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GentleYag: Laser Hair Removal for Darker Skin Tones

In the past, patients of Asian, Mediterranean, Hispanic, and African descent were discouraged from seeking laser hair removal treatment. Before the development of the GentleYag laser, there was great risk associated with performing laser hair removal on patients with darker skin tones. Previous versions of laser hair removal systems did not have the sophistication to distinguish between pigmented skin and dark-colored unwanted hair, often resulting in damage to the skin. Now, however, thanks to advancements in laser technology, laser hair removal can be safely and successfully performed on patients of any skin tone.

For men and women alike, unwanted hair can be a nuisance, and sometimes it can be the source of significant discomfort. A skin condition called folliculitis occurs when hair, usually that which is curly and coarse, becomes trapped underneath the topmost layers of the skin. The result is bumpy, irritated skin that, once resolved, may lead to spots of hyperpigmentation or potentially even scarring. For individuals who have a darker skin tone, GentleYag is the solution. This innovative laser treatment is used to remove unwanted hair from virtually anywhere on the body- without damaging the skin’s pores, follicles, or tissue.

GentleYag is one of the many laser treatments offered in the boutique dermatology office of Dr. Michele Green, located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, NYC. Dr. Green has been in practice for over 25 years treating patients from around the globe for a myriad of skin concerns, including the removal of unwanted hair on the face and the body. Whether you’re looking to eliminate shaving from your shower routine, free yourself from folliculitis, or simply enhance self-confidence through removing unwanted hair, Dr. Green is here to help.

Laser Hair Removal

Shaving, waxing, and plucking away at unwanted hair can be a pain! Laser hair removal is a fast and effective cosmetic procedure that has become incredibly popular for men and women who want to permanently remove hair from any area of the body. The most common areas of the body treated with laser hair removal include the underarms, arms, legs, chest, bikini area, back, the upper lip, and the chin. Dr. Green is a board-certified dermatologist and an expert when it comes to laser skin treatments for patients of all skin types and skin tones. During a consultation with Dr. Green in her New York City dermatology office, you will have the opportunity to discuss your specific skin concerns and learn more about what to expect when it comes to your laser hair removal treatment.

For some patients, the presence of excess hair can be a side effect of an underlying hormonal issue or medical condition. Many patients choose to have laser hair removal because they want to save the time and effort that goes into hair removal methods like shaving or waxing. In other cases, laser hair removal treatment is needed for practical reasons- especially for those areas of the body that can be more difficult to reach when shaving (such as the back and shoulders for men and the bikini area for women).

Laser hair removal treatment is an FDA approved cosmetic procedure that has continued to evolve over the years, and offers an effective method for removing unwanted hair in a simple, painless, and safe way. In her office, Dr. Green utilizes two different laser technologies for hair removal. Dr. Green will determine which of the two laser treatments is most appropriate for you based on your skin tone and texture. Patients with darker skin tones are treated with the GentleYag laser, whereas patients with lighter skin tones are treated with the GentleLase Laser. Whether you’re seeking laser hair removal treatment for small areas of the body, such as the upper lip, or for larger areas of the body, like the upper back, once your laser hair removal treatments are complete you will be left with smooth, beautiful, silky-soft skin.

k37 laser hair removal arms 1 MGwatermark

Which areas of the body can you treat with the GentleYag laser for laser hair removal?

The GentleYag laser can be used in various parts of the body for laser hair removal. The most common treatment areas are the:

  • Upper lips
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Cheeks
  • Beard
  • Arms
  • Axillae
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Bikini area
  • Brazilian bikini
  • Buttocks
  • Legs
  • Abdomen

How often do I schedule my laser hair treatments?

The GentleYag laser hair removal process requires 5 to 6 treatment sessions in order to have permanent hair reduction. The laser targets the hair root in the active growth phase. Since not every hair is in the same growth phase, multiple sessions are needed to treat each hair in this growth phase. The number of weeks between treatments depends on which area you are treating and the growth cycle of the hair in the treated area. Facial laser hair removal will have a re-treatment period of weeks. The re-treatment period for areas on your trunk such as your back and chest should be 6 to 8 weeks and 10 to 12 weeks for your legs and arms. It is essential that the laser hair treatments are appropriately spaced so the treatment is performed at the right time intervals to coincide with your hair’s growth cycle in different areas of the body.

What is the Candela GentleYag laser?

The GentleYAG® system is a non-invasive laser device that can be used to remove unwanted body or facial hair on individuals of all skin types without damaging the delicate pores or structures of the skin. The GentleYAG can be used for hair reduction on any area of the body for individuals who have darker skin. The most common areas that are treated with the GentleYag include the legs, arms, armpits, bikini line, back, chest, upper lip and chin. Typically, 4-6 treatment sessions are needed in order to produce optimal results. It is recommended that each treatment session be spaced between 4 to 8 weeks apart, depending on the area of the body that is being treated.

The GentleYAG laser is a special kind of laser in that it can also be used as an overall skin rejuvenation treatment, often used to improve the appearance of skin concerns such as spider veins and sunspots. This ND:Yag laser is also an effective tool for wrinkle reduction. Your provider can adjust the fluence, spot size, and pulse duration of the GentleYag laser system to specifically target these varying skin concerns other than unwanted hair removal. To determine which laser treatment is most appropriate for addressing your unique concerns, it is important to first consult with Dr. Green. Dr. Green takes pride in developing a customized and unique treatment plan for each of her individual patients depending on their cosmetic goals, facial features, and budget. When you consult with Dr. Green, she will work with you to create a treatment plan and timeline that provides you with phenomenal, long-lasting results.

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How the Candela GentleYAG laser works

The GentleYag laser is a single phase, non-ablative laser that operates on a wavelength of 1064 nm. The GentleYag emits a precise, controlled laser beam that passes through the surface of the skin to target the pigment that is present at the hair follicle. There, the laser energy is transformed into heat. The heat from the laser ultimately destroys the hair follicle while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. Hairs that do not contain much pigment may not respond well to laser treatment. GentleYag is less effective for removal of blonde, grey, and red hairs due to the lack of pigment in these hairs. To determine as to whether or not you are well-suited for laser hair removal treatment with the GentleYag, it is best to consult first with an expert such as Dr. Michele Green. As an added bonus, there is zero downtime associated with GentleYag laser hair removal treatment, meaning that your sessions can be scheduled with ease.

Am I a candidate for treatment with the GentleYag laser?

The best candidates for treatment with the GentleYag laser are individuals with a darker skin complexion and dark hair. The GentleYag is optimized for a quick and painless hair reduction treatment with no downtime for patients with darker skin tones. This laser system utilizes a wavelength of light that is compatible with darker skin tones, essentially eliminating the risk for damaging the skin. This is ideal for patients of Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Latin American, or African American heritage.

How long does it take for the GentleYAG laser to work?

Each treatment session could range from 15 minutes to about an hour, depending on the area that is being treated and the skin concern that is being addressed with the laser. When using the GentleYag for the the removal of unwanted facial or body hair, some improvement can be observed immediately upon completion of the treatment. During a treatment session, the hair follicle absorbs the heat that comes from the energy emitted from the laser and, after approximately 1-2 weeks, the remaining treated hair falls from the follicle.

The GentleYag can only target the hair that is in the active growth phase, also known as the anagen phase of hair growth. During the active growth phase, the hair is attached to the follicle and is most susceptible to damage by the laser. For this reason, it is essential to have multiple sessions of laser hair removal treatment in order to achieve the best results and produce permanently silky-smooth skin that is free of unwanted hair in the treatment area. Most patients require 5 to 6 sessions of laser hair removal at intervals of 4 to 8 weeks apart. The timeline for your laser hair removal treatment will vary depending on the desired treatment area and will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Green.

laser hair removal video

Does GentleYag Laser Hair Removal hurt?

The GentleYag laser utilizes a patented cooling system to maximize patient comfort. The cooling system is referred to as the dynamic cooling device, or dcd. Between each laser pulse, the DCD handpiece releases a surge of cryogen gas, providing protection for the upper layers of the skin as well as a creating a cooling effect. In Dr. Green’s office, patient comfort is of the utmost importance.

In order to ensure that the laser hair removal treatment is as painless as possible, a topical anesthetic may be available upon request. For sensitive areas of the body, the topical numbing cream should be applied to the treatment area an hour in advance of the laser treatment session. Laser hair removal treatment creates a sensation that is similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. There is minimal discomfort associated with the treatment and since there is no downtime involved, it is safe to resume usual daily activity immediately following the procedure.

Is there a laser that can tighten skin? 

Of course! There are now many non-invasive alternatives to cosmetic surgery that are designed to tighten and firm the skin, without any downtime. The GentleYag laser does offer some skin tightening benefits by inducing collagen production within the skin. Collagen is a protein that is naturally found in the body that gives the skin a firm foundational structure and provides a supple, youthful, elastic look and feel. By generating new collagen production with laser treatment, patients can expect to experience an overall skin-tightening effect. While GentleYag does provide some skin-tightening effects, Dr. Green often recommends that her patients who are looking to correct skin laxity take advantage of the Thermage treatment- providing her patients with the ultimate in skin-tightening.

Thermage is a noninvasive cosmetic procedure that uses radiofrequency technology to create tighter and smoother skin while it simultaneously softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This innovative treatment ultimately helps you to look younger, without the need for any incisions or surgery, by boosting your body’s natural collagen production. Thermage treatment promotes the production of collagen through heating the deeper layers of the skin, while leaving the surface of the skin cooled and intact. The procedure can be used almost anywhere on the face or body for achieving a nonsurgical “lift” effect that firms and tightens loose skin, without the need for any downtime whatsoever. Having a consultation with Dr. Green is the best way to determine if Thermage treatment is right for you and your cosmetic needs and goals.

Is laser skin tightening dangerous? 

Laser skin tightening procedures are entirely safe when the treatment is performed in the office of a board-certified dermatologist or other such medical professional. Typically, there is no topical anesthesia required in order to undergo a skin tightening cosmetic treatment like Thermage. Since the Thermage treatment utilizes heat in order to induce collagen production in the skin, it is important the the patient is able to feel the warmth throughout the procedure in order to prevent any unwanted side effects from occurring. There exist very few contraindications for having a skin tightening treatment performed. However, it is imperative that you alert your provider if you have any underlying health conditions, are currently pregnant, or have a medical implant device such as a pacemaker. Dr. Green will determine if you are an appropriate candidate for treatment with a skin tightening laser such as Thermage, and will work with you to customize a safe and effective treatment plan that is specific to your cosmetic needs and your individual skin concerns.

Is the GentleYag Laser the same as IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is a versatile anti-aging cosmetic treatment that can be used to address a number of different skin concerns. This device releases light of varying wavelengths in order to affect blood vessels, hair follicles, or pigment cells. IPL can target and improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, textural irregularities, sun damage, dark spots, facial veins or leg veins, rosacea, vascular lesions, and skin laxity, among other skin issues. IPL is an effective treatment for hair removal, too.

Although the GentleYag laser and Intense Pulsed Light Therapy are both capable of effectively removing any unwanted hair from a treatment area, there are some key differences between the two technologies that may influence which treatment is optimal for producing the desired results. For instance, IPL is not a laser device. Instead of producing a precise laser beam that destroys the hair follicle, IPL technology releases diffuse light across the treatment area. This makes IPL a fantastic method for addressing skin concerns such as unwanted pigmentation or irregular skin texture. The GentleYag laser, however, emits an incredibly precise and controlled laser beam that is able to more specifically target the hair follicles, resulting in an overall more efficient and effective hair removal treatment. Dr. Green will work with you in order to determine which noninvasive cosmetic treatment is best-suited to your individual goals during a consultation in her boutique NYC dermatology office.

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What is a Candela laser?

Candela is a company that is based in the United States and that is focused on creating medical laser technologies for the purpose of treating a range of cosmetic concerns. The VBeam, AlexTrivantage, and GentleLase and GentleYag lasers are among some of the favorite Candela lasers of Dr. Green, often used to treat her patients that flock to New York City from around the world for treatment of an array of skin concerns.

The VBeam laser, manufactured by Candela, is considered to be the gold standard treatment when it comes to improving the appearance of concerns such as broken capillaries, facial rosacea, acne scars, facial veins, port wine stains, leg veins, spider veins, and other forms of facial or bodily redness. The VBeam laser is the best pulsed dye laser (PDL) of its kind. The laser operates on a wavelength that exclusively targets skin cells with red pigment, leaving surrounding skin untouched. The unique cooling technology that is a part of the VBeam laser allows for treatment of all the aforementioned dermatological conditions without any discomfort during the procedure, and without the need for any downtime following treatment. Dr. Green delivers outstanding results with the VBeam laser and will restore your skin’s luster and clarity in just a few treatment sessions.

The presence of some sun spots, birthmarks, and even tattoos that are no longer wanted can be enough to drive us crazy! Luckily, Dr. Green can remove these from the body quickly and easily with the use of Candela’s AlexTrivantage Q-switched laser. By adjusting the laser settings for the AlexTrivantage, it is possible to essentially erase various pigmented lesions from the body with only a few days of downtime after treatment. The AlexTrivantage laser is a completely safe and effective method for removing spots of hyperpigmentation- including birthmarks, as well as fully remove unwanted tattoos.

Gentlelase and GentleYag are the two laser hair removal lasers that Dr. Michele Green uses for performing the best laser hair removal available in New York City. Dr. Green has been using state of the art laser technology to satisfy her patients from around the world for over two decades. Laser hair removal has become an increasingly popular procedure for men and women alike due to the permanent reduction in unwanted hair in just a series of quick, easy, and painless treatment sessions.

Are Candela Lasers FDA-approved?

Candela Lasers, including the GentleYag laser system, are approved by the FDA for use in the United States. Dr. Green uses several FDA-approved Candela laser systems in her discreet dermatology office located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Are Candela Lasers safe? 

Yes! Candela Lasers are absolutely safe and effective for patients of varying skin types and skin tones, so long as the treatments are performed by a medical professional utilizing the appropriate settings for a given patient. The lasers are designed to precisely target specific skin concerns, depending on the wavelength that is utilized by the laser. This allows for accurate and successful treatment. There is, however, potential risk associated with utilization of a laser system that is not compatible with a patient’s skin tone. For this reason it is critical to only have laser treatments with a trusted medical professional who will select the appropriate laser for your skin tone.

How do I get started with GentleYag treatments today?  

If you are tired of spending too much time plucking, waxing, and shaving away unwanted facial or body hairs, then schedule a consultation with board-certified expert Dr. Michele Green. Dr. Green was among the first dermatologists in New York City to offer laser hair removal to her patients in the Upper East Side. For all of her patients, she takes the time to create a customized treatment plan that will deliver the best results and produce smooth, beautiful, soft skin that is long-lasting.

Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in New York by Castle Connolly, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors. With over 25 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology, she is a world-renowned expert and treats men and women of all skin types and skin tones. If you are seeking a solution for your unwanted facial or body hair,  call us at 212-535-3088 or contact Dr. Michele Green online to book an appointment for laser hair removal and get the silky-smooth skin of your dreams!

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