LASER HAIR REMOVAL
ACHIEVE SMOOTHER, CLEARER SKIN IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
There are millions of hair follicles on the human body. It's perfectly natural to have body hair—but the amount of it, how fair or dark it is, and its texture vary from individual to individual. Some people choose to embrace what they naturally have, while others want to restore smoother skin. Happily, energy-based technology is available to keep excess hair at bay. Laser hair removal at St. Louis' West County Plastic Surgeons is a non-invasive technique for patients who want a longer lasting, more effective method to reduce unwanted hair on their body or face.
WHAT IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
What is laser hair removal and how does it work? Laser hair removal is a method of reducing or removing unwanted body hair on large or small areas of the body. The most common areas for laser treatments include the upper lip, chin, neck, chest, shoulders, arms, back, bikini area, and legs. What differentiates laser hair removal from other techniques like waxing, shaving, and plucking is that it can remove hair for good and it causes less injury to the skin.
Laser hair removal uses focused light energy to target and penetrate the hair shaft and destroy the hair root. The laser energy also damages the hair follicle and hair bulb, causing the hair to fall out and discouraging future hair regrowth.The light energy the device gives off is converted into heat, which especially targets pigmented cells because they absorb more of the energy than surrounding tissues. This results in damage to the cells that grow hair. In addition to reducing unwanted hair, laser treatments can also address other issues, like ingrown hairs.
Since hair grows in cycles of active growth followed by periods of rest, hair removal using laser technology can effectively target actively growing hair follicles only. This means that several sessions will be required to treat unwanted hair follicles, in order to catch them during their active phase.
Response time, the number of treatments required, and laser choice differ considerably from patient to patient.
WHO IS AN IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Want to know who is best suited for laser hair removal? In most cases, these types of laser treatments are best for patients who have light skin and dark, coarse hair—and who want to have that hair removed from their face or body. There is a higher risk of damage if there isn't much contrast between the skin and hair color. If your hair is fine or a color that doesn't absorb well (such as gray, red, blond, or white), laser treatments may not be as effective. We can talk to you about alternative solutions if this is your case.
Typically, the patients who choose laser treatments for hair reduction have tried and are dissatisfied with other hair removal options, including tweezing, shaving, waxing, electrolysis, or creams.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
What do I have to do to prepare for laser hair removal? You'll need to avoid sun exposure and tanning lotions, avoid other types of hair removal treatments such as waxing and plucking, avoid irritating the skin, and refrain from taking blood thinning medications prior to your laser hair removal appointment. Your skin should not be tanned if you're having laser treatments, and you should not have an active infection such as a cold sore or bacterial skin infection. You should not have makeup, lotion, sunscreen, or deodorant on the desired treatment area.
Seem like a lot to remember? Don't worry! We will provide thorough instructions to help you prepare for your laser hair removal appointment.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
West County Plastic Surgery offers two laser hair removal options to meet the diverse needs of our St. Louis patients:
- Cynosure Elite+: for all skin types.
- Alexandrite: for patients with lighter skin (Fitzpatrick skin type 1-3) (755nm)
- Long-Pulsed Nd:Yag: for patients with darker skin (Fitzpatrick skin type 4-6) (1064nm)
Click here to view a video on hair removal using laser technology.
There is no need to decide on a laser hair removal strategy on your own. In other words, you don't have to come into our St. Louis office knowing which laser you would like. We will examine your skin, listen to your desired results, and then determine the ideal approach. We will share and discuss all of this information and your options with you, working together to create an effective plan of action.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE LASER HAIR REMOVAL PROCEDURE?
Prior to your laser hair removal procedure, your skin will be cleansed, and a numbing cream will be applied. You may also be given protective eyewear. High-energy light is then directed at the treatment area. Laser hair removal may take only a few minutes to be completed for a small area,but larger areas may require more time.
Laser hair removal usually only causes minimal discomfort.Many patients say it feels similar to a rubber band snapping or a sunburn-like sting. It may cause more discomfort on thinner areas of skin such as the area around the nose or on the temples.
Before & After
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*Results may vary.View Patient Results
Length of procedure: 15 to 30 minutes.
Number of treatments: May require 3 to 6 treatments, depending on skin and hair color
Estimated recovery time: Immediate
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Recovery is minimal for laser hair removal and patients can resume their normal activities as soon as they'd like after their appointment. There may be some minor redness and swelling. Avoid the gym and hot environments such as saunas for 24 hours.
Most importantly, you will need to avoid sun exposure for some time after your laser hair removal session. Treated skin is especially sensitive to damage from ultraviolet radiation, so special care must be taken to protect it. Simply staying out of the sun is best. When you do go out, try to wear clothing that covers or shades your treated skin, and definitely wear sunscreen on any exposed areas.
WHICH COSMETIC TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE ASIDE FROM LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
West County Plastic surgery offers a variety of laser and light treatments to enhance the appearance of the skin, including intense pulsed light (IPL), laser vein treatment, and other laser services.
Apart from lasers, dermaplaning is a manual exfoliation technique that removes the outer layers of skin, dirt, and vellus hair on the face while also improving the appearance of skin imperfections such as acne scars and allowing clearer skin to be revealed.