Laser Hair Removal

How do Lasers/Light Sources Work for Hair Removal?

Lasers produce specific wavelengths of light that are absorbed by certain pigments.  In the case of hair removal, a laser produces a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by melanin (the pigment in hair).  This preferential absorption causes damage to the hair follicle without damaging surrounding tissue.  When the hair follicle is damaged it is permanently removed.

Palomar Vectus Laser

At South Coast Dermatology, we achieve great results with our Vectus Laser.  It provides fast, uniform, permanent hair reduction for a wide range of skin and hair types and is very comfortable.

Sapphire treatment tips with Advanced Contact Cooling help protect the surface of the skin and keep patients comfortable while Photon Recycling and the uniform beam profile allows for the most thorough destruction of hair follicles.  It also has a large spot size allowing our providers to quickly treat unwanted hair in large areas such as the legs and back.

Thanks to the Skintel Melanin Reader, the only FDA-cleared melanin reader, the Vectus laser is safe for a variety of ethnicities and skin types.     

How many Laser Hair Removal Treatments are Necessary?

At any point in time, hair is in different stages of growth.  The stage of growth that the hair is in determines how well it will be damaged by and respond to the hair laser.  Hair that is treated during the active growth phase responds the best to laser treatment. Therefore, although noticeable decrease in hair growth is usually noted after only one treatment, multiple treatments (usually 4-6 treatments usually spaced 4-6 weeks apart) are usually required to achieve the best possible result. Location of unwanted hair also is a factor in how well it responds to treatment.  Bikini line, underarm, leg, back, and arm hair tends to respond best to hair removal laser, while facial hair can be a bit more resistant to treatment.   

What does Laser Hair Removal Feel Like?

Most patients tolerate laser hair removal very well with minimal discomfort.  The sensation is often described as similar to being snapped lightly by a rubber band.  If desired, a topical anesthetic cream can be applied one hour before treatment.

How will I look after my Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

The treated area will appear slightly pink and swollen immediately after treatment.  This goes away within minutes to hours.  Cool compresses will speed disappearance of these symptoms.

 Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

With our experienced team of laser hair removal providers, patients can achieve excellent unwanted hair removal results.  Nearly 80% of individuals will, after a series of treatments, achieve a permanent reduction in hair growth.  Some factors including hair color, thickness, skin color, and hormones can cause eventual need for touch ups but generally with multiple treatments, most individuals will achieve a permanent reduction in hair growth.

What are the Possible Side Effects?

When performed properly by trained staff, there are rarely any permanent side effects of hair removal with our laser.  Whereas, laser hair removal used to be reserved for individuals with dark hair and light skin, our Vectus laser is safe for a variety of hair colors, textures, and skin types.  Still, skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) is a rare but possible side effect especially in darker-skinned individuals.  These changes in color usually gradually face away but could be permanent.   To minimize these risks, it is important to follow post-laser instructions carefully, especially strict sun avoidance. 

Interested in Laser Hair Removal?  Call South Coast Dermatology 781 335 9700 for a cosmetic consultation