Electrolysis

Electrolysis is a commonly used process for removing unwanted hair from many areas of the body. Frequently targeted areas include the face, neck, shoulders, arms, underarms, breasts, abdomen, legs, chest, bikini line, and back.

During electrolysis, a very thin needle is inserted into the follicle, or growth center, of the hair. The process works by destroying the follicle through the use of a mild electrical current. Once the hair follicle is destroyed, the hair is removed with tweezers. Because the follicle has been destroyed, that hair cannot grow back.

Electrolysis is a safe, effective treatment, approved by the FDA and the American Medical Association as a permanent process of hair removal. Any healthy individual may have electrolysis, with the notable exception of people who have implanted pacemakers.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses pulsed laser energy to remove unwanted hair from a targeted area, while leaving surrounding skin unharmed. Common areas on which laser hair removal is performed are the chin, upper lip, chest, underarms, back, bikini line and legs.

Although there are many temporary treatments, including tweezing, shaving, using depilatory creams and waxing, to remove unwanted hair, patients seeking more permanent and less irritating/painful methods are frequently good candidates for laser hair removal. Through what is a safe and usually painless procedure, hair can be removed from nearly any area of the body (the eye area is an exception because of the possibility of serious eye damage).

Candidates for Laser Hair Removal

Because the laser beams used to remove hair target its melanin (pigment), the best candidates have dark hair.

Laser Hair Removal Procedure

Laser hair removal is performed while the target area is numbed by a topical anesthetic. A handheld device that emits intense laser pulses is moved across the area, focusing on individual hair follicles. There are several different methods of laser hair removal, some of which combine laser impulses with radiofrequency. The appropriate method for each patient is decided in consultation with the physician administering treatment.

Hair growth takes place cyclically, in three stages. The most effective laser hair removal takes place during the andogen (full-growth) stage because the hair follicles in this stage are susceptible to laser energy. But, because all hair is not in the same stage of growth at any given time, several laser treatments, usually between three and five, spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart, are necessary. To some extent, the length of treatment depends on the texture of the patient's hair and the location from which it is being removed.

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