Hair Removal

What is Medical Laser Hair Removal?

Medical laser hair removal is the destruction of hair follicles utilising laser energy to treat large areas quickly unlike ‘follicle by follicle’ treatments such as electrolysis. It was invented by a team of laser dermatologists at the Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

What will medical laser hair removal cost me?

The initial consultation is free of charge. At this consultation your individual situation will be discussed.

A medical history will be taken and your clinical outcome will be advised. Any hormonal problems will be assessed at this time. The length of time for your treatment, cost and number of treatments required will also be advised at this time.

Costs vary according to the size of the area treated. Two or more areas treated at the same time will be substantially discounted.

How does it work?

The near-infrared laser light emitted by the Diode laser is preferentially absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle.

The laser is pulsed for only a fraction of a second (usually 30 milliseconds). The duration of each pulse is just long enough to damage the follicle, whilst the lasers unique contact cooling handpiece helps protect the skin with conductive cooling during the energy delivery to the follicle. The diode laser has a wavelength of 810nm. and has a 9mm square spot size.

At Shire Cosmetic Medicine we also use a Zimmer Cryo 5 Cooler to aid in the cooling and safety of the skin.

Why use the Lightsheer Diode Laser over other hair removal systems?

There are many light or laser based hair removal machines available today. One of the earliest lasers was a Ruby laser. The Ruby was a very effective laser, however was unable to treat any darker skin tones. The Lightsheer Diode Laser has been designed to safely and effectively treat all skin types – from very fair skin (Type I) through to very dark skin (Type IV).

The Lightsheer Diode Laser has been considered to be the gold standard in hair removal lasering for many years. The Lightsheer Diode Laser is designed specifically for hair removal. We have chosen this laser because of the extensive clinical research undertaken that demonstrates its effectiveness for permanent hair reduction. It was granted FDA and TGA approval many years ago.

Alexandite and ND-Yag lasers as well as Intense Pulsed Light machines are used for hair removal. There are also many derivatives of these machines.

In our twenty years of experience we have found the Lightsheer Diode Laser to be more effective and safer than IPL for permanent hair reduction.

The Lightsheer Diode Laser can be used at higher energy levels safely because of its wavelength (810nm). It has been proven that high energy levels help determine the long-term outcome for permanent hair reduction.

Are there any side effects?

As with any medical treatment there can be some side effects. However side effects are usually minor and manageable.

Redness of the skin and mild swelling can be non existent or last for an hour to 24 hrs.

In rarer instances the redness may last for a few days and there could be some grazing or scabbing that resolves over a short period of time. This is very rare. As with all laser treatments, it is important not to be tanned so these side effects can be minimised or avoided.

At Shire Cosmetic Medicine we have twenty years experience with lasers and vast experience with darker skin types.

Is it painful?

Some discomfort is experienced during the procedure as is common with the majority of hair removal treatments i.e. waxing and electrolysis.

The Lightsheer Diode System is fast, which reduces the treatment time. It provides long lasting hair removal, reducing the need for repeated treatments. The ChillTip cooling lens helps reduce discomfort while protecting the skin surface from thermal injury during the delivery of the pulse light. If large or sensitive areas of unwanted hair are to be treated, a topical anaesthetic cream may be applied to the site to further reduce discomfort.

The Zimmer Cryo Machine now used at Shire Cosmetic Medicine provides very good pain relief. Post laser there may be a slight, warm ‘sunburnt’ feeling on the skin for a short period of time.

Your normal daily routine can be returned to immediately, although we prefer no strenuous exercising for a 24 hour period.

Do I need to grow my hair before consultation or treatment?

No, in fact the area needs to be shaved prior to treatments. We are actually targeting the anatomical structures below the skin. Surface hair interferes with this process.

You may use depilatory creams, bleaching or cutting the hair if you prefer. We ask that you don’t pluck or wax for a week to three weeks prior to the treatment, depending on the treatment area.

How many treatments will I need?

Laser treatments target the hair follicle when it is in its active growing phase (anagen phase). Unfortunately not all follicles will be in anagen phase at any one time. Therefore, for permanent hair reduction three to six treatments may be required to achieve the desired results.

What areas can be treated?

Laser hair removal can be done on lip, chin, face, earlobes, shoulders, back, neck, underarm, abdomen, buttocks, chest, pubic area, bikini line, legs, arms, hands, feet, toes and between the eyebrows. Basically anywhere outside of the orbital bones (around the eyes) can be treated safely.

What are the results?

Will it cure my problem with ingrown hair?Lightsheer Diode Laser will target the pigment in the ingrowing hair follicle and give almost 100% relief from this distressing problem.

It is also an effective treatment for pseudofolliculitis barbae (commonly known as shaving rash or bumps).

Laser hair removal is a helpful treatment for pilonidal sinus sufferers. It eliminates the ingrown hairs that produce the pilonidal cysts that in turn cause the troublesome foreign body reactions which are inherent with this condition.
Are the results permanent?Results vary depending on skin and hair type. Studies have shown that many patients can achieve permanent hair loss of up to 85-90% of the hair with remaining hair returning lighter and softer.

Female patients suffering from hormonal facial hair may need maintenance treatments from time to time. You will be advised at consultation if this is applicable in your situation.
Can anyone be treated?Yes, except those taking Roacuttane (acne medication) need to wait until 6 months after ceasing their medication.

Treatment of pregnant females is possible, but we prefer to wait until after the birth of your baby. If treatment is clinically indicated during your pregnancy, this will be discussed individually.

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