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September 7, 2007

Laser Hair Removal Puts an End to Wax Forever  

By Patricia Woloch

Laser hair removal has proven to be a very popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure and is a non-invasive, convenient way to permanently reduce unwanted facial and/or body hair. Short-term hair loss will occur in most patients with laser hair removal, but the degree of long-term hair reduction will vary among patients. Permanent hair loss occurs most often in dark hair, which has a high concentration of melanin whereas gray, white and blonde hair would need to be re-treated to maintain hair loss. This also will vary depending on the area being treated.

The Procedure

Laser hair removal is performed using a technology called Intense Pulsed Light or IPL. In this procedure, a handheld device is used that emits pulses of light that are able to effectively target hair follicles in their growth phase, damaging or destroying the follicles, thus preventing re-growth.

The process takes from several minutes to several hours, depending on the area of the body involved. The laser energy passes through the patient's skin, being absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle. A percentage of the follicles are instantaneously and permanently disabled with each treatment. In most cases, no anesthesia is necessary.

The Benefits

· A non-invasive, gentle technique that eliminates undesirable hair from all parts of the body
· Leaves skin looking smoother and silkier
· Treats larger areas effectively because it removes more than one hair at a time.
· Minimal discomfort
· Replaces waxing, electrolysis and razors
· Immediate return to normal activities

Other Considerations
· It could be ongoing process that requires multiple sessions
· Sometimes there is a temporary slight reddening of the skin or localized swelling
· May have to use specially formulated skin care products and/or a prescribed skin care regimen. Sunscreen is recommended for any treated areas exposed to the sun.
· Patients with darker pigmentation may not respond well
· Blonde, white or gray hairs are less responsive to laser treatments and sometimes cannot be treated

Laser hair removal works best when the hair is one to two millimeters in length. Patients cannot tan prior or during hair removal treatment. You may not wax but shaving in between is permitted if it's necessary.

If you would like to learn more about how laser hair removal can put an end to all that shaving and waxing, please visit the website of cosmetic surgeon Dr. David A. Bray, Sr., serving patients in the Los Angeles area.

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