Laser Hair Removal
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser Hair Removal is a safe, gentle and effective means for the removal of unwanted hair for both men and women. Dr. Blumenstrauch and his medical staff at Dermatology Group Southern California use the Cutera CoolGlide system because it allows us to safely treat a wide range of skin tones without risks of skin discoloration or skin damage.
Photo courtesy Eliot Battle, Jr., MD
Patient results may vary
Where Can Hair Laser Be Used?
The *Coolglide can be used on any skin area where you have excessive or unwanted hair.
- Hair on the face, including the lip and chin
- Hair under the arms
- Hair on the chest or back
- Leg hair and bikini line
- Pseudo Folliculitis Barbae – ingrown hair on the face and neck
* The Coolglide hair laser is a long wavelength laser, the first approved by the FDA for safe reduction of hair for all skin colors.
Because hair lasers are targeting “color” – actually the pigment in the hair – certain lasers are not suitable for all skin colors and can potentially cause scarring or dark areas. The selected Cutera hair removal system in our office will assure a safe and effective treatment no matter what skin color or skin area we treat.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The laser produces a bright beam of light that is preferentially absorbed by melanin (the pigment in hair) and causes damage to the hair shaft and follicle, where hair growth originates. This heat-damage inhibits further hair growth. The CoolGlide hand piece cools and soothes the surrounding skin to protect it from damage as the laser’s heat is absorbed by the hair.
Will My Hair Laser Treatments Give Permanent Results?
Treatment results may vary among patients. CoolGlide is cleared by the FDA for Permanent Hair Reduction. The FDA defines permanent hair reduction as the long term, stable reduction in the number of hairs re-growing after a treatment regime.
What Does a Hair Laser Treatment Feel Like?
The laser treatment may feel like a mild sting for a fraction of a second. Some patients describe the sensation as a rubber band snap. The CoolGlide hand piece has a built in cooling tip that not only helps to protect the skin but also helps to minimize the discomfort.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
This is very important to understand. Hair grows through 3 stages of development: growth (anagen), resting (catagen), and regression (telogen). Typically in the anagen stage, the hair will respond more effectively to treatment. At any given time, only one third of human hair is in the anagen stage. For this reason, it is necessary to treat an area at least three times with the treatments spaced approximately 6 weeks apart in order to see the best and the longest lasting results.
Most areas require 3-6 treatments. Darker hair will respond better. People with light hair may see only moderate improvement and may need a greater number of treatment sessions. White hair does not respond at all.
What Happens After My Laser Hair Treatment?
Immediately following your treatment, the area may appear a bit red and swollen. Your skin may even develop a light crust that will peel off. Over the counter cortisone and Aloe Vera Gel may help with redness or inflammation of the skin. In about 3-7 days after the treatment you may experience what seems to be regrowth of the hair. Actually, most of these hairs are being shed as a result of your treatment and are not regrowing. Between treatments you should not wax or pluck your hair, but shaving is permissible. As your treatments progress, your hair will become lighter and finer as fewer hairs re-grow and other hairs have experienced levels of follicular damage.
Photo courtesy Kevin Smith, MD
Patient results may vary
Are There Restrictions After My Treatment?
Although we encourage you to resume normal activities almost immediately, we do ask that you
- Refrain from vigorous activities for at least 24hrs.
- Use sunscreen on all treated areas that are exposed to the sun.
- Avoid bathing or washing with very hot water.
- Do not shave the treated area for at least 4 days after the treatment.
- Avoid any irritating medications or chemicals to the treated areas. Examples are Retin-A, Benzoyl Peroxide, and acid based product (glycolic, salicylic, etc) or astringents.
Should I Do Anything Before Laser Hair Treatment?
It is necessary for you to have 1 to 2 day’s hair growth so that the areas that require treatment are easily recognizable. If not, it may be difficult to pinpoint all areas needing treatment.
*If you are currently on Accutane or have been in the past 6 months, please let us know. The medication can make your skin more susceptible to damage from the laser.
It is recommended that you not tan or use any tanning lotions prior to your treatment. The laser is most effective when your skin is at its lightest.