Laser Treatment for Unwanted Face and Body Hair
Removing unwanted hair from the body or face is a tedious task. Laser technology has made it possible to safely and remove hair and eliminate the need for shaving, waxing, depilatory creams and time-consuming electrolysis. Dr. Mark H. Schwartz is a New York City plastic surgeon who uses the Sciton system to treat all skin types.
How Does the Laser Work for Hair Removal?
Lasers produce highly focused intense beams of light that are absorbed by pigments in the hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface. This causes a purposeful buildup of heat, destroying most of the follicles and preventing hair growth.
Treatment Areas and Conditions
Laser hair removal can be used on the following areas:
- Bikini area
- Chest (males)
It can also be used to treat ingrown hairs also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. When “shaving bumps” cover the follicles, the laser energy can still penetrate to the hair follicle for a safe and effective treatment.
Which Laser Is Best for My Skin Type?
Dr. Schwartz will individualize your laser hair removal treatment. Patients that have lighter to moderately pigmented skin get the best results with the BBL laser. Patients that have darker skin color are best treated with the ClearScan YAG.
Laser hair removal is performed in Dr. Schwartz’s Manhattan plastic surgery practice. Prior to beginning the treatment, Dr. Schwartz applies a topical numbing cream to the treatment area to minimize any discomfort. A pair of goggles or an eye shield is placed to protect the patient’s eyes from the laser light.
Dr. Schwartz adjusts the laser to the patient’s skin color and the color, thickness and location of the unwanted hair. Then, he places the Sciton system handpiece over the area of unwanted hair. The treatment tip releases a quick pulse of highly concentrated light to the target area. This light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle, and damages the root of the follicle. This disables the hair follicle and prevents hair re-growth.
Dr. Schwartz continues this pattern throughout the targeted area. Depending on the size of the treatment area and amount of unwanted hair, treatment time can take a few minutes up to an hour. Treatment is not painful. Most patients describe a sensation similar to the snap of a warm rubber band.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Patients typically need a series of laser hair removal treatments to achieve the desired results. The laser energy only disables hair follicles in the active growth (“anagen”) phase, and not all follicles grow at the same time. Follicles that are dormant (“telogen”) at the time of the first treatment become active within three weeks to three months.
Dr. Schwartz finds that at least three treatments, spaced one to two months apart, produce satisfactory, long-lasting results. The female face, underarms and bikini area tend to respond fastest to laser treatment; the back, arms and legs generally need more treatments.
Recovering from Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal does not require downtime. Patients can return to their normal activities almost immediately after treatment. The treated area may have mild redness or swelling, but these side effects are only temporary and subside shortly after treatment.
Laser Hair Removal Results
After treatment, the remaining hair grows back lighter and finer until eventually it is hardly noticeable. The laser is most effective on dark hair. The fine blond and light hairs are especially difficult to treat. Since skin heals with the help of the hair follicle, some retention of fine hair growth is a plus should you ever be injured
Learn More about Laser Hair Removal
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark H. Schwartz or to find out more about laser hair removal.