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Laser Hair Removal

Treatments for Permanent Hair Reduction

Since the FDA cleared various laser devices for permanent hair reduction in 1997, laser hair removal has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States. The Lumenis LightSheer is one of the best laser hair reduction systems available today. At Carolinas Dermatology, we offer the Lumenis LightSheer laser system to reduce unwanted hair for our patients.

Why choose laser hair reduction at Carolinas Dermatology?

There are various methods to remove unwanted hair, but these methods are not deemed as effective to slow down or permanently reduce the growth of the hair. These common methods are: tweezing, waxing, plucking, shaving, chemical depilatory products, and electrolysis. These hair removal techniques are usually performed at home and/or in a salon or spa setting, and they are not permanent hair growth reducing options. Laser hair removal is considered a medical treatment that should be performed or supervised by licensed physician. At Carolinas Dermatology, we offer board certified supervision and treatment recommendations to permanently reduce the amount of actively-growing hair follicles underneath the skin.

Experienced laser technician, Jonathan Gardner, and the Dermatologists at Carolinas Dermatology specialize in permanent laser hair reduction.

Jonathan Gardner, a laser technician, has been treating patients for unwanted hair growth since 1999. Jonathan prefers the Lumenis LightSheer laser to safely manage the hair growth for both men and women, and he has the clinical experience to effectively help patients achieve thier treatment goals. Carolinas Dermatology’s licensed physicians directly supervise all laser hair removal treatments performed in our Columbia, SC, and Florence, SC, locations

How does the Lumenis LightSheer reduce the growth of hair?

The Lumenis LightSheer is a laser system that is specifically designed to do one thing: treat unwanted dark hair follicles underneath the skin. The LightSheer utilizes a specific wavelength of light, a 810nm diode, to target the melanin (which makes the hair shaft dark) in the bulb of the hair follicle. When the melanin and the laser energy come into contact with each other, an energy exchange occurs that causes the melanin to heat up and burst within the bulb of the hair follicle. This bursting effect or absorption of the laser’s light-based energy, called selective photothermolysis, disrupts the growth cycle of the hair follicle. If this follicle is adequately treated for several months in a row, then the follicle’s growth cycle can be permanently reduced.

How many Lumenis Lightsheer laser treatments are required?

According to the studies published regarding the LightSheer laser and permanent hair reduction, the hair follicles need to be treated every 4 weeks for 3 to 5 consecutive months to reduce the amount of growth by 70%. Obviously, this percentage of growth varies among patients because there are several variables that can effect the results of the LightSheer laser.

What are the factors that can affect the long-term results of laser hair reduction using the LightSheer laser?

  • Genetic predisposition: Some patients grow hair faster, darker, and denser than other patients. This is due to the genetic make-up of each individual. Patients where hair growth seems constant, the hair follicle remains in longer cycles of growth called Anegen growth cycles. Hormonal factors can also affect the rate in which the hair follicle’s growth cycle remains in an active phase.
  • Catching the hair follicle in an active growth cycle: In general, there are 3 phases of hair growth: The active growth phase, or the Anagen phase; the shedding or transition phase where the hair is released from the follicle, or the Catagen phase; and the resting phase where the follicle lies dormant, or the Telogen phase. Because The hair follicles are constantly cycling through the various growth stages, it is crucial to repeatedly target the hair follicles during an active growth cycle. To date, There is no way to predetermine when the Anegen phase is in progress, but we do know that the Anagen phase cycles every 3 to 6 weeks (depending on genetic predispositions). Therefore, LightSheer therapy is recommended every month for 3 to 5 months to catch the follicle in the anagen phase because that is when there is more target (melanin) for the laser to effectively destroy within the hair follicle.
  • Skin type or skin color: The Lightsheer laser is targeting the darker pigment within the hair follicle. Typically, the lighter the skin and the darker the hair, the laser can more efficiently target and disrupt the melanin in the follicle. however, when the skin is darker, the laser’s energy is more easily attracted to the melanin in the skin instead of the melanin in the hair follicle, thus less energy is delivered into the bulb where the melanin is located. The darker skin color is considered a competing target, or chromophore, for the laser’s energy, and renders the treatment less effective.
  • The frequency of treatments: The Lightsheer can safely reduce the hair growth by 70 percent after 3 treatments have been performed, assuming the patient has a normal growth cycle. However, if more than 3 treatments are performed, then the percentage of hair growth reduction can also be increased. In short, the more treatments the patient undergoes, the higher the probability and the longer the hair follicle will remain dormant.

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