Laser Assisted Hair Removal is an exciting option for hair removal that has developed over the past decade. Although major advances have been made over the years, the laser technology for hair removal is still evolving, with ongoing improvements in the various laser systems constantly taking place. These advances can occur as our knowledge of the basic science of hair growth cycles and laser physics grows and our clinical experience guides us in new directions for laser development.
How does the laser decrease the growth of unwanted hair? The laser light targets melanin pigment in the hair bulb (root) of actively growing hairs, thereby destroying them. However, only some of the hairs in any body area are in the active growth phase (anagen), the rest being resting (catagen) or falling (telogen) hairs, which are not destroyed by the laser beam. So, multiple cycles of laser treatments at 4-6 week intervals are necessary if complete hair removal in an area is desired. This way hairs can be destroyed as they cycle thru the growth phase, hopefully eventually removing most of the unwanted hairs.
We use the effective, well-tested GentleLase alexandrite laser, which incorporates a cooling spray before each laser pulse. This cools and protects the upper epidermis from the laser light, and allows the laser beam to penetrate down to the depth of the hair follicle, where it exerts its action. It also helps to decrease the discomfort from the laser beam, although we also advise a topical anesthetic cream prior to treatment for optimal patient comfort. An additional advantage of this laser is the 3msec pulse duration, which also spares the pigment of the epidermis, decreasing the risks of pigmentation changes or scarring. Because the laser treats more than one hair at a time, it is feasible to treat larger areas such as the face, bikini area, arms, armpits, legs, back, and shoulders.
Although the FDA has approved several systems for LASER-ASSISTED HAIR REMOVAL, none of them truly accomplishes complete or permanent hair removal. We can say that laser-assisted hair removal gives permanent hair "reduction" in the treated areas, and at this time seems to be the fastest and most effective of the hair removal/reduction techniques.
If you think LASER-ASSISTED HAIR REMOVAL is a treatment you may be interested in, please ask to see our additional information, which may further clarify any questions you may have. At that point, our physicians and assistant staff are willing to answer your questions and to help you decide if this treatment is right for you.