Plastic Surgery in Tampa, FL

Laser Hair Removal

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Laser Hair Removal


Laser hair removalis a non-surgical procedure in which a special low-energy laser to remove unwanted hair on the body including face, back, neck, legs, bikini line, chest, and underarms. Unlike other forms of hair removal like shaving, waxing, or plucking which only temporarily remove the hairs, laser hair removal targets the hair follicle itself for a more permanent result. Once the hair follicle is obliterated, it cannot produce any more hairs. Laser hair removal differs from electrolysis in that it is not limited to a single hair follicle at a time. The laser can target an entire area consisting of dozens of hair follicles in an instant, making it much faster and more efficient than electrolysis. Because the laser can only target hair follicles that are in actively growing (20% of follicles at any given time), repeated treatments are usually necessary. Typically 90% of the follicles will be obliterated after 6 treatments, but you should notice a drastic improvement even after one treatment.There are many different types of lasers, each designed with a different wavelength to target different types of chromophores or colors. Hair removal lasers come in various wavelengths depending on the manufacturer or model, but a true laser will emit only one wavelength. Some laser centers use Intense Pulsed Light or IPLĀ devices which in fact are not lasers at all since they emit a spectrum of light and are more akin to a bright light bulb. Some lasers may be inappropriate for darker skin complexions and can actually cause worsening pigmentation.Dr. Truongprefers to use an810 diode lasersince it has been shown to be less painful, and highly effective for many different hair and skin types. Laser surgery should only be performed by appropriately trained, experienced physicians or professionals.

During your consultation, we will discuss with you your desires and expectations regarding hair removal. Dr. Truong will evaluate your overall medical condition as well as your skin and discuss with you the nature of the procedures available along with the risks and possible complications. Patients with a history of herpes cold sores are informed that laser treatment can exacerbate an outbreak. You will be asked to stop plucking for the time period before your treatment as the laser needs a target to find the follicle. You are allowed and are encouraged to shave the area to be treated however. Once you are deemed a good candidate for laser hair removal, Dr. Truong will work with you to design a treatment protocol suitable to your skin type as well as your expectations.

Description of Procedure
First, the area is cleansed of oils in order to prepare for the laser procedure. Any abnormally long hair will be shaved to prevent the hair from burning. The laser is equipped with a cooling device which will help anesthetize as well as protect the skin. The actual laser pulses are often described by patients as a snap of a rubber-band or brief burning sensation. Some redness and temporary swelling of the hair follicles may occur indicating that the follicle was successfully targeted. A mild rash-like discomfort can occur and usually subsides within a few hours. A lotion is applied to soothe the area following your treatment. Treatments are usually repeated at 4 to 6 week intervals.

Recovery Process
Following the procedure, only lotion is necessary to soothe the area. Redness and small bumps will subside in a few hours along with discomfort. Pain medication is usually not necessary and patients return to their usual activities immediately. Patients are asked to avoid direct sun exposure to the area immediately preceding the procedure and for a few days after to avoid pigmentation problems. Very rarely, a small blister or burn can occur after the procedure which will heal in a few days. You will be asked to return in 4 to 6 weeks for additional treatments.