By: Ross Campbell, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Spring is here and it’s time to get ready. Every year you’ve considered throwing away the razor and permanently dealing with unwanted hair, but somehow you got busy and here we are again. Now’s the time to treat for this spring and summer (and forever for that matter). Laser hair removal permanently reduces hair growth and is surprisingly fast, easy, and comfortable. Gentlemen, just imagine never having to make sure that you are clean shaven for that brand new job or client. Imagine waking up each day to a clean shaven face and neck and not bothering with shave gels, razors, nicks and cuts. Ladies, you know you dislike having to shave your legs and underarms in the shower. The time this takes away from your daily life must be insane!
In recent years, the advances made in laser or pulsed light technology have transformed the treatment of unwanted hair. So much so, that a good question to ask any provider is “how old is your machine?” Newer devices such as the ProWave Hair Removal System are much less painful, more effective and have a much larger treatment area that enables legs to be treated in less than 10 minutes! Clinical studies showed greater than 80 percent reduction in unwanted hair after six months of three treatments. I’ve had several patients that had their axillae (armpits) treated once and were completely satisfied with the amount of hair reduction. It’s impressive.
Any area that has unwanted hair can be treated, but most commonly, it is utilized for facial hair, axillae, chest, back, bikini area and legs. The laser or intense pulse light targets the darker pigmented hairs against the lighter skin background. It often takes a series of treatments, but with the ProWave, treatments are fast and much more comfortable than many other hair removal devices. Some patients report mild stinging when the pulse of light is delivered; but the main side effect is an hour or two of skin redness. Treatments with the ProWave are usually performed four to six weeks apart in order to best treat hair at different points in its growth cycle. These devices do have the potential to burn the skin when used inappropriately, so be sure your provider is knowledgeable and experienced. Finally, laser hair removal works best when the skin has not been tanned, making now the ideal time to treat.
The beauty of seeing a dermatologist is that you can have treatments such as hair removal and also have your skin examined at the same time. Our office has male and female specialists for exams and for hair removal. The opportunity to couple this with your skin exams saves time, and more importantly, may save your life.
Dr. Ross Campbell is a board-certified, fellowship-trained cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon. He has offices in Athens, Lake Oconee, Madison, and Commerce, GA. Learn more at www.georgiaderm.com, or call 706.543.5858 to make an appointment.