Laser Hair Removal
For years, men and women have utilized shaving, waxing, electrolysis, depilatories and plucking to get rid of unwanted hair. As a fast and effective alternative to all of these methods, Dr. Mills’ office offers laser hair removal. Unlike shaving, waxing, depilatories and plucking, laser hair removal provides a long-term growth delay and permanent hair reduction. Whereas electrolysis treats a single hair at a time, laser hair removal can cover large areas rapidly.
Our office uses the LightSheer™ Diode Laser System, which offers a unique combination of laser parameters and patented ChillTip™ protection. Our Physician Assistant, Ana or our Registered Nurses Kim and Kelly would meet with you in consultation to evaluate whether you are an ideal candidate for laser hair removal.
- No Accutane for 6 months prior to treatment
- No Retin-A or Glycolic products to treated area for two weeks prior to treatment
- No Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Aspirin-containing medication for three days prior to treatment
- No tanning of treatment area (including self-tanners) for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment
- Apply topical anesthetic prior to treatment
- No waxing or tweezing the area for at least 4 weeks prior to treatment
- Shave area the day of treatment
- No deodorant, creams, oils, perfumes, ect on area prior to treatment
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing on the day of treatment, so as not to irritate the treated area
- Mild redness with swelling is normal and may persist for 2-3 days after treatment
- Ice immediately, if necessary
- Apply 1% hydrocortisone or aloe vera to treated area as redness occurs
- No picking or scratching the treated areas
- No deodorant to treated area for 48 hours
- On the third day post-treatment, you may shave or gently loofah the area to help loosen hair that is still embedded in the follicles.
- A stubble of hair may be apparent for 1-2 weeks and should eventually fall out
- No direct sun exposure for at least 2 weeks
- Use sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater and with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect the treated area
- No exercise until perifollicular edema (red bumps) resolves
- No Jacuzzi, sauna or steam baths until the skin is back to normal
- Mild redness with swelling is normal and may persist
Possible side effects of treatment include mild redness, local swelling, dry skin, mild tenderness, blistering, whitehead-like bumps and lightening or darkening of the skin. Symptoms may be present for a couple of hours to days after treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does laser hair removal feel like?
- How long does the treatment usually take?
- Can I return to work and normal activities immediately after treatment?
- How does laser hair removal work?
- How many treatments will be required?
What does laser hair removal feel like?
Laser hair removal is typically a very tolerable procedure for patients. On a scale of 1-10, most patients are a 3 or 4. The procedure is often likened to a rubber band snap. Certain areas may be more sensitive. Patients typically pretreat with a numbing agent to minimize the discomfort. In addition, the laser that we use has a patented ChillTip™.
How long does the treatment usually take?
Depending on the area to be treated, laser hair can take only a few minutes or over an hour. The most common areas, such as the bikini line, upper lip, chin and underarms, typically require less than 20 minutes (each) for treatment.
Can I return to work and normal activities immediately after treatment?
Yes, you can return to work and normal activities immediately. After laser hair removal, the treated site may feel like a mild sunburn for 24 hours or more. Slight redness and swelling surrounding the hair follicles is normal and is actually an indicator of a good clinical response. Although irritating preparations (i.e. glycolic acid, retinoids, ect.) should be avoided, make-up may be applied to the treated area shortly after treatment.
How does laser hair removal work?
The laser energy is absorbed by the melanin pigment in the hair follicle and converted to heat. The heat injures the hair follicle, preventing its ability to produce hair.
How many treatments will be required?
Every patient is different. In general, lighter skinned patients will require 3-6 treatments and darker skinned patients will require 4-8 treatments. Dr. Mills recommends about 6-8 weeks in between treatments to achieve satisfactory results. We cannot promise that each patient will achieve any level of permanent hair reduction. However, on average, most patients can expect to achieve about a 50-90% permanent reduction in the number of hairs following a full course of treatment.