Laser Hair Removal FAQ
Finally, a hair removal solution for men and women that produces long-lasting results across the full range of unwanted hair problems. This breakthrough technology uses broadband, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL™) technology to "damage" hair follicles for long-term hair removal. A better successful method for reducing unwanted, unsightly hairs. Numerous published studies in professional medical journals attest to the IPL system's safety and long-term effectiveness.
The IPL system hair removal process is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis. This means that the light energy is absorbed in the target hair follicles while sparing the surrounding, healthy tissue. Unlike conventional laser systems, IPL systems utilize a broad light spectrum with wavelengths ranging from 590 to 1200 nm (blue,green, yellow, orange, red and infrared).
They also emit light energy in very carefully timed bursts, or pulses to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment decrease the risk of skin damage ,minimize patient discomfort
IPL systems treat the hair by directing light energy through a light guide placed near the patient's skin.. The light energy heats and damages the hair follicle, typically causing the hair itself to fall out from the follicle. IPL system technology allows your physician to provide a procedure that is gentle and non-invasive, with nominal side effects.
With its powerful, innovative software, IPL system treatment parameters can be selected by your physician according to an individual's specific skin color, hair color and hair density. This major advantage allows the physician to customize each individual treatment based on personal experience, as well as the unique attributes of each hair follicle.
As a result of this computer-generated precision, the IPL system has proven effective on the widest range of hair colors, from auburn to brown and dark black hair. Most important of all, the IPL system successfully removes hair from all skin types -- from porcelain-white through olive to darker complexions.
In addition, IPL system technology enables the physician to efficiently remove hair from any part of the body, no matter how deep the follicles may reside. Treatment of sensitive areas like the lips, ears, nose, underarms, and bikini line can usually be easily tolerated.
Another IPL system advantage is its wide treatment area, enabling the device to cover more area in substantially less time. In fact, approximately 100 -200 hairs can be treated with each flash of the light so that large swaths of hair on the legs, back and chest can be treated quickly in a single session. At the same time, IPL systems can be very precisely focused, so that hair is eliminated from delicate places.
Multiple laser treatment sessions are typically required for long-lasting hair removal. In a recent clinical study, researchers from Cornell and Duke Medical Centers reported an average hair loss of 65-90 % at only 4-6 months or more of follow-up after multiple treatments. Study results also confirmed that the IPL laser hair removal system uniquely achieves significant long-lasting hair removal through selective cell destruction to hair follicles.
Are there alternatives to laserepilation?
Yes, there are the traditional treatment types such as shaving, cream, waxing or plucking which must be repeated after a certain period of time. Up to now needle electric epilation was the only process for removing unwanted hair permanentely. This process is however, often very painful and time-consuming for the treatment of large areas.
What does one have to know about laserepilation?
Laserepilation is at present the most efficient hair removal method. An excellent result is achieved with the latest generation of epilation laser devices. Depending on the part of the body a reduction of 75 - 95 % of the hair thickness and density can be achieved with three to five treatments.The pain of laser epilation can be reduced to a degree which is easy to endure. The treatment is not harmful to the skin if the laser technology is used optimally.
What must be considered before the laser treatment?
It is advisable only to shave the areas to be treated at least four weeks before the treatment and not to have removed the hair by waxing or plucking. Equally the skin must not be pre-tanned, i.e. one must refrain from sunbathing or visiting solariums at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to treatement. Two days before the treatment the corresponding part of the body should be shaved again.
What happens in laser treatment?
The laser device sends out an energy-rich ray of light through a laser handpiece, which is guided over the body . In this way the productive hairfollicles are heated to a temperature above 65°C and lose the ability to produce a new hair. One or two impulses per second are triggered off and per impulse an area of just over . Thus the treatment of both lower legs lasts only approx. 20 minutes. After the treatment sometimes special skin cream is applied and if the skin areas which have now reddened a bit are cooled with cold gel compresses for ten minutes.
Is laser treatment pain-free?
Yes and no. A light stinging or burning is felt which, however, becomes more and more endurable after the first impulses. Many patients describe the treatment "as if a taut rubber band flicks against the skin". The feeling of pain is strongly alleviated by applying an anaesthetic cream to very sensitive areas 1-1½ hours before the treatment. The sensitivity to pain, which varies extremely from individual to individual, is also an important point. Thus the verdicts after the treatments range from "I hardly felt a thing" to "that was quite painful".
How frequently must one have a laser treatment?
The hair folicles in the treatment area which are in a state of producing hair are damaged selectively by the laser energy. In order to be able to treat the inactive hair folicles at the point in time of the laser epilation, three to five treatments are necessary at intervals of one to three months for body and six to eight for face.
How long-lasting is the treatment?
Since this is a new process of hair removal there is no certainty whether the success will last a lifetime. In the period under observation most clients can be assumed with some certainty that the areas which have been free of hair for so long will actually remain free of hair.
Is there any damage to the skin?
In general the treatment does not cause any skin damage. Within 15 - 30 minutes after the laser epilation a slight to strong reddening of the skin and/or a folicle swelling occurs. This reaction subsides mostly after two hours, at the latest after one day. The cold pack which we lay on and a cooling special cream bring fast relief. If necessary, the client can apply the cream themselves once again at home.
Superficial crust formation can occur in the case of very sensitive skin or too high a dose of laser energy. As a rule these crusts break off within a few days and the skin remains unchanged.
Is the hair removal permanent?
Damage to the hair follicle can remove unwanted hair permanently. Due to the nature of hair, the differences in colour and texture, and the many factors that influence its growth, the results are variable. Most people with darker and coarser hair will experience a permanent 20% to 50% reduction in hair growth with each laser treatment. The effect of repeated treatments is cumulative. In addition to permanent hair reduction, the laser treated hair may become lighter in colour and/or finer in texture, which is much less noticeable. In fact, most people experience a significant long-term esthetic improvement by eliminating or reducing the amount of undesired hair with each treatment.
Will I need more than one treatment?
Yes, nearly always. The laser only works on hair that is actively growing (anagen phase). Resting hair (telegen phase) is resistant to the laser. Depending on the body site, various percentages of hair are in the growing phase at one time. Some sites require 3 or 4 treatments, while others require more, depending on the degree of hair thinning or reduction that you desire.
How frequent are the treatments?
Treatments can be performed anytime hair re-growth is noted, however, it is recommended at one-month intervals
Is it painful?
No treatment to remove unwanted hair is completely painless. Patients, who have undergone repeated waxing or hours of electrolysis, can attest to the pain caused by commonly used methods of epilation. If large or sensitive areas with unwanted hair are to be treated, a topical anesthetic cream such as EMLA may be applied to the site 1 to 2 hours prior to treatment to further reduce any discomfort.
How long does the procedure take?
Each pulse of laser energy will treat a square area of skin approximately 7 cm2.. For this reason, the amount of time required depends on the size of the area requiring treatment. For example, the upper lip and bikini line may require only 1-2 minutes of treatment, while an hour or more will be required to treat the whole body.
What will the treated area look like after the procedure?
Immediately after treatment, the site will be somewhat swollen, appear slightly red or pink in color, and will feel like mild sunburn. This reaction subsides over a few hours, and then the treated sites usually return to their normal appearance. The amount of discomfort after this procedure is usually minimal and does not limit most normal physical activities. Since light is used to remove the hair, there is no need to apply a bandage and wound care is generally not required.
What other complications have been associated with treatment?
In addition to transient epidermal injury (discomfort, pinkness, slight swelling and occasional blistering), transient hypo-pigmentation, hyper-pigmentation, and transient textural changes (crusting or scabbing) have been observed in some patients treated with laser hair removal. Proper patient selection and pretreatment can help minimize these complications.
Patients who carry the herpes simplex virus (cold sores) and receive treatment on their upper lip, chin, or lower cheeks may have a "flare-up" of their condition. The risk of this complication can be reduced if the patient takes their antiviral medication for a few days before and after each treatment.
Is it safe?
Yes, it’s FDA approved.As with any medical treatment, side effects have been minor and manageable in clinical use. The precise laser parameters were carefully defined by studying the anatomy of the hair follicle and precisely matching the color of laser light and the pulse duration to the size, depth, and location of the hair follicle. This research has resulted in a safe technique that effectively eliminates the risk of scarring and substantially reduces most other complications following treatment. You should, however, read the patient information and consent forms carefully. Our doctor or board-certified, licensed aestheticians will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Can I be treated if I am pregnant?
You should not have laser treatments for hair removal if you are pregnant. No known problems have been documented; however, skin vascularity and sensitivity changes can occur during pregnancy.
How do I prepare for a laser hair removal session?
Please avoid waxing, plucking, electrolysis, and sun exposure (or tanning beds) to skin areas you want to treat for 4-6 weeks prior to laser hair removal treatment. You may shave the areas or use depilatory creams . You should use sunscreen SPF 15 or greater if treatment areas will be sun exposed to minimize tanning. Please note that shaving does not make your hair come in thicker or coarser, it just feels that way due to the stubble. Stop all topical skin creams (except if the ones your doctor mentioned) for at least 5 days before your treatment.