Laser Hair Removal
Imagine not having to shave, wax, or pluck unwanted body hair anymore!  At Manhattan Beach Dermatology, our office uses a long pulse alexandrite laser called the GentleLase for laser hair removal. The GentleLase is a revolutionary laser that eliminates the need for shaving, plucking, and waxing unwanted hair.  The powerful GentleLase system emits a high-intensity beam of laser light that passes through the skin to the base the hair follicle.  The laser energy heats and destroys the hair follicle, leaving the surrounding skin unaffected.  A cold skin surface spray called the Dynamic Cooling Device protects the skin surface during treatment and helps to minimize discomfort.  Laser treatments for hair removal act on and destroy only follicles that are in an active, growing phase at the time of treatment.  Therefore, a series of four to eight treatments performed on a monthly basis is needed to achieve permanent hair reduction.  Treatment can take anywhere from a few minutes to one hour depending on the area of the body being treated.  Popular areas include the upper lip, legs, underarms, and bikini line in women, and the back, shoulders and chest in men.

Who is a candidate for laser hair removal?
The best candidates are those with dark hair and fair skin; people with very dark skin tone, or with white, light-blonde, gray, or red hair can be more difficult to treat effectively.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

The GentleLase is FDA-cleared to claim  "'Permanent Hair Reduction", which means most of your hair will be eliminated. However, because all lasers target the dark color of the hair, no laser can guarantee 100% elimination. However, based upon years of follow up study, most of the treated hair will not grow back. Since everyone is different, the number of treatments your hair will require may vary. However, most people experience a significant reduction ... and that may be as much as 99%!

How does the treatment work?

Lasers designed for hair removal emit light at wavelengths specifically designed to be absorbed by the pigment in the hair (melanin). If the surrounding skin is relatively light compared to the color of the hair, then all of the heat energy of the laser will be concentrated in the hair shaft, effectively destroying it without damaging the skin. The GentleLase incorporates a cooling spray right before the laser fires, protecting the skin and allowing more energy to be applied to the hair follicle.

Which body areas can be treated?

The GentleLase laser has been successfully used on tens of thousands of patients worldwide, removing unwanted hair on virtually every area of the body. Common areas include the legs, arms, face, neck, ears, chest, back, shoulders, and bikini line.

How many treatments are required?

For permanent hair reduction, the average person needs at least five treatments, and often more treatments for facial areas. Some people may require more or less, depending on hair color and skin type, but the majority of our clients have excellent results after five to eight treatments. Rarely there are some people who, because of genetics, hormones, or other causes, may only see minimal improvement or perhaps their facial hair may even worsen under treatment.  We are careful to set realistic expectations in these cases, but sometimes it is impossible to predict in advance who these unlucky people will be. Most clients with dark hair, even those with extremely persistent hair growth, will achieve permanent hair reduction eventually.

Are there any side effects?

There usually is short-term redness and bumpiness immediately after treatment, as if the hair had been waxed, but this goes away after several minutes. The GentleLase provides a cooling spray to protect the skin, and our staff members are trained to observe the skin during treatment.  More sensitive skin types may experience temporary skin redness, but this usually disappears within a couple of hours. Some people with darker skin tone may develop hyperpigmented (darker) or hypopigmented  (lighter) spots after treatment; again, these conditions are temporary. If we believe your skin type may be susceptible to this, we will try a few test pulses and observe for a few days before we do a full treatment.

Are there any special precautions I should take before or after treatment?

For the best results, avoid waxing or plucking hair to be treated for one month prior to treatment, and you should shave your hair 2 days prior to the treatment date.  Avoid the sun so that your skin is not tan at any time during your treatment regimen.  This allows us to use higher, more effective energy levels.

What should I expect during treatment?

During treatment, you will wear eye protection as the laser pulses are fired on your skin.  During one pulse, the GentleLase treats all the hair on a patch of skin about the size of a quarter. The pulse, lasting only millionths of a second, is usually no more painful than plucking a few hairs.   Treatment times vary from a few seconds to an hour depending on the area of the body being treated.  Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, but because of the cooling spray which immediately follows the laser pulse, you will experience a higher comfort level than with other lasers.  Topical numbing creams can also be used to enhance your comfort level during treatment.

GentleLase Treatment Instructions

Return to Cosmetic Procedures
2809 N. Sepulveda Blvd
Suite A
Manhattan Beach
CA 90266
P:(310) 802-8180
F:(310) 802-8150

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