Laser Hair Removal

INTENSE PULSED LIGHT PERMANENT HAIR REDUCTION
Information Sheet

How does laser and other light based hair reduction work?
Lasers and other light based devices (such as intense pulsed light) are used to reduce hair growth.  The FDA has approved these devices for “permanent hair reduction” which means that with adequate treatments, hair will permanently grow in a finer and less noticeable fashion.  Lasers (and other light based sources) reduce hair growth by affecting the pigmented part of the hair follicle.  Because of this, gray, blonde, and white hairs will not respond to therapy (even if dyed).

What can I expect during each treatment?
Your eyes will be protected with goggles during the procedure and cold gel will be applied to your skin.  Each pulse is stingy but should not be painful.  If you experience significant pain, let your provider know so that your settings can be adjusted.   The treatment of small areas (such as the lip and chin) typically takes around 5-10 minutes, while larger areas (such as the back) may up to 1 hour.  

What can I expect following each treatment?
Following the procedure, your skin will appear pink and possibly stingy.  An ice pack is helpful in soothing any discomfort.  It is okay to apply makeup immediately following the treatment if desired.  Over the next several days, small scabs may occur.  While some hairs will appear gone initially, they will regrow between treatments.   However, with sufficient treatments, hair should be permanently finer and less noticeable.

How many treatments will I need and how often should I have them?
In general, the more treatments you have, the better the results.  We suggest a minimum of 3-5 treatments.   Treatments should be spaced every 6-8 weeks.  If they are spaced further apart than this, you may not achieve the same improvement.

How should I prepare for my treatments?  
If possible, come into the office without any makeup or other products on the areas to be treated.  If having treatments on your face, avoid using alcohol based hair products (such as gel, mousse, or hairspray) prior to the treatment.  (Conditioner is fine).  We suggest avoiding sun exposure for 4 weeks prior to each treatment.  If you are tan, your treatment may need to be rescheduled for your safety.  

What are some other options for treating unwanted hair?
Electrolysis can be used to permanently destroy hair follicles though this process is more painful than light based treatments and the results are variable.  Waxing, shaving, and depilatory creams are effective temporary hair removal treatments though can be irritating to the skin.  Finally, the prescription cream, Vaniqua, is FDA approved for slowing the re-growth of unwanted hair facial hair.  It is used in conjunction with hair removal therapies to make the hair more manageable since continued use of the cream makes the hair grow back more slowly. 

LASER PERMANENT HAIR REDUCTION
Information Sheet

How does laser and other light based hair reduction work?
Lasers and other light based devices (such as intense pulsed light) are used to reduce hair growth.  The FDA has approved these devices for “permanent hair reduction” which means that with adequate treatments, hair will permanently grow in a finer and less noticeable fashion.  Lasers (and other light based sources) reduce hair growth by affecting the pigmented part of the hair follicle.  Because of this, gray, blonde, and white hairs will not respond to therapy (even if dyed).

What can I expect during each treatment?
Your eyes will be protected with goggles during the procedure and cold gel will be applied to your skin.  Each pulse is stingy but should not be painful.  If you experience significant pain, let your provider know so that your settings can be adjusted.   The treatment of small areas (such as the lip and chin) typically takes around 5-10 minutes, while larger areas (such as the back) may up to 1 hour.  

What can I expect following each treatment?
Following the procedure, your skin will appear pink and possibly stingy.  An ice pack is helpful in soothing any discomfort.  It is okay to apply makeup immediately following the treatment if desired.  Over the next several days, small scabs may occur.  While some hairs will appear gone initially, they will regrow between treatments.   However, with sufficient treatments, hair should be permanently finer and less noticeable.

How many treatments will I need and how often should I have them?
In general, the more treatments you have, the better the results.  We suggest a minimum of 3-5 treatments.   Treatments should be spaced every 6-8 weeks.  If they are spaced further apart than this, you may not achieve the same improvement.

How should I prepare for my treatments?  

If possible, come into the office without any makeup or other products on the areas to be treated.  If having treatments on your face, avoid using alcohol based hair products (such as gel, mousse, or hairspray) prior to the treatment.  (Conditioner is fine).  We suggest avoiding sun exposure for 4 weeks prior to each treatment.  If you are tan, your treatment may need to be rescheduled for your safety.  

What are some other options for treating unwanted hair?
Electrolysis can be used to permanently destroy hair follicles though this process is more painful than light based treatments and the results are variable.  Waxing, shaving, and depilatory creams are effective temporary hair removal treatments though can be irritating to the skin.  Finally, the prescription cream, Vaniqua, is FDA approved for slowing the re-growth of unwanted hair facial hair.  It is used in conjunction with hair removal therapies to make the hair more manageable since continued use of the cream makes the hair grow back more slowly.