How does laser hair removal work?
Hair removal lasers work by utilizing a concentrated beam of light that is absorbed by the hair’s pigment. The absorption of light damages the follicle which slows or prevents future growth. The darker the hair, the more effective the treatment. This is why patients with gray hair, blonde hair or red hair are not ideal candidates.
Additionally, it is important to understand that hair grows in a cycle of four phases: active/growing (anagen), dormant/regression (catagen), shedding (exogen) and resting (telogen). Every hair is at a different stage within the growth cycle. A laser can only affect the follicles that are in the active/growing (anagen) phase. Because it is impossible to know what phase your hair is in, multiple treatment sessions are necessary.
How often do I have to come in for laser hair reduction treatments?
Treatments need to be done in a consistent manner, until advised otherwise.
Does removing unwanted hair hurt?
Your laser treatment will feel like a “rubber band snap” or “heat sensation”. The degree of the discomfort is comparable to waxing. Our Gentlelase Pro-U is equipped with the state-of-the-art Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) that delivers controlled, cooling bursts of cryogen that make each treatment more comfortable.
The use of an anesthetic (numbing) cream is optional. The cream should be applied 45 minutes prior to your treatment and covered with Saran wrap for maximal effect. Please ask a member of our reception desk for a prescription.
*Safety considerations are important during the laser procedure. You and all personnel in the treatment suite will wear protective eyewear during the procedure to prevent damage to the eye. Additionally, due to laser fumes and protective eyewear requirements, children are not permitted in the treatment suite.
What should I expect after treatment? Are there any restrictions?
Immediately after treatment, there may be redness and swelling at the treated site which may last 1-3 days.
The treated area may feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.
It is normal to feel some itching of the treated area for a few days after treatment since laser can cause dryness of the skin. Should the itching persist for more than 3 days, call the office. If you experience this, avoid scratching the area and apply a moisturizing cream or ointment that is free of perfume, such as Aquaphor.
Make-up may be used a few hours after the treatment.
Avoid sun exposure after your treatment to reduce the chance of skin discoloration. Use sunscreen (SPF 35 or greater) when exposed to direct sun light.
It takes anywhere from one to two weeks after treatment for the burnt hairs to fall off. Shedding of the treated hair may appear as hair growth during this time. You can remove the hair by scrubbing the area with a wet cloth or Loofa sponge. Also, please keep in mind that a first time treated area, the hair may not fall out completely as multiple treatments are needed.
Some individuals may develop a rash or skin “break out” after the laser treatment. If this occurs, please use over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and notify our office if it does not resolve.
What if I experience any side effects or some hairs are missed?