HAIR REMOVAL WITH SPECTRUM & LIGHTSHEER DIODE LASERS
Patient Information & Preparation
How does laser hair removal work?
Our Spectrum & LightSheer diode lasers are state-of-the-art systems designed to remove unwanted hair faster with less discomfort and more reliability than other methods. These are considered gold standard for laser hair removal.
Who and which areas can be treated?
Almost anyone can undergo laser hair removal. Exceptions include pregnant women, people with an active infection or abrasion at the treatment site (including cold sores), anyone who has used Accutane within 6 months of treatment, and people with bleeding disorders (consult a physician).
Areas commonly treated include the face/beard/neck, underarms or entire arms, legs, bikini line, back, and chest; virtually anywhere there is unwanted hair growth. We do not sculpt eyebrows with laser hair removal. Because laser hair removal works by targeting pigment within the bulb, it is not very effective at treating white/grey or very blonde hair and we, therefore, do not recommend laser hair removal for these exceptions.
How long does treatment usually take?
The length of a treatment may last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of the treatment area.
How many treatments will be required?
It is important to know that hair in an active growth phase (referred to as anagen) is most affected by the laser. Because not all hair is in this phase at the same time, more than one treatment will be necessary to achieve the best result. For most patients, four to eight treatments spaced approximately 4 weeks apart provide desired results. Patients who respond well may achieve up to 90% permanent hair reduction (remaining hair is usually sparse and/or fine).
Can I return to work and normal activities immediately?
The appearance of the treated area immediately after treatment varies. Side effects, if any, are minor. They may include inflammation around the hair follicles, which is, in fact, the desired result and indicates that the follicle has responded to treatment. Most people return to normal activity right away.
Preparation for laser hair removal:
- No sun-tanning or artificial tanning 3 weeks prior to treatment. Suntanned skin may experience discoloration (darkening or lightening).
- If you have a history of cold sores or herpes near the area to be treated, inform our office prior to the treatment. An oral medication (acyclovir, Valtrex or Famvir) may be prescribed to prevent the rare case of cold sore activation by treatment.
- Please do not do any waxing, plucking, Nair or Neet treatments, or sugaring for 6 weeks before treatment. Hair follicles that do not have hair shafts in them to absorb laser energy will not be killed by the laser energy.
- Please do not wear makeup on the areas to be treated. If you must wear makeup, please make sure it is of a type that is easy to remove. If makeup absorbs laser energy, less energy will reach your hair follicles and hair shafts. If the makeup heats up, it could irritate or burn your skin. Makeup can be re-applied immediately after treatment.
- Please shave or clip the areas to be treated the day before treatment or on the morning of treatment. This way, the skin will be less sensitive. Shaving before you come in also allows you to shape the exact area you want to be treated — this is sometimes very useful in areas like the hairline and sideburns, and in the bikini area. Excess hair above the surface of the skin absorbs and wastes laser energy, and reduces the amount of energy that reaches the hair root, where it is really needed. Excess hair above the surface of the skin also increases the chance of burning or irritating the skin.
Learn about how Laser Hair Removal Post care to ensure the healthy healing of your skin and follicles.
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