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Hair Removal & Laser Treatment

Laser Machine

Laser Probe

Hair Removal

Any hair removal method has to work around the fact that it is only during the Anagen stage of growth that the follicle can be neuteralised. Typically only 10% of hair follicles are in this phase at any one time and the growth period is different for each individual is different. Talk about a moving target.

How Lasers Work

The laser seeks to use the concentration of pigment (Melanin) in the hair shaft to absorb the laser light and thereby damaging the follicles ability to regenerate hairs with heat. Meanwhile the laser must be able to pass harmlessly through the other tissue components.

The Laser Process Is Not Easy Or Without Risk

It is very hard to hit the hair root (dermal papilla) repeatedly and accurately, since the laser beam is only one to several thousandths of an inch in diameter. In many cases, the laser can destroy tissue around the follicle. Debris such as blackheads, whiteheads and oil can keep the light from reaching the root. Similarly a curved or distorted follicle may obstruct the laser light. In these cases, the laser will not hit the hair root but will singe the hair at the surface, or glance off the side of the follicle wall. When any of the above happen, some minor scarring can occur.

The greatest risk with lasers is permanent eye damage, which increases with the higher-class lasers. Severe skin burns can also be caused by laser light. The clinic should provide protective eyewear (which is suitable for the wavelengths used). In the USA this is mandatory.

Laser - Not For Every One

A number of factors will effect the result of the treatment.

Hair Colour - There must be a good concentration of colour in the hair to absorb the laser light the laser light will not be absorbed by grey, white or blond hair.

Skin Colour - Coloured skin contains so much pigment that the laser light is absorbed in the skin and not the hair.

Hair Condition - The hair needs to be just visible on the surface of the skin. The shorter and coarser the hair is the better the treatment works.

Medication - Some medication can cause photosensitivity of the skin, these include some antibiotics, blood pressure, heart tablets and Premarin. These medications do not exclude patients from treatment but need to be discussed in detail by patient and clinician.

Hormone Levels - It appears that those with higher 'female' hormone levels respond faster to total elimination.

Because of the combination of all these factors it is very hard to follow recommendations from others who have received treatment, as every one will have a different experience.

Use Of Lasers Is Regulated

In the UK the Local Health Authority will supply details of the registered clinics and the lasers that they use. This registration covers the safety aspect of the use of lasers but does not have any bearing on the effectiveness of the treatment. As a condition of the registration, treatment may only be carried out with the authorisation of the clinic doctor, and by a trained laser clinician. The certificate of registration and the clinicians training certificate must be displayed.

Areas To Consider When Approaching A Clinic

Is the above advice and explanation freely provided? Are consultations free? Is the clinic registered with the health authorities? Which laser machine is used? Who will operate the equipment and therefore carry out the treatment and are they trained? What arrangement for test is suggested? Is the correct eye protection provided? Does the clinic welcome and understand the special needs of transgendered clients? Can you bring a friend? Even after getting positive answers to these questions you are bound to feel vulnerable it is important that you have trust and confidence in the clinic and the clinician. They should be aware of this and should be supportive in providing the clinicians background experience and commitment. Before full treatment any good practitiioner should insist on patch tests to gauge skin reaction and probable success rate.

Laser Treatment Is Not Proven Permanent

Some trials record patients that have not experienced re-growth in four years. However for legal reasons the manufacturers of these relativly new machines are unable to class the process, (or advertise the process), as permanent with current records.