Laser Hair Removal
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our hair. We love it when it grows where it should, and hate it when it grows in places where we’d rather not have hair. As a culture, we spend a great deal of time, money, and discomfort to be temporarily free of unwanted hair by shaving, waxing, tweezing, and using depilatory creams and devices. Women want sleek, sexy legs; clean underarms; and a bikini line that looks attractive in any outfit. Men want smooth, low maintenance faces, chests, backs, and heads.
Dr. Vivian Bucay, your dermatologist in San Antonio, has a long-term solution – laser hair removal. Using advanced technology and medical precision, Dr. Vivian Bucay helps men and women enjoy the aesthetics and convenience of less hair.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
- A smooth upper lip
- No “uni-brow” (hair between the eyebrows)
- Stubble-free cheeks and chin
- A sexy bikini area
- Underarms without razor bumps
- Silky legs and arms
- Sleek back, chest, and shoulders
Previously, your options for a more groomed appearance were limited. They produced temporary results, and they were often accompanied by skin irritation. You could shave every day, endure waxing delicate areas, or wait around while harsh depilatory cream dissolved hair. Electrolysis rendered longer lasting results. However, it was both time-consuming and painful, as this method addressed one hair follicle at a time.
Today, Dr. Vivian Bucay’s laser hair removal treatments destroy hundreds of follicles simultaneously, and treatment is well tolerated. Most patients feel a slight stinging (like being snapped with a rubber band) or warm sensation from the heat of the laser, but discomfort is mild and temporary.
Hair Removal Treatment
This medical procedure passes a pulsating beam of intense light through the skin to the hair follicles. This heats the hair follicles, destroying those in the anagen or active growth phase. Because only those hairs in the anagen stage are affected by the laser and not all hairs are in the same growth phase, several treatments over a period of months are needed to achieve the best results. However, you’ll begin to see improvement right away and the effect is considered permanent for the treated hairs. Your body will continue to produce some new hair follicles over time, so you may want to schedule occasional follow-up sessions.
Laser hair removal requires a high level of training and experience for patient safety and effectiveness. Most patients report only a stinging sensation. However, Dr. Bucay makes sure that the experience is as comfortable as possible for even those with very sensitive skin, with the use of topical anesthetic and a cooling device. Session duration depends on the size and location of treatment – from a few minutes for an upper lip, for back or chest. You may have a bit of redness or slight swelling following laser hair removal. This is temporary and easily managed with the application of ice, cooling creams or gels, or over-the-counter analgesics.
How Many Laser Treatments Will I Need?
Hair grows in several stages, and follicles may only be destroyed by the laser in the anagen growth stage. You’ll see improvement right away, but full resolution usually requires six or more treatment sessions several weeks apart. Your body continues to produce new hair follicles over time, so occasional touch-ups will keep you smooth and sleek.
You’ll find laser hair removal advertised at salons and mall kiosks, but for safety and optimal results, trust a qualified physician to perform or oversee treatment – after all, it is a laser, and it is your wellbeing at stake!
Does Laser Hair Removal Work on All Skin Types?
Melanin is a chromophore that gives color to skin and hair. Light is absorbed more quickly by dark objects than lighter ones. Safe laser hair reduction requires precisely matching the right wavelength of light to the pigmentation of skin and hair to avoid damage to surrounding tissues. For example, the process is most effective on light skin with dark hair. However, Dr. Bucay has the technology and expertise to address unwanted hair on most skin types.
When Will I See the Results After Having Laser Hair Removal?
While laser hair removal requires multiple sessions to target hair while in an active growth phase, you’ll begin to see initial results after just one session.
Hair growth occurs in three stages – active growth, shedding, and dormant. Laser hair removal treatments are only effective on hair when it’s in an active growth phase, and only 20% of hair is in active growth at any given time. Therefore, laser hair removal requires multiple sessions to treat all hair while it’s actively growing.
After your first laser hair removal session, you’ll see the destroyed hair follicles begin to shed their visible hair within a week. Hair will become noticeably thinner, and growth delays more after each treatment.
The number of sessions you’ll need depends on the treatment area. To achieve the best results, most treatment areas need 6-10 sessions, 4-6 weeks apart. For example, in an area that requires six sessions spaced four weeks apart, clients will see the full results of their laser hair removal treatments in about 25 weeks or six months.
How Long Will the Results of Laser Hair Removal Last?
Laser hair removal treatments are generally considered near-permanent for most treatment areas, providing results that last for years. However, any hair that grows back in a laser removal treatment area will return thinner and grow more slowly.
Many patients complete their initial series of laser hair removal sessions and enjoy the results for years without needing touch-up treatments. However, other patients return yearly or every few years for a touch-up treatment to maintain their results.
What Are the Possible Side Effects?
Laser hair removal is considered to be a safe and effective procedure. However, patients should only undergo laser hair removal treatments from a qualified healthcare provider, like Dr. Vivian Bucay and her skilled team. When performed by an unqualified provider or with outdated machinery, possible side effects include:
Preparing appropriately, including shaving the treatment area before your laser hair removal session, dramatically minimizes the risk of blisters, burning, and scarring.
When Is It Safe to Have Another Laser Treatment for Hair Removal?
The appropriate waiting period between laser hair treatments varies by patient and treatment area. However, most patients can safely schedule their appointments 4-6 weeks apart.
However, some patients find their laser hair removal treatments so effective that they need to schedule appointments further apart since they’re not experiencing hair regrowth between appointments. If you’re unsure when to schedule your next treatment session, Dr. Bucay can provide you with guidance.
Schedule a Consultation
To see if you are a good candidate for Laser Hair Removal, contact us to schedule a consultation. Call our Sontera office at (210) 370-9995 or our La Casita office at (210) 692-3000. Bucay Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics serves San Antonio and surrounding areas in Texas.