Laser Hair Removal

What Is Laser Hair Reduction?

The treatment involves using a device that emits an intense light that selectively heats up the pigment within the hair shaft in the portion of the hair follicle that is under the surface of the skin. Heating the portion of the hair shaft that is within the dermis, which is surrounded by the live hair making cells damages or destroys hair production. The goal of this treatment is to change the thick and dark hair shafts to fine, short, and lighter hair shafts. A few weeks after the treatment the skin will feel smoother and softer.

How Do I Know When The Appropriate Time Is to Repeat This Treatment?

Depending on the body area, at any given time 10-65% of the hair follicles are in a resting phase for a few months. For this reason, 2-5 follow up treatments may be needed to treat the actively hair growing hair follicles to gain the desired outcome. At the time of treatment, ideally only the tips of the hair shaft should be visible. You are asked to shave the area the is to be treated beforehand. For maximum benefit from each treatment, you are asked not to wax, pluck, or use depilatory creams for two weeks prior to any laser treatment.

Can My Skin Be Tanned Before A Laser Hair Reduction Treatment?

To diminish the risk of temporary skin pigmentary changes, you should avoid extensive sun exposure, and wear SPF 15 or higher on the areas to be treated for 2-4 weeks before, and after the procedure.

Is This Treatment Painful?

At Brentwood Dermatology we use an Intense Pulsed Light device (IPL), which is much less painful than most other hair removal devices. The cooling from the chilled tip of the laser provides adequate anesthesia for the majority of body areas. Each pulse feels similar to a rubber band lightly snapping on the skin. After the treatment, the area feels like it has sustained a mild sunburn, with some redness, and slight swelling around the treated hair follicles. These changes will clear within a few hours.

Are There Any Specific Instructions That I Should Follow After My Treatment?

If you have prolonged redness, ice or cold packs can be applied to the treatment area for 10-15 minutes every hour for the next four hours, as needed. Tylenol can be taken to reduce discomfort. Rarely, prolonged redness or blistering may occur. Call Dr. Silvers at 310-826-2051 if you do notice blisters, or if you have any concerns. Plain petroleum jelly may be applied to the affected areas twice a day until healed. Avoid aggressive scrubbing and use of exfoliants until the treatment area has returned to its pre-treatment condition. Between appointments, you could shave the areas as needed. If any areas become crusty, you may apply a thin coat of Vaseline until resolved.

Is There Any Reason That I Should Not Set Up An Appointment For Laser Hair Reduction?

The following precautions should be taken prior to your treatment:

  • Avoid extensive tanning a few weeks prior to the treatment
  • Avoid applying self-tanner products to the area for at least 10 days before the treatment
  • If you are known to have an unusual light sensitivity, i.e., photosensitivity, you should consult with your Doctor prior to receiving treatments.
  • It is best to start treatments when you are not pregnant for medicolwegal reasons, but not necessarily for any danger of harm to the fetus.
  • To render the treatment most effective, avoid waxing over the ten days before the treatment
  • Side effects are rare but may include sensitivity, irritation, soft scabbing or redness at the treatment site. These effects typically resolve within a few days.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THIS TREATMENT?

This procedure is considered cosmetic, and in the majority of cases it will not be covered by health insurance. This office will not bill an insurance company for this treatment. Therefore, payment is due in full at the time that the service is rendered.

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