Laser Hair Removal
In recent years laser hair removal has quickly become one of the most popular aesthetic treatments in the United States. With laser hair removal, you can say goodbye to unwanted hair that leaves you with bumps, nicks, or burns, and say hello to skin that is smooth without the need to remove hair every day.
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that utilizes a laser to remove unwanted hair. During your treatment, a laser beam will pass harmlessly through the skin until it meets an individual hair follicle. The energy of the laser beam is absorbed by the melanin in the hair bulb and the hemoglobin in the tiny vessels around the bulb, which eliminates future hair growth. This process is called selective photothermolysis.
With laser hair removal you can eliminate unwanted hair in nearly any area. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and the bikini line. Some people choose to treat the sides of their face, the nape of the neck, the hairline of the forehead, the chin or neck, or the arms. With our new state-of-the-art CuteraHR, we can even treat the chest or the back in minutes. Some of the benefits of laser hair removal at Sheryl Clark, MD's Center for Aesthetic and Preventative Dermatology include:
Precision – fine and dark, coarse hairs can be selectively targeted even in dark skin types without damaging surrounding skin.
Painlessness -- the precison chill-tip of the Cutera HR uses a sapphire that is placed against your skin. It makes the procedure painless in most indivduals, without the need for topical anesthesia.
Speed – each pulse of the laser takes only a fraction of a second and can treat multiple hairs at the same time. We can treat a full back in minutes.
Predictability – after an average of three to five sessions, approximately 90% of patients will experience permanent hair loss.
On average, 4-8 laser hair removal treatments are needed for maximum results, and are also performed once every 3-8 weeks depending on the area of the body being treated.
Questions from patients:
Q. Why should I have laser hair removal with Dr. Clark?
A. We will not waste your time or money.
After years of research and laser training, Dr. Clark has selected the most effective laser for permanent elimination of all sizes and types of hairs on all skin colors. Electrolysis can treat only fine hairs, not coarse, and is painful, very slow, and can scar the skin. The wavelengths of the Cutera HR device are long enough to treat coarse and thick hairs, whose bulbs are deeper under the skin, or fine hair by using a higher pulse frequency. Dr. Clark has found that this is the only laser that has available wavelengths to treat all types of hairs, and all skin types from very pale to dark, by setting the wavelength, spot size, energy level, and temperature of the chill tip to suit your unique presentation.
In the state of New York, it is illegal to provide laser treatments without the supervision of a physician. Each patient should be individually evaluated by a doctor familiar with the physics of laser light and the physiology of the skin. Only dermatologists meet these criteria, and even then you deserve someone who has studied the subject for years and had extensive experience to guide your treatment. Dr. Clark has logged more than 600 hours in relevant coursework and study, has treated more than 8000 patients with lasers, and has trained many others to perform laser treatments.
In NYC, there are many spas or electrologists who purport to provide effective laser treatments when in actuality they may be either treating their customers with light devices, which are not as effective, and are not lasers, are using less expensive laser devices that are not as powerful or safe, or are providing treatments without the supervision of a dermatologist, or even a physician at all. Dr. Clark sees many of these patients after they blister, discolor, or scar, or more often, have not achieved any long-lasting results because the technicians or aestheticians have been instructed to keep the energy level low to avoid all possibility of complications. She has been asked to give expert testimony in litigation over inappropriate treatment by untrained and unsupervised "laser hair removal" centers. If the treatment is too gentle, the hairs will be stunned rather than destroyed, and will grow back finer, giving one the impression of improvement. However, these stunned and stunted hairs are more resistent to the next laser treatment, and are less likely to ever go away. Eventually these hairs grow back as thick as they were before the treatment. Any facility that offers you a package of unlimited treatments for a defined period of time, such as a year, may be doing this.
3. We will investigate whether you have a medical reason to have excess hair.
Some of our patients have excess hair because of medical issues such as polycystic ovarian disease, Cushing's syndrome, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. You will be screened for hormonal issues as part of your treatment. Laser hair removal can still be performed effectively, but adjunctive therapies may be appropriate. We care aout the total health and well-being of our patients.
Q. Is it painful?
A. We will not hurt you.
The Cutera HR requires that a sapphire chill tip is applied to the skin before, during and after each laser pulse. This prevents pain and protects the skin from injury, allowing the laser light to pass harmlessly through the natural pigmentation of the top layer of your skin and continue to travel without changing any of the elements of the skin until it reaches the melanin in the hair bulb below, which absorbs the laser light. The heat that is then produced destroys a very tiny portion of the hair follicle just around the bulb of the hair such that the hair will never grow back.
Q. What areas can I treat?
A. ANY area that has hair can be treated.
We treat upper lip, sideburns, chin, neck, sides of face, hairline, forehead, nape of neck, chests, shoulders, arms, legs, nipples, abdomens, backs, nose hairs, ear hairs, bikini, gluteal, gluteal crease, unibrow, fingers and toes. We avoid the eyebrows because of concern about scattering of the laser to the iris of the eye.
Men are seeking this treatment in large numbers now, especially for the chest, back, fingers and toes, ears, and nose.
The treatment is also extremely effective for Ingrown hairs of the face or neck in men, and the bikini area in women.
Q. What should I do to prepare for treatment?
A. There is not much for you to do!
You should shave or clip the hairs one or two days before treatment. If you like to wax or pluck the hairs, it should be done 3 to 4 weeks before the treatment. This actually forces the hairs to shift into the early growing phase, when there is more melanin in the bulb of the hair, making the treatment more effective. If you are having a bikini treatment, it helps to shave in the pattern you would like us to follow.
If you are using our special Meladine spray for white, blonde, or gray hairs, you should follow the instructions to spray it on five times over a few minutes, twice a day for 2 weeks, or once a day for four weeks, before the treatment.
You should not have a treatment if you are tanned or plan to be in intense sunlight in the treated areas for two weeks after or six weeks before treatment, and you should inform us if you have had cold sores in the areas to be treated so that a prophylactic antiviral can be provided.
So that each treatment can be maximally effective, you should come back at the recommended intervals.
If you have had tattooing of the areas to be treated, such as lip liner, or you want to preserve tattoos in areas where you want to remove hairs, you must consult us before proceeding! White tattoo ink can turn dark, and the laser can eliminate green, blue or black inks.
Q. Is it expensive?
A. Not at all.
Treatments start at $100. Our fees depend upon the areas you want to treat and are very reasonable and affordable. We offer 10% discounts for packages of three or more treatments. Any portion of this that is unused, for any reason, is returned to you without question. Care Credit and Alphaeon Credit are available to finance the treatment if you are having one large or many small areas treated. When you consider the time and money you are going to save when you no longer need to shave, pluck, or wax, you will feel the treatment is more than affordable: you will wonder why you waited this long to have smooth, unblemished skin!