With beach season on the horizon, spring is the time to prep for a smooth summer. Electrolysis used to be the only method available for permanent hair removal, but the advent of lasers offers a more cost and time-efficient alternative. According to cosmetic industry figures, laser hair removal is the most popular aesthetic treatment for women under 35 and is second only to Botox for women 35 and older.
With electrolysis, a very thin electrified needle is inserted into the hair follicle so that the heat burns the follicle and prevents regrowth. With laser epilators, a low-energy laser directs light on the target area. The energy from the laser is absorbed by a pigment in the bulb of each hair called melanin, which prevents the hair from growing.
While some hair may grow back in the targeted area, they are usually lighter in color and thinner than before. Permanent removal may take anywhere from four to eight rounds of treatment to ensure coverage of all follicles in their growth cycle. The number of required treatments varies depending on each client’s unique metabolism, hormone level, hair quality and number of hair follicles. It is usually recommended that treatments not be done on tanned skin, another reason to start the process before summer.
Electrolysis can be time consuming, painful, and expensive since each hair follicle must be treated individually. Laser treatments are faster and in the long run, often less costly because many hairs are treated simultaneously. Also, the hairs don’t have to grow out before treatment as they do with electrolysis, which only works when hair is growing. There is no risk of scarring, which there is with electrolysis.
Dermatologists use several kinds of lasers depending on the skin tone and needs of each patient. An outdated laser can feel like hot pins and needles.
One common brand of laser is the Alexandrite (which includes the GentleLASE & Apogee devices). The Alexandrite beam has a longer pulse, allowing it to access deeper follicles, and is commonly used for people with very light skin tones. The long pulsed Nd:YAG laser is commonly used for people with dark skin tones because of the reduced melanin absorption of this wavelength. This type of laser includes the Gemini & Lyra device, the first FDA-approved laser for all skin types.
The Soprano is a diode epilator that is appropriate for any hair type. This state of the art device was declared “the Maserati of lasers” on the television show “The Doctors”. Instead of a pulse method, the Soprano treats in a continuous motion of low level pulses that feel slightly warm but painless. The laser energy does not go into the skin as a painful blast, but heats the hair follicles gradually and gently.
The patient feels less pain because the energy is a lower pulse. The doctor is delivering the energy much more quickly. This system produces faster results than some other options and most patients are hair free within four to five treatments.
Tips for how to optimize the opportunity:
- Know what you’re getting into. Ask if the laser hair removal device they plan to use can safely and effectively treat your hair. Ask the specific name of the laser machine in order to research it. It is advised that clients find out what kind of results can be expected, how many treatments they will need, and an estimate of total costs.
- Practice makes perfect. Doctors can do a test patch on the skin during a consultation. A small part of your face and body can be treated by the laser in order to see how the skin will react. If you’re concerned about potential discomfort, inquire about ways they can make the treatment as comfortable as possible.
- Know what to expect. Ask about pre and post-treatment instructions and for an information sheet on that, if available. Most practitioners have specific recommendations that they want you to follow.
Get Your Body Smooth for Summer – Contact Us Today!
If you are considering laser hair removal, contact us today to schedule a consultation. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts in laser hair removal. We own many different lasers, allowing us to treat most skin types. Our conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens (Bayside, Flushing), Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn Heights, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City, Westchester County (Ossining), Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.