A Long-Lasting Alternative to Shaving, Plucking, Creaming and Waxing for the Philadelphia Area
There are many ways to deal with hair that grows in unwanted areas. The problem with just about all of them is how quickly the hair grows back. Wanting to maintain smooth, bare skin traps one in a seemingly endless repetition of shaving, plucking, tweezing, or messy depilatory creams. Laser hair reduction breaks the cycle at the Philadelphia area’s Mind Your Skin, serving Havertown and beyond.
Traditional methods of hair reduction involve cutting the hair short or pulling it out by its roots. Neither tactic stops the hair from growing. Laser hair reduction focuses on the hair-producing follicle itself, targeting the actual source of the cosmetic frustration. By damaging a follicle’s ability to work properly, patients can enjoy hair-free surfaces for much longer than a razor or wax treatment would allow. It is also a good alternative for men and women suffering from ingrown hair (folliculitis barbae).
What Are the Basics of Laser Hair Reduction?
Follicles feature pigmented cells that are prone to absorbing light energy more than lighter-colored cells in the same area. Laser hair reduction capitalizes on this by transmitting light that passes through the surface of the skin. It then hits these pigmented cells. As a result of selective stacking this heat then builds up as they collect more and more of it. Finally, the follicle enters a denatured state and eventually the clean-up crew absorbs and eliminates it.
Ultimately, the selected cells become so hot, the follicle itself sustains permanent damage, preventing it from continuing to grow hair properly. Any existing hair pushes out within days, leaving behind bare skin.
Laser hair reduction treatments only work on follicles that are in the active stage of the multi-part hair-growing cycle. Several treatments spaced out over a series of months may be necessary for ideal results, with weeks between each session. This way the greatest number of follicles is impacted. After that, individual sessions at longer intervals maintain the result.
What is a Laser Hair Reduction Session Like?
Anyone interested in laser hair reduction first meets for a consultation to discuss the area or areas to be treated. Each person’s case will be unique. At Mind Your Skin both the Alexandrite as well as the Nd:Yag laser treat most skin types safely.
Avoid tanning or anything else that can darken the skin carefully in the week before a laser hair reduction appointment. Pigment changes can alter the impact of the laser. Avoid plucking, waxing, or similar actions that pull hairs out by the root, as this makes follicles less susceptible to the laser energy, reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
The specifics of the treatment itself will depend on the targeted region and other unique factors.
Laser hair reduction patients may experience what feels like a sharp “snap” against the skin during the session, similar to the sensation of a rubber band hitting the treatment area. This is due to the laser light hitting and penetrating the surface.
Treated skin will likely be red and sensitive for a few days following a laser hair reduction session. The hair in the shaft extrudes, as if it were growing, over the next several days. Do not confuse this appearance with the treatment not being effective.
Is Laser Hair Reduction Permanent?
Skin eventually grows new follicles again. Patients should not be surprised. These new hairs are initially lighter in color and finer than the hairs that grew in the area before.
Women and men who want to maintain a hair-free region—whether an upper lip, armpits, or entire back—should plan for ongoing maintenance treatments to ensure long-lasting results.
What Else is Available in the Havertown and Philadelphia Area?
Norbertus Robben, MD, uses lasers for many cosmetic treatments at Mind Your Skin, including skin lifting and tightening to address the sagging and laxity that occur with age. Laser skin resurfacing is available to smooth out texture irregularities and reduce the appearance of certain lesions, while fractional laser rejuvenation encourages collagen production for an overall more youthful look.
Lasers are also in use as a vein treatment to collapse visible vessels that appear as fine colored lines on the face and legs.
Intense pulsed light (IPL), while not a laser treatment, is another effective option for patients looking to get a clearer, smoother complexion.
Any of these combine well with other treatments and get customized results. Dr. Robben and his team discuss other options to laser hair reduction in Philadelphia with patients to create a personalized plan. This focuses on achieving specific cosmetic goals, from less hair, sagging, and wrinkles, to a more youthful and healthy glow.