Hair Removal Lasers Westchester
Hair Removal Lasers
Are hair removal lasers right for you? If you are bothered by unwanted dark hair on your face and any part of your body and are tired of shaving, waxing and plucking, talk to us about how want to permanently reduce unwanted body hair.
Hair Removal Lasers :: Dr. Farella, M.D., FACS Westchester, Bronx, New York, Mount Kisco
Hair reduction on almost all body parts
Treatment for ingrown infected hair follicles
Lasers remove hair by selectively targeting and destroying melanin, the dark hair pigment that is concentrated in the hair follicle. Melanin also is found in the skin. Black hair has the most melanin while blond or grey hair has little or no melanin. Laser hair removal works best on brown or black hair.
Equipment for laser hair removal is available in different wavelengths, measured in nanometers (nm). The shortest wavelengths have the greatest attraction to melanin and are the most effective but also the most likely to damage darker, melanin-rich skin. It is essential to look into the recommended laser machine for your skin type before beginning laser hair removal treatment:
- Ruby (694 nm) – Highest affinity for melanin. Used only on very light skinned individuals. Being replaced by Alex (see below).
- Alexandrite (Alex) (755 nm) – High affinity for melanin. Best for light/medium skin tones. When pulse duration is lengthened, may be safer for darker skin.
- Pulsed diode array (800 nm) – Moderate affinity for melanin.
- Nd:YAG (1064 nm) – Less melanin absorption and lowest chance of post-treatment changes in skin pigmentation, especially when pulse duration is lengthened. Best for darker skin.
About the Procedure (Board Certified)
Successful laser hair removal requires preparation before the procedure. The laser targets visible hair, so you will be instructed to avoid plucking, waxing, or electrolysis three weeks before the procedure to allow stubble to form. Shaving is allowed before procedures. Dr. Farella recommends avoiding tanning in the sun or sun booth for two months prior to treatment because tanning stimulates skin pigments and makes discoloration more likely. Liquid self-tanners also should be avoided as they turn the skin into a target for the laser beam.
During the procedure, a hand-held instrument is pressed onto your skin so that its laser beams can pass into and destroy the hair follicle. Your skin will be cooled at the same time for protection from burns and to help limit pain. Goggles are worn to prevent accidental eye exposure to the laser beam.
Laser hair removal works differently on each person. In general, it removes most but not all of the hair from the treated area. Dr. Farella sees the best results in people with light skin and dark hair. However, the YAG 1064 allows darker skinned individuals to benefit from laser hair reduction.
Repeat treatment usually is needed. Hair goes through three different stages of growth and not all hairs are actively growing at the time of the treatment. As follicles come out of the shedding or resting phase and into the active growth phase, they produce new hairs that were not present during earlier treatments. We recommend four to six treatments spaced four to six weeks apart. Darker skinned individuals may need more than six treatments. The exact number depends on your skin color, coarseness of hair, gender, and desired results.
Discuss with Dr. Farella the advisability of laser hair removal if you have polycystic ovaries, medical problems, or medications that promote hair growth. Laser hair removal will be much less effective until the underlying condition is treated.
Anesthesia and Pain
The hair removal laser causes a stinging feeling on the skin. A topical anesthetic may be applied to your skin to lessen discomfort during the procedure. For large area hair reduction like the back, Dr. Farella may administer oral pain medications.
Immediately after treatment, your skin may be red and bumpy for up to an hour and might be sensitive for a couple of days. Sun exposure should be avoided for several weeks, followed by diligent use of sunscreen.
Risks and Complications
With any procedure, risks and complications can occur but generally are rare. Side effects from laser hair removal are more likely in patients with darker skin tones. Changes in skin color may be temporary or permanent. Superficial or deep burns from use of an inappropriate wavelength or pulse duration can cause scarring. A trained and experienced physician can modify treatment settings based on skin type and response at the selected settings to minimize complications.
Hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997 and the Food and Drug Administration approved laser hair treatment for “permanent hair reduction.
Information on this page is not a substitute for medical consultation or advice. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss the best treatments for you.