Both women and men can have excess hair growth. If you’re one of these people, you know that shaving is not often the best option.
To find out if removing unwanted patches of hair for clear skin is a good idea for you, consider scheduling a consultation at Tucson’s leading dermatology office, Pima Dermatology. Our board-certified dermatologists and staff of excellent skin professionals understand how excess hair growth can adversely impact your appearance and self-esteem. That’s why they provide laser hair removal solutions for smoother, softer skin and a cleaner appearance.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The lasers used for hair removal emit certain wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle. The lasers also have a dynamic cooling device to help protect the surface of the skin. The wavelength of light, duration of the pulses, and the amount of energy delivered have been carefully determined so that the energy will be absorbed by the hair follicle to destroy it, but not long enough that the excess heat damages the surrounding skin. The result is safe and effective hair reduction and removal.
Who is a Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
In general, any adult woman or man with excessive or unwanted hair may be a good candidate. Patients with lighter skin and dark hair are considered the best candidates, however, patients with a skin color that is darker than their hair may be treated with carefully selected laser settings. This is why it’s a good idea to consult with a professional, board-certified dermatologist with experience treating patients of all skin types and colors before fully committing to a procedure.
Patients with excess hair growth due to hormonal irregularities, such as during pregnancy or menopause, might have to consider other hair removal options.
Which Areas Can Be Treated?
The concentrated laser energy used to remove hair is ideal because it penetrates the skin without causing damage. Following several sessions, you will be left with your natural smooth, beautiful skin!
Although laser hair removal is effective for nearly any part of your body, the most common areas include:
- Bikini Line
- Upper Lip
Which Types of Hair Removal Lasers Are Available at Pima Dermatology?
Pima Dermatology currently provides two distinct laser hair removal options:
- Cynosure Elite MPX™ is an ideal option if you have lighter skin and/or fine hair.
- GentleYAG laser is a safe, effective option if you have darker or tanned skin and/or coarse hair.
During your consultation, we’ll discuss the laser option that is best for your skin and hair type, so you’ll have the most reasonable treatment expectations.
The actual number of sessions you undergo depends on what your goals are and how much hair is targeted for removal. Typically, 3-5 sessions are the norm for optimal results, though removal of denser patches could require six or more sessions at 4-6 week intervals.
What to Expect Post Laser Treatment
Another benefit of laser treatment for hair removal is the limited number of side effects. Although results vary, the skin could be mildly inflamed and/or swollen for the first 2-3 days after a session, and you could experience stinging or tingling sensations (similar to a sunburn).
We highly recommend avoiding the sun, applying ice packs/compresses, and following post-treatment care instructions to relieve discomfort or reduce blistering.
Within 3-4 weeks, your skin should be clear, smooth, and silky.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Should I Prepare for Laser Treatment?
Tanning should be avoided. Self-tanning bronzers should also be avoided (stop use at least 10 days prior to laser treatment). Waxing, plucking, and bleaching should be avoided for a minimum of two weeks prior to treatment. A patient is advised to trim or shave the hairs in the area to be treated the day before the treatment.
In fact, it is best to freshly shave or clip the hairs in the area being treated just prior to treatment. A topical anesthetic (i.e. L.M.X.) may be recommended prior to treatment.
How Long Will a Treatment Session Take?
Different lasers treat hairs at different speeds. Since Lasers treat many hairs at a time, facial areas (chin, lip, cheeks, etc.) can usually be treated in less than 10 – 15 minutes. Small body areas (underarms, bikini line, etc.) take less than 30 minutes. Larger body areas (full back, full legs, both arms, etc.) can take longer, depending upon the size of the area, the density of the hair, and the speed of the Laser.
Is Treatment Painful?
Most patients describe the treatment as mildly uncomfortable, but not painful. It is likened to a pricking sensation or a “rubber band snap.” For sensitive or extensive facial and body areas, some patients may use a topical anesthetic.
What Should I Avoid After Treatment?
Sun exposure or tanning should be avoided. This can be accomplished by the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA/UVB). The treated areas should be handled gently, avoiding the use of abrasive cleansers or topical acne preparations. Ice compresses can be used to minimize swelling. If blistering occurs, a topical antibiotic such as Bactroban (a prescription antibiotic available as a cream or an ointment) can be applied. Most patients experience minimal after-effects following Laser treatment.
Contact Pima Dermatology to Find Out More about Laser Hair Removal
Laser therapy for the removal of excess hair is an ideal choice for many patients. If you’re considering treatment for unwanted hair, consider laser hair removal from the board-certified dermatologists and skin specialists at Pima Dermatology. Treatment is safe, quick, and effective. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call our practice in Tucson today.
Next, read about Sciton Halo laser skin rejuvenation.