At Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego we offer laser hair removal for permanent hair reduction. Our physician assistant Leysin Fletcher is a laser hair removal expert and will help you get the smooth, hairless skin you want.
If you are tired of getting bumps, nicks or burns from shaving, tweezing or waxing your unwanted hair, laser hair removal is a great option worth considering. This is a simple, safe and highly effective procedure, and is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures.
Watch Leysin Remove Hair from the Underarms
What are the benefits of laser hair removal?
Lasers are useful for removing unwanted hair from your body. The benefits include:
- Provides long-lasting results
- Can treat many areas of the body
- Selectively targets dark hair while leaving surrounding skin undamaged
- Treats large areas of unwanted hair quickly
How does the treatment work?
Laser hair removal is performed by targeting the hair follicle with an intense pulsating beam of light to destroy it. The laser works because it selectively targets melanin (a dark pigment) found in the hair. By selectively targeting melanin the laser finds its way into the follicle, heating it up until destruction.
What areas can be treated?
Most often people seek to remove excess hair in the following areas:
- Bikini area
- Stomach or abdomen
- Upper lip area
Our La Jolla dermatology center treats both men and women with unwanted body and facial hair!
What lasers are used for laser hair removal?
- Cynosure Apogee Elite
- Candela GentleMax Pro
- Lumenis LightSheer Duet
Watch a Happy Patient Discuss Her Treatment
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is laser hair removal?
A: A beam of light removes unwanted hair, eliminating the need for routine shaving and waxing. Since the laser can scan the skin rather than treating one hair at a time, its is possible to treat large areas in just one treatment session. Leave your skin hair free and looking and feeling smoother!
Q: How does it work?
A: Hair removal lasers target melanin, dark pigment, in the hair follicle, which kills unwanted hairs and inhibits future hair growth. The laser treats hair follicles that are in the growth cycle and slows the growing capacity. Since some hair follicles may enter their growth cycle after your treatment, multiple treatments are required to deliver complete results.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Laser hair removal is a relatively painless procedure. Most patients compare the feeling of laser pulses to the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
Q: Is it safe?
A: Laser Hair Removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed today. Sometimes called Laser Hair Reduction, it is performed across the United States as well as the rest of the world. Numerous studies have been done and it is now generally accepted in the dermatology community. The only real documented risks are the slight chance of mildly burned skin, some discoloration (generally more of a risk for dark skinned patients), white spots and mild swelling.
Q: Who is the best candidate for laser hair removal?
A: The ideal candidates are patients with light skin and dark hair. We can treat almost every skin type because we have a wide variety of lasers. Unfortunately, this treatment does not work well for grey hair, fine blonde hair or red hair. When the skin color and hair color are too similar, the laser has a hard time targeting the melanin and providing effective results.
Q: What do I need to do before my treatment?
A: You should avoid tanning and sunless tanners to keep your skin as pale possible. Additionally, be sure to use broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher to prevent your skin from tanning. No plucking, waxing or electrolysis should be done to the area being treated. However, you should shave the treatment area 1-2 days prior to the laser treatment.
Q: How many sessions will I need?
A: You’ll need at least 5 treatments to significantly reduce hair growth in the desired area. This is because hair grows in 3 different stages:
The perfect time to destroy your hair follicle is in the anagen stage as the melanin is darkest. Because of the different stages of hair growth we will space your appointments 4-6 weeks apart to ensure we are zapping the different follicles that grow in the correct phase of hair growth. Our experienced technicians can better gauge exactly how far apart to space your treatments based on your skin and hair type. If you aren’t being treated when the hair is in it’s growth phase the treatment is not effective.
Q: How long does the treatment take?
A: The length of treatment sessions required varies, depending on the size of the treatment area. Small areas, like the lip, can take only 15-30 minutes, where as larger areas, like the back, can take over an hour.
Q: What should I expect after my treatment?
A: You can return to your normal daily activities immediately after a hair removal treatment session. We recommend the use of sunscreen for 48 hours on any treated areas exposed to the sun.
Q: Are there side effects?
A: Minor side effects can include swelling around the hair follicle, or redness and inflammation. These side effects will only last for 1-3 days before clearing up. Temporary skin lightening or darkening may occur, especially in darker skin types, or patients with a recent tan. Permanent changes in skin pigment is very rare. Blistering is rare, but is more common in patients with darker skin tones.
Q: What causes excessive hair growth?
A: There are two types of excessive hair growth: hirsuitism or hypertrichosis. Hirsuitism is the presence of excess hair in women that grows in a male pattern such as a beard, mustache, or lower abdomen. This hair growth caused by hormonal problems, medications, tumors or heredity. Hypertrichosis is the presence of excess hair in a normal or abnormal pattern. Genetics, medications, malnutrition, hormones, tumors or metabolic problems can cause this type of excessive hair growth.
Q: Will laser hair removal cause hair to grow back darker?
A: Contrary to common belief that removing hair makes it grow back darker and thicker, hair removal with lasers actually causes hairs to grow back slower and thinner than before the treatment.
Q: What is the difference between electrolysis vs. laser hair removal?
A: While both electrolysis and lasers can be used to remove hair, they use different technologies to do so. Electrolysis is a much slower process than laser hair removal. During electrolysis, a needle is inserted into each individual hair follicle, one at a time. Once inserted, an electric shock burns the follicle to inhibit hair growth. With laser hair removal a low-energy beam scans the treatment area, reaching multiple hair follicles at once. Electrolysis also tends to be more painful.
Q: How much does laser hair removal cost?
A: The cost varies depending on the area you want to have treated. Small areas like the lip or chin will cost less than larger areas like the back. During a consultation our doctors will crate a treatment plan for you, which will include the treatment cost.
How to Prepare for Your Hair Removal Treatment
Laser Hair Removal Before & After Photos
To see more before and after pictures see our photo gallery.
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Get Rid of Unwanted Hair in San Diego Today!
Please contact Cosmetic Laser Dermatology at (858) 943-2113 for more information on Laser Hair Removal and to schedule a consultation. We are located in the UTC area of San Diego, minutes from La Jolla, Del Mar, and Downtown San Diego.