Professional Cosmetic Surgery and Healthy Ageing Clinic
Modern culture has created unwritten standards for acceptable facial and body hair. In order to confirm to society’s expectations millions of individuals, either hide areas of excessive hair or attempt to reduce the amount of visible hair. Traditional methods of hair removal like threading, bleaching, plucking, waxing, use of chemical depilatories and electrolysis are limited by their pain, inconvenience, side effects and limited long term efficacy. The side effects of some of the traditional means of hair removal include hyper pigmentation, ingrown hair and scarring.
In the last decade a number of lasers have been developed to specifically target hair follicles. These lasers offer the advantages of rapid treatment of large areas and long-lasting hair removal.
Laser Hair removal is an effective means to gently remove unwanted hair from the face, upper lip, under arms as well as large areas such as neck, chest, breasts, back, abdomen, bikini line and legs. The laser works by pulsing a penetrating light to the hair follicle and temporarily generating enough heat to cause injury to the hair follicle and inhibit hair growth.
There are different types of lasers used for hair removal like Q-switched Nd:Yag laser,Long pulsed Nd:Yag laser, Long-Pulsed Ruby laser, Alexandrite lasers and Diode laser.
- Excessive or unwanted facial or body hair
- Thick dark hair in androgen areas
- High frequency hair growth in unwanted areas
- History of abnormal scarring
- Excessive sun exposure
- Herpes infection
- Existing allergies
- Existing suntan (will need to wait till the suntan has gone before having treatment)
As Laser can only treat short visible hair, you will be advised to shave a couple of days prior to treatment day so that the hair presents as a short stub on the day of treatment. This makes it easier to target the unwanted hair and ensure maximal hair removal.
Duration Of procedure
The procedure is usually performed as an out-patient procedure at the surgeon’s clinic. It can take from 15 to 90 minutes depending upon the size of the area being treated.
The treatment is usually not very painful and does not require any anaesthesia, however a local anaesthetic cream may be applied 45 minutes prior to treatment if requested. You will be provided with goggles to prevent accidental exposure to laser light. The surgeon performs the treatment by pressing a hand held laser to the skin and activating it for short bursts lasting only a second or so. A strong smell of singed hair is quite normal during the procedure.
Some redness and swelling is common immediately following treatment. In some cases the skin may turn a pale purple colour which will subside in 3 to 10 days. You can return to work on the same day. It is important to protect the treated area from the sun for 3 to 6 months following treatment.
Follow –Up Schedule
Depending on the hair growth a periodical treatment every 3 months may be required on an average. With regular treatments the frequency of hair growth will eventually go down with time.
Limitation of End result
Can remove only visible, active hair follicles.
Longevity Of results
Laser hair removal is not permanent. Most patients need to undergo repeat treatments. Hair grows in cycles and the laser only targets actively growing, visible hair, follicles not affected by the treatment will still produce hair. Most patients need multiple treatments over weeks and months before arresting of hair growth is noticed. This however is not the norm and permanent arresting of hair growth should be expected. Some patients report as long as 2 years without hair growth while others require treatment every 3 to 4 months.