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Laser epilation

Laser hair-removal is a medical procedure in which unwanted hair is removed by laser (intensive pulsing beams of light). Approved by the FDA in 1990s it is currently the most frequently performed hair-removal treatment. In addition, it is the only method that is long-lasting and perfectly safe.

Epilation lasers are devices emitting light with certain wave-length which is absorbed by melanin, the pigment in the hair-follicle. In the hair-follicle it turns into heath which destroys the very follicle. This way the surrounding tissue is protected from burning. Due to a highly selective photo-thermolysis the best results are seen in fair-skinned persons with dark and thick hairs.

Why need for several treatments?

Each hair goes through the following three growth stages:

  1. anagenous stage – the active growth stahe in which a hair is highly sensitive to a laser light beam

  2. catagenous stage or hair-regression stage.

  3. thelogenous stage or the final growth stage in which a hair drops off.

Depending on the treated region the treatments need to be repeated whithin 4-10 weeks since a hair shows sensitiveness to laser light beams only in the anagenous stage. Number of required treatments varies depending on skin colour, hair-colour and quality, hormone status of the patient and the treated region. Typically good results are achieved after 3-6 treatments.

Diode laser for permanent epilation

Diode laser is a gold standard in laser epilation as it can be used to treat all skin types. Most adequate wave length, active cooling system and long impulse are the qualities which make this device safe for treatment in dark- skinned patients. Permanent hair removal is achieved in 89% of patient.

Laser epilation is not completely painless. Most patients experience mild tingling or other slightly unpleasant sensations following the treatement. Diode laser device MeDioStar NeXT, by Asclepion, is a powerful medical device. Its cooling system is designed to cool the treated region prior to the emmission of laser pulses; thus, safety is increased to a maximum while unpleasant sensations are reduced to a minimum. Laser pulse’s specific features allow treatments on all skin types (Fitzpatrick type I-VI). It is particularly effective in hair-removal from dark-skinned patients.

Indications

Unwanted (esthethic) hairiness

Hirsutism is the excessive hairiness on women in so called androgen-sensitive zones, or in those parts of the body where terminal hair does not normally occur or is minimal while in men they appear normally representing secondary male sex feature. The areas include upper lips, breasts, central part of the abdominal region, upper inner thighs, et.. This condition develops due to high levels of androgen or to excessive hair follicle sensitivity to normal androgen levels.

Hypertrichosis is a condition of excessive growth of androgen-independent hairs, which are typically longer and thicker than usual. It can be congenital or developed. The latter is usually developed as the result of the problems with secretion in glands or due to medicine (over)use. In addition it can be a sign of certain medical problems or can develop as aresult of excessive sun-tanning or medicaly induced local therapy. The condition typically disappears whith the disappearence of causing factors. Laser hair removal is practiced in patients with congenital hypertrichosis.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae is a condition cased by a hair which curls during growth. As a result the patient experiences problems with in-grown hairs, skin irritation and formation of papulae. In time the skin may become dark pigmented and/or scarred. Most affected are areas exposed to shaving such as armpits and bikini zone in women or lower neck region in men. Laser epilation is pariculary effective as it not only removes hairs but also cures papulae and improves skin texture and pigmenation.

Keloid neck acne are characterized by follicle papulae and chronic plaque at the back of the neck in the region of hair growth. They often lead to keloids and permanent scars. Laser epilation has proved to be most effective in early stages of keloid acne formation because it destroys the hair within the lesion and postpones growth of new hair.

Instructions for laser epilation

Before the treatment the hairs must not he removed by any method that involves rooting out. This means that shaving, hair-removal creams or hair-grooming with scissors are methods of hair-removal choice in the time preceding the laser treatment. Photo-sensitive drugs, medications or creams such as strong vitamin supplements or creams containg rhetinol are to be avoided. Pregnant women and patients suffering from epylepsy are not suitable candidates for laser epilation.

After-treatment regime

After the treatment patients may experience symptoms such as slight skin-swelling, which typically disappears 1hour-3 days upon the treatment. Strong mechanical and/or chemical agents are not recommend in the days following the treatment. Hairs are not to be removed from their root while the laser tretreatments are applied.

Possible side-effects

Redness of skin which may last for 2-3 days is the commonest side-effect. Other side-effects may include the change in skin-colour (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation), pain in the treated area, scabing, burns or scars. Highly qualified specialists in combination with state od the art lasers of the latest generation may reduce the risks of side-effects.

Patients should have hair-length of >1mm above skin level at the time of appointment.

Consultative appointments are free of charge.

Treatments are perforemd by Zorana Grubović (MD), specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery, with 10+ years of experience in laser treatments.