Laser hair removal can remove unwanted hair. It has the benefit of being quick, safe and effective.Most individuals will require a series of treatments over time because the hair cycles as it grows. The LightSheer Diode XC laser system used in our center uses the most current technology and is FDA cleared for permanent hair reduction.
What areas of the body can be treated with Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is safe enough to be used on all body parts including the face, back, underarms, bikini line, legs and arms.
How many treatments will I need?
Body hair grows, rests and is shed in cycles that span 6 to 12 weeks. Because of hair cycles, though an entire area will be treated with the laser, only a portion of your hair (about 30%) is in the proper cycle to be permanently removed by the laser with each treatment. Initially, it is recommended that you undergo a series of four to eight treatments at six to eight week intervals to treat all the hair. These treatments will be followed up by a period of evaluation to determine how much hair will regrow and how fast the hair will return. This can be followed up with periodic "touch-up" visits.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal utilizes beams of highly concentrated light designed to selectively penetrate into the hair follicles. The light is absorbed by pigment in the hair and changes to heat which can destroy the hair follicle permanently so that it cannot produce another hair. For this reason, laser hair removal gives the best results in patients with darker hair. Although laser hair removal can be performed in patient of all skin colors, it is most effective in those with dark hairs and lighter skin.
What should I expect before, during and after treatment?
The area to be treated should be shaved prior to treatment. You should not wax, thread or have “sugaring” of the hair prior to treatment. These procedures extract the hair from the base of the follicle. This deeper portion of hair must be left in the follicle as it is needed to absorb the laser light and provide effective treatment.
We ask that you arrive at the office 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to your laser treatment if you desire topical anesthetic cream to minimize any discomfort that might be associated with the treatment. After application of anesthetic cream, you will wait in our office until it is time for your treatment.
The laser will be set with parameters, by your doctor, which, take into consideration your skin color, the hair color, the thickness of the hair, the location of the hair and the amount of energy needed for the treatment to be performed. The patient, doctor and our medical assistants will wear appropriate eye protection, to prevent the laser light from penetrating into the eyes. The area to be treated should be clean and dry. A cold gel will be used to protect the outer layers of the skin. This is also thought to help the laser light penetrate further into the skin.
When the procedure is finished, it is common for the area treated to have some redness and some accentuation of the hair follicles themselves. This is “normal,” and should disappear over the next 12-24 hours, in most cases. At the conclusion of the procedure, most will have anti-inflammatory creams, lotions, or water to relieve any discomfort to the area.
Most individuals will be scheduled for another treatment 6 - 8 weeks later and the procedure will be repeated until hair growth has been eliminated. At each successive laser hair removal procedure, less hair should be found in the treatment area.
Is laser hair removal painful?
The feeling of pain is subjective and therefore is very variable from person to person. Most people find laser hair removal treatments very tolerable and some say the laser feels like a “rubberband” snapping against the skin. Each pulse of the laser takes less than one second, so, any discomfort that you may feel is only for very short periods. You may want to use a topical anesthetic cream prior to treatment. We ask that you arrive one hour earlier than your appointment time if you require the application of topical anesthetic prior to treatment.
Are there any risks?
As with any laser treatment, complications can occur with laser hair removal. Redness and swelling of the hair follicle, known medically as erythema and perifollicular edema, are “normal” events seen after most laser hair removal treatments. This redness should be expected to last in most cases for 12 – 24 hours. Other adverse events, although rare, include blisters and burns. Blisters and burns will heal with routine wound care (ointment and a band-aid) but on occasion, after healing could lead to either too much or too little pigment remaining in the skin, conditions known as hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. This change in skin color will resolve over time in almost all cases.
Though, it is unusual to develop any complications from this treatment. The doctor will discuss with you any risks involved in laser hair removal at your consultation.
What can I do to minimize risks?
Patients should not be tanned, ever in our opinion, but especially when coming for laser hair removal treatments. Just as the dark pigment or melanin in your hair absorbs the laser light, the brown color or melanin from a tan will also absorb laser light. This absorption of the laser light by your tan will create heat on the skin surface and increase the risks of a laser burn occurring. Also we recommend that patients avoid direct sun exposure for at least one week following all laser hair removal procedures.
In addition, if you are using any topical retinoid (Retin A or tretinoin, Differn or adapalene, Tazorac or tazorotene on the area to be treated with laser hair removal please inform your doctor at the time of your consultation.
If you have a history of “cold sores” or herpes simplex infections in the past, please inform your doctor. Rarely, laser hair removal can stimulate a recurrence of your cold sore or herpes.
Do I need a consultation before treatment?
Yes, we recommend that you always come for a consultation with our physicians. Sometimes excessive hair growth is due to an alteration in hormone levels or to other medical causes.
In addition, our doctors will go over the risks, benefits and alternatives to laser hair removal at the consultation to be sure that you are fully informed and that laser hair removal is the right choice for you.
Are consultations for laser hair removal or the laser treatments covered by insurance?
No, laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance companies. Payment is expected at the time of treatment.
How do I schedule a consultation?
To schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr Celebi or Dr Gmyrek, please call 212 326-8889.