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Enjoy Smoother Skin this Summer!!!
Lasers can now permanently remove unwanted hair with a few treatments:
Swimsuit weather has arrived and for many women this will mean more attention to shaving. Some will utilize the tried and true razor routine, while others have good results with depilatories. However, a more recent technology…laser removal... could be the answer for ridding the body of excess hair, and the results are permanent in most cases.
Smoother Skin, Dermatology
Lasers are a special light form that penetrate the skin, and have a specific target. The color and pigment in your skin is the target of lasers that are used for hair removal. These lasers usually have a wavelength of 690-1000 nanometers. Since there is an abundance of pigment in the hair roots, the laser targets the hair root, damaging and destroying the hair. Of course, the more pigment there is in the hair root (meaning the darker the hair), the more effectively the hair will be destroyed. That is why lasers do not so easily remove light or blonde hair.

How do you prepare for your treatment?
Preparation for the hair removal laser is easy. Just avoid waxing or plucking the hairs for a period of three to four weeks before your treatment date. The reason is that the hair root must be in place for the laser to work.

You should also avoid excessive sunlight or tanning that would result in darkening of your skin. You want the laser to target the pigment in the hair roots, not the pigment in your skin! Although newer lasers have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for hair removal in individuals with different skin color and racial backgrounds, and your physician would use the most appropriate laser for your skin color type, nevertheless, it is very important to avoid a tan.

If the area of treatment is on the face, and you have experienced cold sores before, your physician may prescribe a medication to prevent a possible outbreak of a cold sore.

What to expect at the time of treatment?
Your laser hair removal specialists will first shave or trim any obvious hair in the area of treatment. Usually, a gel is placed on your skin. In order to protect your eyes from the laser and excessive light, you will be asked to wear special glasses or protective goggles during the time of treatment. The laser should not create any unusual discomfort, and utmost, may feel like a rubber band hitting your skin.

How do you care for your skin after laser hair removal?
There is no specific care needed for your skin after laser hair removal treatments. Most individuals continue with their regular skin care regimes.

How many treatments are needed?
Lasers are most effective against hairs that are in the growing stage. In addition, at any given time, not all hairs are growing. This means that some hairs that are not growing at the time of treatment will probably not be destroyed. It takes a few weeks for hair to start their growing cycle again; therefore, you should expect at least three to four treatments with a few weeks in between to achieve good results.

How long do the results last?
Lasers usually result in the permanent removal of hairs after a few treatments. However, keep in mind that sometimes, additional treatments may be necessary in order to destroy the hairs that were resting and not growing during the treatment period.

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"Enjoy Smoother Skin this Summer!!!"
   authored by:
Dr. Mendelsohn is the Medical Director of the Advanced Cosmetic Laser and Surgery Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He specializes in facial plastic surgery and is double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. D...

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