Laser Hair Removal
With light-based hair removal, you can get the touchable skin you’ve always wanted. All you need is a few simple procedures to get lasting results. Safe for all skin types, the secret lies in the technology that targets and destroys hair cells responsible for hair growth without harming the surrounding skin. This procedure is fast, easy and practically pain-free.
Hair growth and excessive hair growth may arise a few times during your life. In most patients, this can be for a few different reasons, including;
- Hormone imbalance or shift
- Multiple other causes
The Cynosure Elite technology gives you the advantages of two gold standard wavelengths in one system (755 nm Alexandrite & 1064 nm Nd:YAG), which is safe for all skin types including darker or higher pigmented skin.
How Does It Work?
During laser hair removal a laser beam passes through the skin, down the individual follicle shaft, to the bulb of the hair. The areas targeted by the laser are the bulb and bulge of the follicle, they are the areas believed to be responsible for re-growth. Hair follicles can be destroyed when the melanocytes or pigmentation cells within them absorb the energy in the laser beam. The intense heat of this action damages the follicles bulb, which inhibits future hair growth.
Hair goes through 3 growth phases; anagen, catagen, and telogen.
- Anagen- Active Phase
- When the follicle and bulb are engaged.
- The laser light is able to reach the bulb by traveling down the hair shaft, thus, disabling the hair follicle.
- When the follicle and bulb are engaged.
- Catagen- Transitional Phase
- Hair bulge & bulb are beginning to disengage from the hair shaft and procedure is not effective.
- Telogen- Resting Phase
- Hair bulge and bulb are disengaged from the hair shaft and procedure is not effective.
Only the hair follicles in the anagen growth phase can be disabled. This is due to the fact that when the bulb and shaft of the follicle are connected, it creates an uninterrupted path for the energy to travel down. Not all hairs will be in the same phase at the same time. Each hair follicle passes through the growth phases independent of thy neighboring hairs, thus multiple sessions are required.
What Results Can I Expect?
You can expect to see a gradual decrease in follicle thickness and the overall amount of hairs in the area. Since this procedure only targets follicles in the active phase of growth, multiple sessions are often needed for removal. The location of hair can also affect the results. Follicles found on the underarms, bikini line, and legs respond very well due to density and type, while facial hair requires multiple sessions due to hormonal effects. Blonde, gray, and white hairs have little pigment, therefore, they do not absorb the laser’s energy and have little to no success with this procedure. The ideal patient would have a high contrast between hair and skin color.
- 4-6+ sessions on average, spaced every 4-10 weeks
- Low discomfort
- No downtime
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure. As with preparation for any medical procedure, the patient undergoes a physical examination and is questioned regarding medical history and medications currently being taken.
Expectations Following the Procedure
- Short-Term Side Effects
- Sensitivity within the procedure area.
- Erythema/follicular edema may be seen for 24-48 hours following the procedure.
- Pustules or pimples may develop in the first few days following the procedure. The affected area should be kept clean and treated with care.
- The treated hairs can take 2-4 weeks to exfoliate and may appear to be “growing” during this time.
Rare Risks (some of which are permanent):
- Permanent pigment changes
Each procedure conducted is influenced by characteristics of the individual patient: for example; hair pigmentation, skin color, skin thickness, and any previous skin conditions. The number of laser pulses delivered, the number of sites treated during the procedure, and the duration of a procedure can also all be influenced by patient characteristics. Changes in skin color may occur, although this is very rare. Skin that is tanned or has high levels of pigment has a higher risk of side effects. That’s why it’s important to allow your sun tan or artificial tan to fade before treatment. If your skin is naturally more pigmented, you may need additional treatments. This is due to the fact that pigmented skin is treated more conservatively to minimize side effects.
Pre and Post Care Instructions
Pre-procedure preparation is a key component in achieving successful results. Prepping the skin before a laser procedure can; improve healing time, shorten the recovery period, make the procedure safer and more tolerable, and deliver more effective results overall. Enhanced, more consistent, and even penetration can be achieved with these regimens thereby maximizing the efficacy of any laser treatment. The pre-procedure phase occurs days to weeks prior to the actual procedure itself.
Pre-procedure protocols will be set up during the initial consultation
- To obtain maximum results: Prior to the actual procedure, wash and clean skin to remove all; makeup, lotions, deodorant, and oil from the area to be treated. Clean area thoroughly using a facial cleanser or mild soap and water, and then 70% isopropyl alcohol to remove the oils.
- Cleaned shaved within 24 hours of the procedure.
A shaving fee will be applied if it needs to be done in the office and will vary upon the area.
- No tweezing, waxing, or electrolysis 4 weeks prior to the procedure. If you do, the laser procedure will be less effective.
- Discontinue the use of Accutane (6 months before the procedure).
- No sun exposure, tanning beds, sunless lotions, and tanning creams 2-4 weeks prior to the procedure.
- Avoid use of systemic steroids (prednisone, dexamethasone) 2 weeks before and throughout the course of your Laser protocol.
- 3 days before the procedure, discontinue use of all retinoids, Retin-A, Tazorac®, Differin®, and “anti-aging” products containing; glycolic, alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids.
- History of cold sores or herpes virus needs to receive appropriate treatment before the procedure.
- Hydrate: Remember to drink plenty of water as it assists the healing process and penetration of the laser energy.
Treated hairs will exfoliate out in approximately 2-4 weeks. You may clip or shave the area during this time and during your laser series.
- Apply ice packs or a cold compress to the area; five to ten minutes at a time, every one to two hours post treatment to help reduce swelling and redness. Do not put ice directly on the skin.
- Over the counter medication such as Zyrtec or Cetirizine may also decrease some of the swelling and itching.
- Hydrate: Remember to drink plenty of water post procedure as it assists the healing process.
- If you are experiencing “hive-like” symptoms, a mild-potency topical corticosteroid may be applied.
- If crusting or blistering occurs, a restorative skin cream such as Cicalfate may be applied.
- Avoid direct sunlight and sun exposure for at least three months after the procedure. If unable to, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours during sun exposure.
- Avoid strenuous exercise, sports, hot baths, steam rooms, and saunas for 24 hours following the procedure. Walking is encouraged.
- Do not shave or scrub the area if post irritation, swelling, crusting, or scabbing is present.
- Do not use any products or topical medications that have not been recommended. In doing so you increase the risk of complications. Some of these include; AHA’s, BHA’s, Vitamin C, Retinoids, or other exfoliates.
3-5 Days Post
- Restart at-home regimen or body care once normalization of the cutaneous area or tissue occurs, or according to professional recommendations.
Post-procedure skin care instructions must be followed to prevent any complications. Please contact the office with questions or concerns regarding your procedure.
Protocols are adjusted to fit everyone’s lifestyle. Speak to your provider regarding desired downtime, comfort, and results.
*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.