Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for entrusting Wolf Medical with your laser hair removal needs. Laser hair removal can be dangerous in inexperienced hands. Burns, permanent changes to your skin color, and scars can occur. You can greatly reduce the risk of possible side effects by having your treatment performed by a trained medical professional who is extremely skilled in using lasers and has in-depth knowledge of the skin and hair.
These are the questions we are asked most often about laser hair removal. Click each question for answers:
Before the treatment, the area to be treated will be cleaned and inspected. Some patients receive a numbing gel. The numbing gel contains topical anesthetics, which can help reduce hair loss sensitivity. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes for a numbing gel to work.
The laser treatment will take place in a room set up specifically for laser treatments. Everyone in the room must wear protective eyewear during the procedure. To perform the procedure, the skin is held taut and the skin is treated with the laser. Many patients say that the laser pulses feel like warm pinpricks or a rubber band being snapped against the skin.
A laser removes hair by focusing a concentrated beam of light at the follicle. The light is then absorbed by the pigment, this causes disruption in the hair growth cycle.
How long each treatment lasts, depends on the size of the area being treated. Treating the upper lip takes minutes. If you are having a large area like the back or legs treated, your treatment may last more than an hour.
To avoid possible side effects, all patients need to protect their skin from the sun. After laser hair removal, you should:
- Avoid direct sunlight from hitting your treated skin.
- Not use a tanning bed, sun lamp, or any other indoor tanning equipment.
- Follow your dermatologist’s after-care instructions.
You will see some redness and swelling after treatment. This often looks like a mild sunburn. Applying a cool compress can help reduce your discomfort.
For details on how to prepare for your visit, click here.
No, laser hair removal generally does not require any real downtime. Immediately after having laser hair removal, your treated skin will be red and swollen. Despite this, most people return to their everyday activities.
You will likely see the results immediately after treatment. The results vary from patient to patient. The color and thickness of your hair, area treated, type of laser used, and color of your skin all affect the results. You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment.
To remove the hair, most patients need 6 to 8 laser treatments. After the final treatments, most patients do not see any hair on the treated skin for several months or even years. When the hair regrows, there tends to be less of it. The hairs also tend to be finer and lighter in color.
Most patients remain hair free for months or even years. When some of the hair regrows, it will likely be less noticeable. To keep the area free of hair, a patient may need maintenance laser treatments.
The most common side effect is minor discomfort, swelling, and redness which can last 1 to 3 days.
This varies from patient to patient. Removing hair often requires a series of laser treatments. Most patients can have laser hair removal once every 6 to 8 weeks.
Lasers play an important role in treating many conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails. In recent years, many advances have been made in laser medicine. Dermatologists have led the way in making these advances.
One such advance is that more people can safely have laser hair removal. In the past, only people with dark hair and light skin could safely have laser hair removal. Today, laser hair removal is a treatment option for patients who have light-colored hair and light skin and patients who have dark skin. Laser hair removal must be performed very carefully in these patients. Dermatologists know what precautions to take to provide laser hair removal safely and effectively.
Generally 8 treatments are required to achieve desired results, though everyone is different. Some may need as little as 6, while others may need as many as 12.
After the first 2 or 3 treatments, most patients will see noticeably less hair than before. The hair also tends to be finer and lighter in color.
You should continue with your treatment routine until the hair follicles are terminated. Stopping could lengthen the number of sessions required. That being said, sometimes people do need to pause for various reasons. How you proceed with hair removal other than laser (such as shaving or waxing) is up to you. However, if you were to continue with laser hair removal, the area must be clean shaven before your appointment, and not plucked or waxed.
Discomfort is usually likened to a rubber band snapping the skin. For patients who feel the discomfort is too great, we can apply an anesthetic gel, which can help reduce skin sensitivity. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes for a numbing gel to work.