The removal of unwanted body hair is a rather common practice with most individuals choosing to shave, wax or pluck the hair off of their bodies. Hair removal creams are also popular methods for removing hair quickly. Although many options are available when it comes to hair removal, none of them are as long-lasting as treating body hair with laser therapy. If you have a desire to eliminate body hair and are also tired of repeating the same traditional methods, laser hair removal with the Cynosure Elite+ may be right for you. At Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery, we perform laser hair removal for all skin types thanks to the adaptable and innovative qualities that the Elite+ provides.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Cynosure lasers target hair follicles in the body with highly-concentrated beams of light. The melanin located in the follicle absorbs the light, which essentially destroys the hair and keeps it from regrowing over a period of time. The benefit of receiving laser treatment is the laser’s ability to eliminate hair without damaging the surrounding skin. Whereas techniques like shaving, plucking and waxing tend to irritate the skin near the hair follicle, laser therapy only targets the unwanted hair.
Hair growth occurs in a cycle, which consists of the anagen, catagen and telogen phases. Laser hair removal is most effective in the anagen phase or when the hair is in the process of growing. Hair in the anagen phase is the most absorbent of laser energy, but because hair follicles grow in cycles that vary from one another, multiple laser treatment sessions are advised in order to target all of the unwanted hair and make the procedure as permanent as possible.
Why is the Elite+ Different?
Prior to innovations in laser technology, laser hair removal only benefited patients with lighter skin and darker hair. In the past, lasers that were applied to darker skin would cause hypopigmentation (or a loss in skin coloring), which created many aesthetic concerns. At Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery, we utilize the Elite+ due to its ability to eliminate hair on people of varying skin colors. By combining two lasers with different wavelengths, physicians can customize laser treatment to the particular needs of the patient.
The Elite+ consists of the 755nm Alexandrite laser and the 1064nm Nd:YAG laser, all within one system. The wavelength from the Alex is suitable for patients with lighter complexions while the energy from the YAG produces better results in darker skin tones. For patients who fall right in the middle, between dark and light skin, the lasers can be used simultaneously and the wavelengths combined to accommodate medium complexions. The pulse durations of the lasers can also be adjusted to limit the chances of unwanted skin pigmentation.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The treatment plan that is created for you will be determined based on the location of the hair as well as its coarseness, color and thickness. During a consultation with one of our physicians, we will be able to design a course of action that best suits your individual needs. Laser hair removal is not 100% permanent, but it can last for years with multiple treatment sessions along with maintenance appointments. Nonetheless, laser therapy is more effective and economical than other traditional methods of hair removal. Typically, you will undergo between four and eight treatment sessions spaced three to five weeks apart from one another. Additionally, your hair will need to grow for at least six weeks before your first appointment. Multiple sessions allow our physicians to apply the laser during every stage of hair follicle growth to ensure the most long-lasting results.
Laser light is applied by gently passing the device over the treatment area – each session lasting no longer than one hour to complete. To begin your procedure, our esthetician will pass the Elite+ over an isolated area of skin, examine it and ensure that no adverse reactions occur from the laser light.
Although the procedure is relatively painless, we will often apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment area to make your session as comfortable as possible. A cool air machine is also turned on while the laser hair removal is being done so that any any discomfort is alleviated. Side effects may include redness and soreness on and around the treatment area, but any discomfort will subside in a few day’s time and with the application of cold compresses. With continued treatment, your unwanted body hair will be reduced and eliminated by up to 90%. You will be able to spend more time doing the things that you enjoy rather than use it to shave or wax away hair. If you would like more information about laser hair removal or if you’re ready to see what the Elite+ can do for your unwanted body hair, contact Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery and schedule a consultation.