About hair and laser
Genetically, we all have different hair growth patterns and different hair “density”. With age, menopause or for what’s seemingly no reason at all, hair density and patterns can change. Sometimes hair shows up in places it wasn’t in before. Or we’ve had a problem for years and finally decided it was time to do something about it. Or we just get tired of shaving. And for many, the idea of a sleek body is simply more appealing.
Before lasers, the only way to lessen the amount of excess or unwanted hair was through painful and tedious electrolysis. Now, usually just a few treatments will have profoundly satisfying results in hair reduction.
How do lasers work?
Lasers work by targeting certain “chromophores” in the skin. A chromophore is a fancy word for anything that has color in it..whether that color comes from a freckle, a hair, or even a spider vein or red scar. Different lasers target different colors and reach different depths in the skin. Once the laser energy is absorbed by the chromophore, a heating effect occurs and whatever was targeted essentially gets “zapped”. All this occurs beneath the skin surface so there is no burning or blistering or cutting. The skin surface remains completely intact and unharmed.
In the case of hair reduction, the heat destroys the hair at it’s follicle level below the skin surface. Usually several laser treatments are required to sufficiently get desirable long-lasting results.
Why is more than one treatment needed for laser hair removal?
Hair grows in cycles. Only hair in it’s active cycle is capable of absorbing the laser energy. The hair in the dormant (inactive) cycle at the time of treatment is unaffected, so a repeat treatment is necessary 6-8 weeks later when that dormant hair has re-entered it’s active phase.
By allowing time to treat the desired area over a period of 2 to 3 months, it’s easy to make sure you are “finished” by the time you’ll be wearing shorts or swimsuits.
What to consider if you have ethnic skin
Not every laser is safe for every skin. If you have genetic backgrounds that impact the pigment levels in your skin, certain lasers are not for you. We won’t use the same laser for every patient because that could cause problems. Find out more about hair lasers and which ones are safe for your particular skin type.
Consultations are with Dr. Pilest at our Irvine dermatology clinic. Contact us today for your personal assessment.