Authors: Drs. Lulit Price, Neelam Vashi, and Nkanyezi Ferguson
What is laser hair removal?
- Lasers can be used to remove unwanted hair. Specific lasers can target the pigment in the hair follicle resulting in generation of heat and destruction of the hair.
What lasers are used for hair removal?
- The long-pulsed 1064nm Nd:Yag (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) laser is a safe laser for hair removal in patients with darker skin types.
How many treatments are needed?
- Multiple treatments are often needed for the best results. These can initially be spaced at 4-6 weeks, after which treatment can be more individualized based on hair regrowth.
- The number of treatments required varies from person to person.
- After desired results are reached, your doctor may recommend that you return in several months for a “touch-up” as maintenance treatment.
Before laser hair treatment:
- Do not pluck, wax, or use electrolysis within six weeks of your first visit.
- Do not use creams, sunscreen, or make-up on the day of your visit.
- Do not bleach hair.
What can I do before laser hair treatment?
- You can gently shave the day before your treatment.
What happens after the treatments are done?
- Hair is thin and lighter in treated sites.
- Treated hair will fall out in about two weeks.
How do I care for my skin after treatment?
- Wash treated area gently with finger-tips.
- Use Vaseline® twice a day to open sites or crusted skin. Do this until it heals. Additionally, call your doctor if this occurs.
- You can use make up.
- You can use medicated creams after a couple days.
- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater after your treatment.
Which signs should I call the doctor about?
- Pus, pain, fever, or cold sores.
- Prolonged redness, blisters, crusts, or ulceration.
What else do I need to know?
- Laser hair treatment is not paid for by insurance.
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