Questions and Answers about Laser Hair Removal
As with any new medical technology, both healthcare professionals and patients have questions about the use of the LightSheer Diode System. The following are some of the most frequently asked (with short answers).
- What is lasertrolysis?
Lasertrolysis is a method of removing unwanted hair, utilizing laser energy targeted to the hair follicle to cause thermal damage and prevent further hairs from growing. It was invented by a team of laser dermatologists at the Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
- How does the LightSheer Diode System work?
The near-infrared laser light emitted by the system is preferentially absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle. The laser is pulsed, or turned on, for only a fraction of a second. The duration of each pulse is just long enough to damage the follicle, while the system's unique, patented contact-cooling handpiece helps protect the skin by conductive cooling during the laser energy delivery.
- Is the hair removal permanent?
Theoretically, damage to the hair follicle can remove unwanted hair permanently, but because of the nature of hair and the many factors that influence the growth of hair, the results are variable. The effect of repeated treatments is cumulative. In fact, most people experience long-term hair removal.
- Is it safe?
As with any medical treatment, use of the LightSheer Diode System can have some side effects. However, side effects have been minor and manageable in clinical use. The precise laser parameters used for the LightSheer Diode System were carefully defined by studying the anatomy of the hair follicle and precisely matching the color of laser light and the pulse duration to the size, depth, and location of the hair follicle. This research has resulted in a safe technique that effectively eliminates the risk of scarring and substantially reduces most other complications following treatment.
- Is it painful?
No treatment to remove unwanted hair is completely painless. Patients who have undergone repeated waxing or hours of electrolysis can attest to the pain caused by commonly used methods of epilation. The LightSheer Diode System is fast, which reduces treatment time. It provides long-lasting hair removal, reducing the need for repeated treatment. The ChillTip cooling lens helps reduce discomfort while protecting the skin surface from thermal injury during delivery of the pulse of the laser light. If large or sensitive areas with unwanted hair are to be treated, a topical anaesthetic cream may be applied to the site to further reduce discomfort.
- What will the treated area look like after the procedure?
Immediately after treatment, the site will be somewhat swollen, appear slightly red in color, and will feel like a mild sunburn. This reaction subsides over a few hours, and then the treated sites usually return to their normal appearance. The amount of discomfort after this procedure is usually minimal and does not limit most normal physical activities. Since light is used to remove the hair, there is no bleeding and no open wound is created. For this reason, there is no need to apply a bandage and wound care is generally not required.
- What other complications have been associated with treatment?
In addition to transient epidermal injury (pain, erythema, edema, blistering), transient hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation and transient textural changes (crusting or scabbing) have been observed in some patients treated with the LightSheer Diode System. Proper patient selection and pretreatment can help minimize these complications.
Patients who carry the herpes simplex virus and receive treatment on their upper lip, chin, or lower cheeks may have a "flare-up" of their condition. The risk of this complication can be reduced if the patient takes their antiviral medication for a few days before and after each treatment.
- How long does the procedure take?
Each pulse of laser energy from the LightSheer Diode System will treat a square area of skin of approximately three-eighths of an inch (9 mm). For this reason, the amount of time required depends on the size of the area requiring treatment. For example, the upper lip and bikini line may require only 5-15 minutes of treatment, while a longer period of time will be required to treat the back or legs.
- Why should I go for LightSheer Diode Laser System rather than the other methods which have been used for years?
The LightSheer Diode System has three advantages over older methods of epilation: comfort, speed, and accuracy. Since the system uses a unique cooling handpiece, it does not cause the kind of skin irritation that other methods may create. Since it is non-invasive (no needles to penetrate the skin), the risk of introducing bacteria into the skin is reduced. Because the system is fast, it allows for larger areas to be treated, considerably increasing the efficiency of the hair removal process, which allows more patients to be treated during a typical day. Finally, the LightSheer Diode is a precise instrument that can be adjusted to damage only the hair follicle while minimally affecting the surrounding skin.