter skin types and, because of the relatively low absorption of this light by melanin, it is the best choice when treating darker skin types. Additionally, the ability to safely treat sun-tanned skin makes this the treatment of choice for active individuals.
Can all skin colors be treated?
Yes, all skin types I through VI can be treated. Skin Type I is very fair, always burns, never tans (usually blonds hair and blue eyes). Skin Type VI never burns (dark skin, dark hair and eyes).
Can tanned skin be treated?
Tanned skin can be treated safely, but always tell your plastic surgeon if you have been tanning, using tanning products, or exposed to the sun within the last three weeks. He will adjust your treatment regimen accordingly to give you the safest, most effective experience.
What happens during hair removal treatment?
Your plastic surgeon will discuss the treatment with you and decide if you need a topical anesthetic cream. The area of your skin that is to be treated will be scanned with laser light. Treatment time will depend upon the area to be used to remove heat as it leaves the follicles and should ensure a comfortable treatment. However, since the sensation varies from individual to individual, a topical enesthesia can be provided. Let your plastic surgeon know if you are very sensitive.
How does laser hair removal work?
The laser selectively targets your hair follicles and heats them with infrared energy. Unlike other processes the laser beam treats many hairs at once, making treatment of large areas practical. The laser employs a unique computer-guided scanning system that automates the treatment, ensuring that your skin is rapidly and evenly treated. The computer sets the parameters and places the beam in an optimum pattern for your skin to ensure a safe, fast, effective and gentle treatment.
What should I expect after laser hair removal treatment?
Some redness and slight swelling may be present in the area that has been treated; however, this should subside within a few hours. If any prolonged redness or swelling occurs consult your plastic surgeon. Keep the treated area clean, use at least SPF 15 sunscreen when outdoors, and follow you surgeon's instructions.
How many treatments will I need?
You may need to be treated from 3 to 5 times at intervals of 3 to 8 weeks. There are three phases of hair growth - anagen, catagen, and telogen. Only hairs in the active growth phase, anagen, can be successfully treated.
Is there any risk of complications?
Temporary pigmentation changes are possible but seldom occur. Always discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon prior to your treatment.
Can in-grown hair be treated?
The infrared energy delivered by the laser can be used to remove all types of hair. Sometimes "shaving bumps" can cover a follicle, but the penetrating light of the laser can still be safely used.