FAQ - Laser Hair Removal

What is laser hair removal? How does it work?

Laser hair removal offers patients a safe, fast, and effective alternative for dealing with unwanted hair. Lasers work by emitting a specialized light that is passed through the skin and preferentially absorbed by its target, which is the hair. The laser used in hair removal targets the melanin (color) in the hair follicle, damaging the follicle and removing the hair. Laser hair removal is safe enough to be used on all body parts, including the face, back, underarms, bikini line, legs, and arms to name a few.

How many treatments will I need?

SkinMedix recommends six to ten treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. There are a variety of factors that can influence the total number of treatments any individual may require to achieve the desired results. Light skin makes laser hair removal easier to perform. Fewer treatments are required, and better, faster results are obtained. People with darker skin can be treated, but results are slower, more sessions are required, and greater expertise is required on the part of the laser center. Laser hair removal must be individualized for each patient.

Does treatment hurt? What can I expect with the procedure?

Most patients describe laser hair removal as feeling “prickly,” or like the light snap of a rubber band against the skin, but most people tolerate the procedure well. Afterwards, it might feel like a mild sunburn. Each patient has his or her own level of skin sensitivity and pain threshold. Different areas on the body are also more sensitive than others. Topical anesthetic is available to increase your comfort, if you choose.

What should I do before my treatment?

Laser treatment should be avoided when you have a suntan or sunburn. 
Bleaching, waxing or plucking should be stopped for a couple of weeks before the treatment. The hairs should be shaved 1-3 days prior to the treatment to a degree where only a shadow or stubble remains visible. Patients taking the drug Accutane should avoid any laser treatment until medically cleared by your physician. Retin-A or bleaching creams should also be discontinued 3-7 days before treatment. During your consultation, we’ll review any medications or supplements that you are currently taking to help determine the appropriate fluence for your treatment.

What should I expect after my treatment?

It is common to experience some redness, slight swelling or bumps after the treatment; however, this should subside within a few hours. Topical Hydrocortisone is applied to the area post treatment to soothe and decrease inflammation. A cold compress often helps in this scenario. Apart from this, general precautions to take after laser hair removal treatment include: maximum use of moisturizer and sunblock of SPF 30 or more for a couple of weeks after the treatment.

Are there any side effects?

In most cases there are no side effects associated with the procedure. However, pigment change of the skin treated can occur, including either dark or light areas. Pigment changes may persist for months, but are almost always temporary. This is very rare in patients with fair skin, who are untanned. Blisters and burns are rare, but occasionally occur, particularly in patients with dark skin.

Does the hair grow back?

Laser hair removal is accomplished in a series generally done monthly. The average number of sessions to achieve 80-90 percent permanent hair reduction in 80-90 percent of good candidates is approximately 6 to 10 sessions. In between these monthly sessions some of the hair will regrow as hairs cycle. Multiple sessions ensures that all the hairs are subjected to the treatment.

Once my sessions are completed, will I require maintenance sessions?

Many patients find that maintenance sessions done once or twice a year are ideal for keeping hair at bay after completing the initial treatment.

Is Laser Hair Removal permanent?

There is no laser that has received FDA clearance for a claim of permanent hair removal. However, the LightSheer™ Diode designed by Lumenis™ was the first to be cleared by the FDA for permanent hair reduction. That is defined by the FDA as 80 to 90% or greater hair reduction. It is possible that follicles in the treated area, while not being completely destroyed, will be sufficiently disabled to the point where they produce only fine, light hairs that do not respond to further treatment.

Does Laser Hair Removal work on Red/Grey/Blonde Hair?

The laser energy is attracted to the melanin in your hair. The greater the amount of melanin, the better the results. White or gray hair does not contain any melanin and, therefore, does not respond to treatments. However, some hair that many would call blonde or red actually does contain enough melanin to be treatable. It is important to schedule a complimentary consultation, so we can evaluate your hair and skin type and discuss your options.

Who performs the treatments?

Our laser treatments are performed by Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners who are trained and certified in all aspects of Laser Hair Removal. Performing more than 400 laser hair removal treatments each month, the SkinMedix staff is highly experienced. SkinMedix treats more patients for Laser Hair Removal than anyone in the South Bay and surrounding cities.

How much does treatment cost?

The cost of treatment is dependent on the area needing treatment. You can choose to pay per treatment (pay as you go), or to purchase a Package of 6 treatments for a 15% discount.