You've waxed, shaved, and maybe even used those messy depilatory creams. But despite all that time, money, and frustration, unwanted hair continues to be a constant problem. That's why so many men and women are delighted to discover that they can achieve long-lasting smoother skin with light-based and laser hair removal in Orlando.
At the Hillcrest Plastic Surgery, we use the latest pain-free advances in laser hair removal to permanently reduce areas of unwanted hair with practically no discomfort. Areas that can be treated include the face, arms, legs, back, and bikini line. At our medical spa in Orlando, laser hair removal is ideal for all types of skin and can be used on all areas except for the eye region.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The science behind laser hair removal is fascinating, and also important to understand. This is because the way in which laser hair removal works requires a commitment to a series of treatments. It only takes one treatment to begin seeing the results you want, but it takes a complete treatment regimen to enjoy those results for a prolonged period.
To eliminate unwanted hair, a specific form of laser energy is directed toward the skin, where it gets absorbed in the hair follicles. Specifically, the light targets the melanin in the hair that is growing in the follicle at the time of treatment. As the light gets absorbed, the hair dissolves. Additionally, the heat from this contact stunts the cells within the hair follicles that are involved in the active hair growth cycle.
The hair growth cycle is an important aspect of laser hair removal. It is the reason why multiple sessions are required to achieve lasting results. We schedule sessions several weeks apart in order to affect each active hair growth cycle. Your hair follicles go through various cycles. In one, the anagen phase, hair is growing. In another, the catagen phase, hair follicles are shrinking. Finally, in the telogen phase, your hair follicles are at rest and you're shedding old hairs. Once this occurs, the follicles become active again. Laser hair removal treatments are only effective during that active hair growth phase.
What Aftercare is Required following Laser Hair Removal?
You don't need to take time off work or most normal activities to recover from laser hair removal. However, there are a few aftercare instructions you'll want to follow to reduce unnecessary discomfort and irritation. You can expect your skin to be a little extra sensitive for at least a few days after your appointment. During that time, the general rule of thumb is to avoid excess sun, sweat, heat, and chemicals. Refrain from tanning, specifically. Use the gentlest skincare products available, and wash your face or shower with lukewarm water. Avoid hot tub use as well as chlorinated spas and pools. Also, postpone a heavy workout and choose products that do NOT contain alpha or beta hydroxy acids or retinoids. After four to five days, you should be able to resume all of your normal activities, with the exception of tanning.
What Areas Can Laser Hair Removal Treat?
This treatment is popular for adults of all ages for its longevity and versatility. Laser hair removal can be performed on nearly any part of the face and body. Common areas include:
- Upper lip
- Arms and hands
- Chest and abdomen
- Bikini area
Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
The absorption of light into melanated hair is the key factor in laser hair removal success. Historically, the process has worked best on dark hair and light skin. There may be some challenges in targeting hair that is blonde or very light red due to the minimal absorption of light. Grey hair has no melanin so tends to not respond to laser hair removal.
One of the biggest questions about laser hair removal is whether or not someone with darker skin can get good results. This used to be an issue, but, with advances in technology, it's become easier to treat a wider range of skin tones and hair colors. What may change from one circumstance to another is the number of treatment sessions it may take to achieve lasting results.
If you're curious about whether or not you're a good candidate for laser hair removal, schedule a consultation! Our experienced staff can help you understand the nature of this laser treatment, its potential risks for your situation, and the potential benefits. If we do not believe that laser hair removal could work for you, we will be transparent about it.
Are the Results Permanent?
Having laser hair removal can mean having smooth, hair-free skin for many months or even many years. That said, it's possible that some of the treated follicles will eventually become active again. Typically, when this happens, the hair that is grown is much lighter and thinner than it was previously. Touch-up treatments can efficiently disrupt the hair growth cycle once again, securing longer-lasting results.
Before your treatment, you'll meet with a member of our staff to learn more about how it works and what to expect. You'll also receive specific instructions to follow after your treatment. We provide this consultation to ensure that we understand the results you are looking for. Prior to the treatment, you will need to:
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning
- Discontinue any use of Retin-A at least 2 weeks beforehand
- Halt any medications that cause sun sensitivity or increase bleeding
During the procedure, we use the laser device to target and destroy the hair follicles. The treatment requires only a few minutes for small areas, with up to an hour needed for larger areas of the body.
Most patients feel minimal or no discomfort during the procedure. If needed, we can apply a topical anesthetic. A thorough evaluation of the patient's skin type is necessary to determine which laser or light based hair removal works best. For darker skin types a 1064 Nd:YAG laser is least absorbed by pigment and avoids the risk of burning the patient. Lighter skin types are often better treated with short wave lengths or light based devices.
After the Treatment
Most people experience a mild, sunburn-like sensation, possibly accompanied by some minor swelling, following their laser hair removal session. However, these symptoms typically last only for a few hours and you can resume your normal activities after your appointment.
Usually several treatment sessions are needed for maximum results. Although the follicles targeted during your treatment can no longer grow hair, follicles that were not in an active growth stage during prior treatments will still have the ability to grow hair. Dedication to the process is important for successful treatment; skipping treatments will often lead to unwanted hair growth making the outcome less successful.