Dr. Michele Green has been performing the best laser hair removal for her NYC dermatology patients, using state of the art technology, for the past 25 years. Unwanted hair has been a cosmetic issue for both men and women. Laser hair removal is an FDA procedure which has evolved over the years, and provides an effective way to remove unwanted hair growth with a simple, painless, and safe solution. The laser selectively targets the hair follicles, without damaging the skin. The treated hair, whether it be small areas such as the upper lip, or larger areas such as the back, when the treatments are concluded you will be left with beautiful, smooth, clear skin.
Laser hair removal has become a popular cosmetic treatment for men and women, since it is a fast and effective procedure which permanently removes hair from anywhere on the body. For some patients, excess hair is a side effect of an underlying hormonal or medical issue. Some individuals want to save time and effort required in repeated shaving or waxing. In some cases laser hair removal is needed for practical reasons, especially for those areas which are difficult to shave, such as the back and shoulders in men.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser hair removal is a permanent solution for excess hair or general hair removal. A laser is used to target the pigment in the hair follicle, in the area selected to be treated. The pigmentation, or melanin, within the hair follicles absorbs the laser energy and heat, while leaving the surrounding skin untouched. The laser hair treatment only destroys the hair follicle during its growth phase. The hairs follicles which are in the dormant stage are not affected by the laser treatment. This is the reason why multiple treatment sessions are needed to achieve total hair removal in a given area. The next treatment is performed when the new hair begins to emerge. Since each area of the body has a different rate of hair growth, the amount of time between treatments will differ for various areas of of body. Most areas of laser hair removal will typically take between five and eight treatments, spaced four to eight weeks apart, depending on the area of the body being treated.
It’s worth noting that laser hair removal is dependent on there being pigmentation within the hair follicle itself. Patients with white or grey hair color cannot be treated by laser hair removal since there is little melanin or pigmentation in the hair follicle. Patients with red hair have a similar problem since there is not enough melanin in the hair follicle, need different hair removal methods. In these cases, Dr. Green refers her patients for electrolysis for hair removal.
Laser hair removal is great for both men and women. It can be performed on any area of the body except the delicate eyelid region. It is most commonly used to remove hair in the axillae (armpits), on the legs, arms, bikini line, face, and on the upper lip. Some women prefer a “Brazilian” bikini treatment as well. The most commonly treated areas for lasers hair removal in men are the back, chest, and shoulders. When you are finished with your laser hair removal, you will have clear, smooth skin.
Laser Hair Removal Treatments
There are various lasers designed for permanent hair removal. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is one of the original hair removal machines. IPL id popular since it could be used for multiple purposes, besides permanent hair reduction. Following the advent of the IPL, other more highly targeted lasers were developed. The newer laser technology has created lasers with unique laser light to treat light skin or darker skin tones. Dr. Green has both the Candela GentleLase® and GentleYAG® lasers, for light and dark skin tones, since they have a proven tract record of safety and effectiveness.
Hair Removal Procedure
Generally, laser hair removal is quick and easy to carry out and is painless overall. Before having laser hair removal, you should refrain from waxing, tweezing, or plucking hair for two weeks prior to treatment. You may continue shaving before your treatment, and up to your next laser hair appointment. Waxing removes the hair root, which you need to be present for laser hair removal to be effective for permanent hair removal. In addition, laser hair removal should not be performed on tanned skin. If your skin is tan, the laser will interpret your tanned skin as pigmentation with increased melanin, and you may be more susceptible to a laser burn. Sun exposure should be avoided both before laser hair removal and immediately after your treatment. Sunscreen of an SPF 30 or higher is recommended on the treated area for at least two weeks after your laser hair removal procedure, to avoid unnecessary side effects.
For patients who find laser hair removal uncomfortable, or are having laser hair removal in areas which are more sensitive on the body, a topical numbing cream can be applied for 30 minutes before your treatment. The laser treatment feels a little like a “rubber band” snapping against your skin. Both hair removal lasers which Dr. Green utilizes are equipped with Cryogen, a special coolant, which lowers the skin temperature and causes the procedure to be more tolerable.
The amount of a time for each treatment depends on the thickness of the hair, and the size of the surface area being treated. Generally, the lasers will treat a circular area of around an inch at a time, so it makes sense that the hair on a person’s upper lip can be treated much faster than larger areas such as your legs or back. In all cases, Dr. Michele Green can help design the best treatment plan for your hair removal needs.
The GentleYag and GentleLase laser both have the same re-treatment period. Facial re-treatments are generally scheduled 4 weeks apart. Laser hair removal to treat the bikini area and axillae (armpits) is generally scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks, while arms and legs may be planned every 8 to 10 weeks. It is important for the patient to have the laser hair treatments performed at the right time intervals, to coincide with the growth cycles of the hair in the different regions of the body.
Best Treatment Options for Light and Dark Skin Tones
Our New York City office has the latest laser technology to deliver fast, effective, treatments for both men and women. Unlike some practices that only use a single laser, we offer two different lasers tailored to the unique needs of lighter and darker skin tones. Patients with light skin color would be treated with the GentleLase laser. Patients with darker skin color would be treated with the GentleYag laser.
Dr. Michele Green offers the following options for laser hair removal treatments to make sure you’re getting the right solution to meet your appearance goals:
- GentleLase® for Light Skin – GentleLase® is a remarkable hair reduction treatment which is quick and painless with no downtime. It removes hair while cooling the skin simultaneously to increase patient comfort. This laser is most often used for lighter skin tones. Patients with dark hair and light skin type are the best candidates for this laser for permanent hair removal.
- GentleYAG® for Dark Skin – Regardless of your skin type, whether you are Asian, Mediterranean, Latin, Indian, American, African American, or have tanned skin, the GentleYag® can painlessly and quickly laser your hair with no downtime. This nd:yag laser is designed for all different skin types and safely removes unwanted hair.
Laser Hair Removal on the Arms and Under Arm Region
Before and After photo of laser hair removal (arms / female)
Many people shave their underarms on a daily basis and this can be one of those areas which people find hard to keep maintained since stubble can re-appear quickly. In addition to this, repeatedly shaving can cause a number of problems including ingrown hairs and cysts, not to mention razor burn and even razor cuts. In these situations, many people look for more permanent underarm hair removal solutions and in this particular case since the surface area is small, laser hair removal can be carried out quickly and effectively.
Another area that can have excess hair and that individuals may wish to permanently treat are the arms. Shaving and waxing the arms is impractical since stubble occurs relatively quickly after the area is shaved. Many patients have their full arms treated and tell us that they are now comfortable wearing t-shirts for the fist time.
Laser Hair Removal on the Legs
For many women, removing the hair on their legs is a chore that they have been carrying out for years. Not only is shaving or waxing time consuming, but the costs can mount up over the years. To simply avoid the daily hassle and inconvenience many women are now looking for a permanent solution to their leg hair and are turning to laser hair removal to resolve this issue once and for all. Ingrown hairs are also a constant nuisance for many patients, and laser hair removal avoids this problem. Silky smooth legs can be obtained quickly and easily and the best news of all is that after a few treatments the results are permanent.
The number of treatments you will need is dependent on your skin type but generally between three to six treatments is usually effective for completely removing the hair permanently. In addition, an individual should wait between six to twelve weeks between treatments to ensure that the treatment is effective.
Laser Hair Removal on the Body
Laser hair removal on the body is becoming more popular for both men and women alike. In many cases body hair removal is done for aesthetical and personal taste reasons. For example, a man may choose to remove their chest hair in order to achieve a smoother look. Generally, since the treatment areas are larger than some other body areas, treatment length can be a little longer. It may take almost an hour to treat a man’s entire back.
Laser hair removal is also growing in popularity for men. The most commonly treated areas for men are backs, shoulders and chest area. Laser sessions for the back is are usually spaced 6-8 weeks apart.
Laser Hair Removal for the Bikini Line
Laser hair removal in the bikini line or pubic area is a quick process, taking 15 to 30 minutes per session. This area of the body may require five to six ight laser treatments to become smooth and hairless on a permanent basis. Follow up sessions should be undertaken between 4-6 weeks after each session for optimal results.
Laser hair removal on the bikini area is very popular since many patients suffer from ingrown hairs in this area. Certain conditions are also made worse through shaving such as folliculitis, where the hair follicles become infected and inflamed, or pseudo-folliculitis, which are bumps that are caused by hair growing back into the skin.
Laser Hair Removal on the Neck
For both men and women, the neck is another problem area which people often wish to treat using laser hair removal since it can be unsightly and is difficult to manage with a razor. Generally, hair on the neck is a little coarser and also has many ingrown hairs. This is another reason why many patients a permanent solution.
With laser hair removal on the neck, the treatment area is relatively small and therefore can be treated quickly. As with other areas of the body, multiple treatment sessions will be required to remove hair completely, though the amount varies on a case by case basis.
Laser Hair Removal on the Face
There are many laser hair removal treatments which are done on the face, which are extremely popular. Women tend to have unwanted hair on their upper lip, chin, and sideburn areas. Facial hair, in women, is often the result of hormonal imbalances. Many patients will need oral treatments such as birth control pills or Spironolactone in conjunction with their laser hare removal to keep the unwanted hair under control. Laser hair removal procedures on the face typically are performed every 4 weeks with approximately 5 to 6 sessions needed for hair reduction.
Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal
The most common side effects from laser hair removal are hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, burns, and blisters. These side effects can occur for various reasons. First, the wrong laser or treatment was used for a patent with a darker skin tone. The heat generated by the laser is too strong for their skin type and a blister can form. Alternatively, the wrong laser settings may be used, and the patient can suffer a burn. When these patients suffer burns, they run the risk of either hyperpigmenataion, or a loss of pigment, hypopigmentation. These patients need to have extra treatment in terms of skin care and wound healing in order to prevent scarring. Dr. Green has consulted on many such cases of hyperpigmentation and has treat patients who were treated incorrectly. This is why it is so important to research the physician or provider when having cosmetic procedures, in order to avoid such adverse reactions or side effects.
In addition, at home laser treatments have increased in popularity. While they have the ability to treat small areas, these at home laser treatments are considered cosmetic and not medical devices by the FDA and are not regulated as closely. Special care should be used in purchasing and using these at home laser treatments to avoid unwanted side effects.
Next Steps & Laser Hair Removal Costs
If you’re ready to enjoy smooth, beautiful skin, there’s finally a solution which can help. Contact us online today or call our NYC based offices at 212-535-3088 to learn more about how Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Green can customize the best laser hair removal plan that’s right for you. The cost for laser hair removal varies depending on the location and the amount of treatment sessions needed, which varies per individual patient.