Plastic Procedures > Non-Surgical Procedures > LASER
What is Epilation by laser?
Unwanted hair is a common problem in women and men. Shaving, plucking, waxing, tweezing and depilatory creams provide temporary solutions that are inconvenient, irritating, messy and only be carried out on relatively small areas. Electrolysis is time consuming, sometimes painful, and is useful only in removing hair from small areas. The removal of excess facial, leg, underarm, chest and back hair has become increasingly more popular as part of the standard grooming and hygiene process. This demand for proven methods of hair removal has brought about many new advances and improvements in effective hair removal.
Laser hair removal treatment can be used to permanently treat and remove small and large areas of unwanted hair from the body. Laser and light-based methods, sometimes called phototricholysis or photoepilation, are now most commonly referred to collectively as "laser hair removal".
Many studies of laser hair removal methods, safety, and efficacy have been published. Best results occur in those with light skin and dark hair, and hair removal works better on coarse hair rather than fine hair.
With the increasing popularity of various cosmetic surgery procedures, including LASER Hair removal procedure, it is imperative that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and so on. Keep in mind, cosmetic surgery is just that – a surgical procedure whose results cannot simply be erased. When considering any form of cosmetic surgery, it is important to have a good understanding of the procedure before making a decision. Take some time to view the introductory information we have provided on LASER Hair removal. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a basic understanding of the procedure, it may not answer all of your questions. To get complete answers to the questions you are seeking, we recommend that you contact us.
What Are The Benefits Of LASER hair removal?
Reasons for removing hair are:
1) Cultural and sexual aspects 2) For religious reasons
3) Medical reasons 4) Male-to-female gender reassignment
5) In military institutions 6) Sporting reasons
- Women frequently experience this condition on the face, especially the upper lip or eyebrow area, in the bikini area, under the arms or on the legs.
- Men often wish to rid themselves of hair on their back or chest. They too may have unwanted hair between their eyebrows or on other parts of their face.
- The best results for hair removal have been achieved on darker, finer hair but other factors may influence the treatment process and are generally best evaluated and discussed in person.
- The number of treatments required for each area depends upon your skin, hair coloring and coarseness of the hair.
- Electrolysis often requires years of treatments at regular intervals. In contrast, laser reaches hundreds of hair follicles at a time, effectively treating an area in just seconds that would take over an hour with electrolysis.
The Idea and Mechanism of Laser Hair Removal!
Hair does not come in any one size or type. Follicles in different parts of the body produce differing types of hair. Hair can grow in thick, bushy patches or in long thin strands. In addition, hair is produced in follicles that can be found at different depths and densities - as close to the skin's surface as a millimeter or as deep as five millimeters or more. Until recently, this great variety in hair types and body locations made long-lasting hair removal a significant challenge.
The life cycle of human hair pass through three phases:
- The first phase "Anagen": growth and lasts 2 to 6 years;
- The second phase "Catagen": transition from active and resting phases and lasts 1 to 2 weeks;
- The third phase "Telegen": resting and lasts 5 to 6 weeks in active follicles and many years in inactivated follicles.
The hair you can see is either in its active anagen growth cycle (still attached to the hair follicle) or in its inactive catagen phase (already separated from the follicle). The laser targets the hair you can see, meaning it will remove both the active and inactive hairs. Hair in an active growth cycle will not grow back as the laser will destroy the hair follicle beneath the skin. Inactive hair will be removed; however, it will grow back as the follicle is still intact. As the hair moves through its cycles, repeated sessions are necessary to treat the follicles when they enter the growth phase. To see long-term results, you can expect at least 3 treatments with the laser.
The primary principle behind laser hair removal is selective photothermolysis (SPTL). Lasers can cause localized damage by selectively heating dark target matter, (melanin), in the area that causes hair growth, (the follicle), while not heating the rest of the skin. Light is absorbed by dark objects, so laser energy can be absorbed by dark material in the skin (but with much more speed and intensity). This dark target matter, or chromophore, can be naturally-occurring or artificially introduced.
Melanin occurs naturally in the skin (it gives skin and hair its color). There are two types of melanin in hair:
- eumelanin (which gives hair brown or black color)
- pheomelanin (which gives hair blonde or red color).
Because of the selective absorption of photons of laser light, only black or brown hair can be removed. Laser works best with dark coarse hair. Light skin and dark hair are an ideal combination, but new lasers are now able to target dark black hair even in patients with dark skin.
What types of Light and Laser hair removal technology exist?
There are many different types of laser hair removal technology used by equipment manufacturers. Each type of laser technology is suitable for particular types of people. The following is a brief insight into the different types of laser hair removal systems available along with the pros and cons of each.
A- Alexandrite Laser: The long-pulse alexandrite laser has the ability to penetrate deeply into the dermis. The resultant heat build up in the hair shafts disables the hair follicles in the active growth phase which enables it to achieve effective laser hair removal.
+ Wavelength: 755 nm
+ Pulse width: 2-20 ms
+ Fluence: 10-40 m/cm²
+ Spot size: 5-10 mm
Devices available: Apogee-40, EpiTouch Alex, GentleLASE
- Hair removal is short term.
- Occurrence of side effects in 2% of dark colored patients.
B- Diode Laser: Diode lasers are very effective. Laser production is triggered by small diodes or semiconductors that are arranged together to produce light beam. The diode laser has a longer wavelength than other types of lasers, which may improve treatment results on darker skin types.
+ Wavelength: 800-810 nm
+ Pulse width: 5-30 ms
+ Fluence: 10-40 m/cm²
+ Spot size: 9 mm
Devices available: Apex-800 Iriderm, LaserLite, SLP100, EpiStar, MeDioStar diode laser, Do-it-yourself Rio LAHR .
- Longer wavelength results in better performance on darker skin types.
- Deep penetration & targeting of deep hair follicles.
- Diode lasers have been linked with the onset of urticaria in some patients. It’s a severe allergic skin reaction similar to hives and can be managed by anti-allergic drug therapy.
C- Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser: This laser has the ability to deliver two different wave lengths of light. The first is an infrared light used for deep penetration. This wavelength is used to get to deeper into hair follicles. The other wavelength, a green light, is used for treating hair follicles closer to the surface of the skin. In both cases, the Q-switching device emits rapid bursts of laser light to the area being treated.
+ Wavelength: 1064 nm
+ Pulse width: 10-50 ms
+ Fluence: 20-100 m/cm²
+ Spot size: 3-5 mm
Devices available: Carbon suspension Q-switched lasers SoftLight, Q-switched Nd: YAG laser MedLite IV, Long-pulsed Nd:YAG lasers
- Provides surface cooling & epidermal protection due to surface cooling and longer pulse duration of these lasers.
- Long term studies show that these laser systems can achieve a significant delay in hair regrowth.
- Nd: YAG 1064 nm system may be best for darkly pigmented people.
- The waxing and carbon lotion application is cumbersome.
- No clinical data to support that added benefits are achieved when pre-treatment waxing or carbon suspension is used.
- Not proven effective for long-term results.
D- Ruby Laser: This laser emits a red colored beam which targets the melanin inside hair shafts and adjoining hair follicles. Due to their specific melanin targeting features these are best suited for individuals having light skin and dark hairs.
+ Wavelength: 694 nm
+ Pulse width: 0.85-3 ms
+ Fluence: 5-40 m/cm²
+ Spot size: 3-10 mm
Devices Available: Normal mode, 694-nm ruby lasers: E2000, EpiPulse Ruby, RubyStar.
- Long term hair removal is achieved.
- The E2000 series is equipped with sapphire cooled hand piece Epiwand which serves as epidermal coolant . Other devices are also equipped with in built cooling devices which minimize the chances of burns & other laser hair removal side effects.
E- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light): is a technology aimed at producing light of high intensity during a very short period of time. It involves specific lamps together with capacitors whose rapid discharge provides the high energy required.
+ Wavelength: SR: 560 - 1200 nm HR: 690 - 1200 nm
+ Pulse width: 20—150 ms
+ Fluence: 20-50 m/cm²
+ Spot size: 16×57 mm
Devices Available: .
- Some consumers have experienced long-lasting hair removal or permanent hair reduction.
- Considered safe if performed properly.
- Useful for large areas such as backs or legs.
- Regrowth can come back lighter in color or finer in texture.
- Response rates have not been established.
- Not as effective on unpigmented hairs and red or blonde hair.
- Must be used very cautiously on darker skin tones or on consumers who tan themselves.
- Improper treatment can cause burns, skin discoloration lasting several months, or patchy/grid-like regrowth.
- Some consumers do not respond to treatment.
How is Laser Hair Removal performed?
- Do not wax, pluck, or have electrolysis for at least four weeks prior to treatment or between laser treatments as the hair follicle needs to be in place for optimal results.
- Please shave 24 to 48 hours prior to your scheduled treatment time.
- The procedure can take as little as 10 minutes or up to several hours depending on the area(s) treated.
- A local anesthetic cream will be applied on the treated area(s).
- You will then be given safety eyewear to protect your eyes during the procedure from the intense laser light.
- During the procedure, the laser hand piece cools and soothes as it glides over your skin. When the pulse is delivered, clients can sometimes experience a mild pinching or stinging sensation, however our innovative cooling system keeps this to a minimum.
- Most treatments require 4-6 sessions with a month interval for permanent hair removal in any one area. The procedure may be repeated at yearly intervals.
What is after?
- Immediately following your laser treatment, the area may appear a bit red. A cool compress and moisturizing lotion is applied.
- Treated areas should be washed twice a day with cool water and a mild soap. Use specific lotion twice daily to treated areas for 3 to 5 days or until healing is complete.
- Treated areas should be protected from direct exposure to sunlight. Sunscreen with SPF greater than 15 should be used at all times on the treated areas.
- Hair will begin to fall out of the follicles within the next week.
Are there any risks associated with Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a safe procedure if carried out by an experienced person. Possible complications include:
- darkening or lightening of the treated skin
- burning/blistering of the treated skin
- Since darker skin is more susceptible to changes in pigment, tanning before laser hair removal should be avoided.
Laser hair removal should not be performed on patients with the following conditions:
- a history of keloid scarring
- active infection or a history of herpes simplex in the treatment area
- hypersensitivity to bleaching agents
- use of Accutane within the preceding 6 months
How Much Do LASER hair removal Typically Cost?
Often the price says nothing about the quality of the work. Most multicenter clinics charge much more than private doctors — their advertising budget is more and the owner of the clinic has to take his 20% or 30% off the top. In my opinion, you are less likely to get a quality procedures at these multi-center locations.
Although price is a factor when deciding on surgery, the most important factor is that you feel you are getting a good quality, natural-looking result from the procedure.
LASER hair removal costs are variable according to the treated area, denisty of hair and the used device. Usually the cost is ranging from 100 to 1500 U.S. dollars per area per session. When dealing with costs, you also need to take into consideration the fact that the procedure need to be repeated. Most medical insurance providers do not cover the procedure.
Frequently asked questions from patients when considering undergoing LASER hair removal?!
Q - What is the type of anesthesia, and when I can return to normal life?
A - With Local anesthesia or even without, and you can practice your normal life 2 hours.
Q - What are the symptoms that may occur in the first five days after Laser epilation procedures?
A - Soreness and there may be redness or swelling of the face.
Q - What are the guarantees that the success of the process?
A - There is no doubt that the followers of the medical instructions and close follow up visits are the main factors for the success of any surgical procedure.
Q - When can we get the final results?
A - The final results is achieved within a week.
Q - What is ideal age for Laser hair removal?
A - It could be done at any age after puberty.
Q - If you are not Egyptian, What is the minimum period for follow up?
A - One day for each session.
Q - What are the contraindications of Laser epilation procedures?
A - The Laser Hair Removal should not be done if there is a history of keloid scarring, active infection or herpes simplex in the treatment area, hypersensitivity to bleaching agents or use of Accutane within the preceding 6 months. Smokers should stop smoking 2 weeks before surgical procedures to promote the healing process.
Q - Where will the laser hair removal procedures be performed?
A - In LASER Center or may be in outpatient bases (clinic).
Q - How much does Laser Epilation procedure cost and what elements factor into that cost like hospital fees, anesthesia, and so on?
A - Ranging from 100 to 1500 U.S. dollars per area per session. Medical insurance dose not cover facial rejuvenation procedures.
Q - What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing LASER Hair Removal procedures?
A - Consultant or Doctoral in Plastic surgery or Dermatology.
Q - What percentage of patients experience complications with Laser Epilation procedures?
A - 1 - 4%
Summary of LASER Hair Removal (Epilition) Procedures:
The time of the procedure: from half to two hours.
Type of anesthesia: local anesthesia.
Location: Laser Center or clinic with or without postoperative hospital stay.
Expected Side effects: Temporary swelling and redness.
Recovery time: return to work after 2 hours and the final outcome within one week.
Cost: according to procedure ranging from 100 to 1500 U.S. dollars per area per session, or 550 to 8,000 Egyptian pounds.
Results: Permanent results.
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