The days are getting longer, things are blooming everywhere you look, the pollen is falling—it must be spring in Memphis! It’ll be time to break out your shorts and bathing suit before you know it, which means this is the perfect time to talk about laser hair removal. Shaving and waxing are the go-to solutions for silky smooth skin, but they can be a hassle. Hair removal creams are also popular, but they contain harsh chemicals that may irritate your skin.
Fortunately, there’s a longer-lasting option for unwanted face and body hair that’s gentler and more effective than OTC products! Dermatology Realm is proud to offer laser hair removal services from our state-of-the-art Germantown office. We use a combination of broad band light (BBL) therapy and ND: YAG lasers to target all dark hair, from superficial to deep. Let’s explore how this procedure works to give you summer-ready skin!
What is the process for laser hair removal?
Before your procedure, we’ll evaluate your hair and skin and walk you through what you can expect from the laser hair removal process. We recommend shaving or trimming the area we’ll be treating prior to your appointment, but you should avoid waxing or plucking any hair there for at least three weeks before we see you.
Laser hair removal treatments can be a bit uncomfortable, but they aren’t typically painful. The laser’s intense heat feels similar to a warm pinprick, but this is alleviated by the cooling mechanism built into the device. You can do a few things ahead of time to make these sessions as comfortable as possible.
- Take a pain reliever about thirty minutes before your scheduled treatment.
- Don’t drink alcohol for 24 hours before your scheduled treatment.
- Avoid this treatment if you are on antibiotics, as they are photosensitizing. They make your skin more sensitive to light and can lead to a burning sensation when exposed to the laser.
- Avoid sun exposure before your scheduled treatment
The session’s duration will largely depend on which part of the body we’re treating. A small area like your upper lip might take less than fifteen minutes, while your legs or back could take up to an hour to complete. We find that most patients will need about 6-8 sessions to significantly reduce or permanently remove the hair in the treated area.
We carry laser hair removal out over a series of sessions to target hair at different growth cycle stages. The laser emits controlled pulses of energy which are absorbed by the pigment in the hair, known as melanin. It does this by reaching right into the active hair follicles beneath the skin. As the follicles absorb heat from the laser, they are destroyed from the root up without damaging the surrounding tissue or skin.
Although BBL therapy isn’t a laser treatment, we use it in conjunction with our ND: YAG laser to produce the best results! Lasers use a single spectrum light, but BBL technology targets melanin in the hair with several multi-spectrum lights. Since the energy is scattered, it’s somewhat weaker than a laser’s beam would typically be. That makes it a powerful but gentle method of removing unwanted hair.
The ND: YAG laser emits long wavelengths of densified light that can reach past the melanin in the skin to reach the melanin in the hair. This innovative technology allows us to destroy hair at the papilla, the bulbous structure at the base of the hair follicle, producing longer-lasting results. Studies have shown that combining BBL technology with the ND: YAG laser is more effective overall, leading to more efficient hair removal and stronger patient satisfaction.
There’s no downtime or recovery with this procedure. There may be some redness or mild swelling for the first few hours after your laser hair removal treatment, but this will typically resolve quickly. If you have any discomfort, you can apply ice to the treated area for fast relief. Please note that there are specific guidelines to follow while going through laser hair removal treatments. These include:
- avoiding natural sunlight, tanning beds, and even tanning sprays for six weeks after each session
- using a good sunscreen every day (even if it’s cloudy!)
- avoiding the gym, sauna, and hot showers for 24 hours after each session
What results can a patient expect from laser hair removal?
As with most treatments, the results of laser hair removal will depend on the area being treated and how you respond to the process. Most of our patients experience long-lasting results with little to no additional hair growth. Those who do have some regrowth report that it’s minimal and that the hair is finer and lighter than it was prior to treatment. If you do experience any regrowth, we can address this with touch-up sessions.
How long do the results of laser hair removal last?
Results will vary from case to case, but it’s not unusual to experience results that last for many years. Some patients will even have permanent hair loss in the treated areas! Remember that hair loss and growth occur in cycles and laser hair removal specifically targets the follicles in the growing stage. That means the hair won’t fall out immediately after treatment, but will instead shed over the course of several days or weeks. This targeted cycle is also why treatment includes repeated sessions—these are necessary to target new hair growth continuously.
Get your body summer-ready with smooth skin from Dermatology Realm
Are you sick of shaving? Cringe at the thought of waxing? Want to avoid harsh hair removal creams? We can help! Laser hair removal can be an excellent solution for achieving smooth skin without the hassle. These treatments are customized for your hair type, skin color, and treatment area to give you the best results in the least amount of time possible. If you want baby-soft skin to last all summer long, get in touch today to set up a FREE cosmetic consultation in our Germantown office!