Alpharetta, Georgia 30023
Removal of unwanted hair has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in recent years for women as well as for an increasing number of men. Treatments include the more traditional and often temporary methods, ranging from depilatories, epilators, shavers, waxing kits and electrolysis, to high-tech procedures such as intense pulsed light and laser systems.
In many cases unwanted hair is considered a cosmetic problem. In particular, women often experience additional hair growth during both pregnancy and menopause. Some diseases also have excessive hair growth as a symptom, but they are less common.
Human hairs are comprised of three distinct parts: the bulb at the base of the hair follicle that produces hair, the shaft, and the hair follicle itself. Both the bulb and the shaft are embedded within the skin, leaving only the hair visible to the naked eye. For long-term hair removal, the hair follicle must be destroyed along with its germinating centers that are in the bulb.
Another challenge to the hair removal process is the ability to produce long-term effects. This is due to the fact that hair is destroyed only during the active phase of the growth cycle. As a result of these staggered growth cycles, patients usually require multiple treatments over several weeks to months for long-term hair removal results.
Laser hair removal systems use laser light – an intense, pulsating beam of light – to remove unwanted hair. Your doctor may use multiple treatments to target areas such as the face, upper lip, neck, chest, breasts, underarms, back, abdomen, bikini line and legs.
A single treatment costs an average of $388, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This usually isn’t covered by insurance providers. Laser hair removal may be an option if you seek long-term or permanent results.
There are several laser and laser-like devices currently used for hair removal. These include, but are not limited to:
The long-pulse alexandrite laser achieves deep penetration into the dermis where the hair follicles are located. The heat build-up in the hair shafts disables those follicles in the active growth phase.
The diode laser is a very efficient device that contains small diodes or semiconductors that are arranged together to produce light. The diode laser has a longer wavelength than other lasers used for hair removal, which may improve treatment results on darker skin types.
Intense pulsed light devices operate on similar principles to lasers. Using the photorespiration process, the device offers a broad spectrum of light to treat a variety of hair and skin colors as well as hair depths.
This laser delivers two different wave lengths of light. One is an invisible infrared light used for deeper penetration. This wavelength is used to reach deeper hair follicles. The other wavelength, a green light, is used for treating hair follicles closer to the surface. In both cases, the Q-switching device emits rapid bursts of laser light to the treatment site.
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive method of photoepilation, which does not require needles or messy chemical creams. Since thousands of hairs can be zapped in a single treatment session, large areas like the back, shoulders, arms and legs can be effectively and efficiently treated. Although permanent hair removal is the goal of therapy, some patients may experience hair regrowth that is usually finer and lighter in color. In addition, long-lasting laser hair removal typically requires multiple treatments, which can make it a more costly hair removal alternative. Possible side effects, though very rare, may include damage to the surrounding healthy tissue in the form of scars, burns, redness and swelling. Special considerations are important when lasers are used on darker skin tones to allow for safe and effective treatment.