Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Laser Hair Removal Overview
Clients looking to permanently reduce or remove unwanted facial and body hair may choose laser hair removal as an effective, non-invasive hair reduction option. The procedure is usable to treat large or small areas and offers far greater results than other depilatory methods, such as waxing, shaving, or electrolysis treatments. Patients also appreciate the fact that there is minimal discomfort and zero downtime.
- Preparation: Six weeks before treatment, avoid exposure to direct sunlight, which increases the risk of hyperpigmentation. Two weeks prior to your procedure, stop taking all blood-thinning medications and supplements, including aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and Gingko biloba.
- Anesthesia: Anesthesia is not necessary for this procedure.
- Preoperative Consult: During your preoperative consult, explain your treatment goals to Dr. Vallecillos. He will advise you of your treatment options, including how many hair removal sessions you likely require. At this time, share your complete medical history, as some conditions and medications have increased light sensitivity. Be sure to discuss connective tissue disorders and medications such as Tetracycline.
After the hair to be treated is trimmed to the correct length and the cooling gel applied, a low-energy laser beam targets the appropriate treatment area in short micro-pulses. Pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the heat of these quick bursts, which damages the hair shaft and bulb, impeding the hair’s future growth. This repeats across the entire treatment area in sessions that typically last 15 to 30 minutes. As hair grows at different rates, multiple treatments are necessary to achieve permanent results.
Laser Hair Removal FAQs
Who is a candidate for laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is safe for all skin types, although its efficacy is greatest on individuals with darker hair and lighter skin. This is because darker hair absorbs more of the light, and lighter skin colors allow easier transmission of light through to the hair follicle.
What is the recovery time for laser hair removal?
Treatment recipients may immediately return to their normal activities. However, follow Dr. Vallecillos’ instructions exactly and avoid direct sunlight for four weeks following treatment. Additionally, do not take long, hot baths or showers. Instead, short, warm showers are advisable.
Are there risks or side effects associated with laser hair removal?
Risks and side effects of laser hair removal are rare and typically temporary when they do occur. Some patients experience temporary swelling, treatable with cold packs or cooling gels. Patients may develop a healing crust or blister at the treatment site, but these are superficial and temporary. Also rare is bruising. If it occurs, it generally subsides within a week. Some patients may develop either hyperpigmentation, which is darkening of the skin, or hypopigmentation, which is lightening of the skin. This is usually temporary and fades in one to six months. Again, avoid direct sunlight, as sun exposure intensifies pigmentation issues.
How long do the results last?
Hair reduction is permanent, although follow-up treatments may be necessary.