Laser hair removal produces bright beams of light that are preferentially absorbed by melanin (the pigment in hair), and causes thermal (heat) damage to the hair shaft and follicle without damaging surrounding tissue. The hair follicle is damaged or occasionally destroyed and the dark terminal (adult) hair is either permanently removed or replaced with a vellus (fine, light colored) hair. The staff at aNu Aesthetics™ is uniquely skilled in the art of laser hair removal. The ultimate benefit is that our patients achieve longer lasting results in a safe and effective clinical setting.
Traditional hair removal techniques, such as waxing, shaving, and plucking provide only temporary relief. Electrolysis, which may damage hair permanently, involves inserting a needle into each follicle and applying electric current, making it a painful, slow, and tedious process for hair removal. Only small areas can be treated during a single visit with electrolysis, and many treatments over a period of months to years are required to achieve a satisfactory result, and pitted scarring occasionally may occur. The lasers used by our physicians are safe, effective, and convenient and allow larger areas to be treated during a single visit, with improvement noticeable after only one treatment. Repeat treatments are required to achieve the best possible result.
You will experience mild to moderate discomfort similar to being snapped by a rubber band. Most patients tolerate the procedure without any anesthesia. However, if larger or sensitive areas are to be treated, a topical anesthesia cream is applied one hour before treatment.
Immediately after the procedure, the treated area may appear slightly swollen and pink in color and will feel like a mild sunburn. This reaction subsides within minutes to hours. Cool compresses and a topical corticosteroid cream (over the counter) will hasten the disappearance of these symptoms.
The results of laser hair removal are excellent. Several factors determine the effectiveness of these lasers for hair removal including hair color, hair thickness, body site, and skin color. Almost all hair types in all skin colors attain delayed hair re-growth for periods as long as six months after a single treatment. Permanent reduction in hair growth is achieved in nearly 80% of individuals treated, and the best results are achieved after multiple treatments. Laser hair removal used to be restricted to individuals with dark hair and fair skin. Recent developments allow dark skinned individuals and even those with a tan to be treated effectively.
Because hair goes through different phases and these devices most effectively damage hair that is in the active growth phase, multiple treatments are usually necessary. Although a few patients will achieve satisfactory hair removal after a single treatment, most patients will require three to six treatments to a specific area (depending on the area treated). Some patients will require more than six treatments. Arm, leg and underarm, and bikini area hair tend to be the easiest to remove, while facial hair, especially of the lip and chin, can be a bit more resistant to treatment. Treatments are performed approximately every four to six weeks.
There are rarely any permanent side effects with laser hair removal when done properly by trained staff. Skin lightening (hypopigmentation) is rare, but darkening (hyperpigmentation) may occur, especially in patients with darker skin tones. These changes in color usually tend to gradually fade away, but may be permanent. Lasers specifically designed to remove hair in dark skinned individuals greatly diminish this risk. There is a small chance of scarring (less than one percent), appearing as either thickened or depressed areas. To minimize the chances of these possible risks, it is important to follow all pre and post operative instructions carefully.