Procedure Summary: Laser Hair Removal
- Indications: Hair Removal
- Downtime: None
- Anesthetic Needs: Topical numbing in about half of our clients
- Typical Package: 5-7 treatments, 6-8 weeks apart
Laser hair removal is an efficient process that allows those with unwanted facial and body hair to say goodbye to razors, waxing, and plucking. This procedure offers a long-lasting reduction of hair on nearly any area of the body, reducing the need for constant maintenance to keep a smooth, silky look to the skin. The safety, precision and consistency of laser hair removal enables it to offer superior results in even the most sensitive areas. Dermacare Laser and Skin Care Clinics features state-of-the-art laser hair removal technology for the benefit of all of our patients, providing them with the best possible results in long-lasting hair reduction treatments available today.
Why do I have unwanted hair growth?
Healthy hair growth is a feature desired by both men and women. Full, luxurious hair is a sign of good health and often considered a highly attractive attribute. However, we only get these benefits from our hair when we experience hair growth in specific body locations, for example, throughout the scalp, in the beard for men and in the eyelashes and eyebrows of both genders. Hair growth anywhere else can be a source of concern and, often, the causes of hair growth in these disadvantageous locations is beyond our control. A few factors can directly lead to this type of hair growth, which include:
- Our genes — hair growth is often a hereditary feature and, unfortunately, as much as we’d like to, we can’t control our predisposition towards hair growth in certain body areas; however, we can eliminate the hairs which form quickly, easily and semi-permanently through laser hair removal.
- Hormonal changes — as we age, our hormone levels change, and this can affect men and women differently, leading to hair loss in some areas and unwanted hair growth in others; for many, it is easier and more effective to eliminate undesired hair growth through laser hair removal than it is to manage these ongoing and fluctuating hormone changes.
- Medications — certain medications, such as anabolic steroids and testosterone, which are necessary to treat other serious conditions, may also contribute to hair growth in body areas that pose an inconvenience. Laser hair removal treatments provide patients with a way to continue their prescription treatments while also maintaining a satisfying appearance.
Unwanted hair growth can feel like an insurmountable problem when using traditional means to combat it. For example, shaving, plucking, and waxing can be very irritating to the skin and also very expensive.However, men and women who are comfortable having a quick and no-downtime cosmetic procedure such as laser hair removal can enjoy significant, safe, and long-term improvements when it comes to unwanted hair.
How does laser hair removal work?
Laser hair removal involves the use of a device that delivers focused laser energy directly into the hair follicle. The laser emits heat to damage the follicle, causing the hair inside the follicle to shed. The residual damage also makes it difficult for future hair to grow, which is why this method is known for offering long-lasting hair reduction without the need for frequent treatment sessions. The laser targets the follicle without damaging surrounding skin and tissue, producing a safe and relatively comfortable procedure that can be performed in the office without the need for anesthesia or recovery time afterward.
Laser treatments work because the laser can distinguish between the melanin in the hair and the skin to focus on the hair follicle. Because it needs some contrast to be effective, laser hair removal works best for patients with fair skin and darker hair colors. However, advances in technology and the addition of more wavelengths allow providers like Dermacare to safely and effectively treat a broader range of skin tones and hair shades. The process does not tend to work well on red, grey or white hair since pigment in these hair colors is minimal.
What is the Icon ™ Laser?
The Icon™ Laser featured at Dermacare Laser and Skin Care Clinics is a proven method of hair reduction that has been approved by the FDA.The technology in the Icon system offers industry-leading IPL and laser therapies, and is the industry’s only live melanin reader. Developed with safety and efficacy in mind, these features provide the confidence you need the results you want. :
What areas does it treat?
The Icon laser is a versatile treatment that can address a variety of areas where unwanted hair tends to grow:
- Arms and underarms
- Chest and stomach
- Bikini line
- Neck and shoulders
- Chin and upper lip
How is it performed?
We perform laser hair removal at both our Rancho Bernardo and Carlsbad offices at Dermacare Laser and Skin Care Clinics. The procedure is usually done without the need for any anesthesia. However, we do provide patients with a topical anesthetic before treatment if there is concern over discomfort or a particularly sensitive area will be addressed.
The handpiece glides along the skin, delivering pulses of laser energy directly into the hair follicles. As the light connects with the skin, you may experience a mild pinching or stinging sensation that feels like a rubber band snap against the skin. The discomfort is short-lived, and most patients find the process to be very tolerable. Sessions might last a few minutes or take up to an hour or more, depending on the size of the treatment area.
There is no recovery period required after laser hair removal. Your skin may be tender to the touch and red like a sunburn. The side effects should not be severe enough to keep you from any of your daily activities. Dr. Birchall will advise you to keep the treatment area away from direct sun exposure for a few days since UV rays can cause complications with newly treated skin. It is also advised that you avoid hot baths, swimming pools and strenuous exercise on the day of your treatment.
Are there risks with laser hair removal?
Risks with laser hair removal tend to be mild and might include redness and skin irritation. In rare instances, hyperpigmentation might occur, but this is usually prevented by keeping skin out of direct sunlight after the procedure. It is also possible that some hairs will be resistant to the treatment, leaving you with results that are not as thorough as you hoped. Further laser hair removal sessions can be scheduled to deal with stubborn hairs.
How soon will I see results?
Hair goes through three distinct phases: the growth or anagen phase, the intermediate or catagen phase and the telogen or shedding phase. Laser treatments are only able to target the hair in the growth phase, which does not encompass all the follicles in the treatment area at the same time. Since other follicles will enter this active growth phase at different periods, additional treatments will be necessary to disable all the follicles in a given area.
The average patient will require at least five to seven treatment sessions, spaced six to eight weeks apart in order to target hairs at different stages of the growth cycle. However, the number of appointments needed for optimal results and long-term benefits will depend on different factors like hair thickness, the area you want to be treated and your unique hair growth cycle. The staff at Dermacare Laser and Skin Care Clinics will advise you on how many sessions we think you might need at your first appointment, so you have an idea of what to expect. We also offer packages to make the full treatment protocol more affordable for our patients.
Laser Hair Removal Testimonial
“It was great meeting you on my last visit to the Rancho Bernardo office for my laser hair removal treatment for my back. You have a great operation there – professional environment, friendly staff, modern office feel – yet warm and relaxing. I’m sure your business will survive these economic times and thrive because your enthusiasm for excellence is very apparent.
As promised, here is a link of my appearance on “The Doctors.” Feel free to share it with everyone. I feel like a poster boy for Dermacare. Looking forward to session 4 of 5!”
– Best regards, E. G.
Get started today! Call our Rancho Bernardo location at (858) 487-3376 or our Carlsbad location at (760) 448-8100 now to schedule your in-person consultation with Dr. Jeff Birchall at Dermacare, so you can start enjoying all these benefits now. Dr. Birchall and the entire Dermacare staff welcome you and look forward to restoring your overall satisfaction with your appearance for now and the foreseeable future.