Smooth skin that is free of hair has long been the standard of beauty for certain areas of the body, such as the legs and underarms for women and the back for men. Maintaining hair-free areas of the body often requires time consuming or painful hair removal processes, such as shaving and waxing. Fortunately, there is an alternative to the never-ending cycle of epilation. At Marina Dermatology, we offer laser hair removal to individuals who are good candidates for this procedure. When you meet with our Dermatologist to discuss laser hair removal, he will review a number of factors before determining that laser hair removal can effectively and safely remove your hair. To avoid the risk of side effects, complications, or ineffective hair removal, we encourage our Marina Del Rey patients to undergo laser hair removal with a qualified Cosmetic Dermatologist.
Laser hair removal works by destroying hair follicles at a particular stage of growth. All hair undergoes three phases of growth – anagen, catagen, and telogen. Hair in the anagen phase, which is the active phase of growth, is the most susceptible to damage by laser heat. About 70% of hair on the human body is in the anagen phase at any given time. Thus, after a series of treatments, nearly all of the hair follicles will have been destroyed by the laser. The number of treatments required will depend upon your skin and hair type, the area being treated, and your unique response to the laser being used. Most of our Los Angeles patients require six to eight treatment sessions, which can be spaced at three to eight week intervals. There is no downtime required after a treatment session, so patients are able to resume normal activities immediately.
To perform successful laser hair removal, our Doctor must determine the specific wavelength of light and pulse duration that will provide safe and effective results. The laser’s light will destroy the hair follicle by selectively targeting melanin, the substance that provides hair and skin with its color. When the laser is set to the correct wavelength and duration, the light will be absorbed by the melanin without causing damage to surrounding tissues or skin. When an unqualified practitioner performs laser hair removal, you are increasing the risk of potential complications. Complications associated with laser hair removal include unwanted skin color changes (lightening or darkening of the skin) and burning of the skin. These can occur when the laser’s wavelength and pulse duration are not set correctly for the patient’s hair and skin color.
The dermatology community considers laser hair removal to be an effective way to eliminate unwanted body hair in certain individuals. The effectiveness of laser hair removal is based upon the color of the patient’s hair and skin. Laser hair removal is the most effective on patients with coarse dark hair and light skin. Laser hair removal typically does not work well on patients with blonde, red, white, or grey hair; however, the advancement of laser hair removal systems allows our dermatologist to treat a wider variety of patients than ever before. At Marina Dermatology, we are pleased to offer the GentleMax laser system for hair removal, which allows us to treat nearly all skin types with only minimal discomfort. Our Doctor will not perform laser hair removal on a patient unless he feels the procedure will be effective and safe. In the event that he cannot recommend laser hair removal, our Doctor may be able to recommend an alternative treatment. To find out if you are a candidate for laser hair removal, please contact one of our LA locations. We’ll help you determine if this method can provide you with safe and effective hair removal so that you can enjoy skin that is smooth and hair-free.