For many people, excess hair is an unwelcome reality. There are many ways to approach hair removal, but the most effective is laser treatment. Virtually anybody can experience the beauty of hair-free skin thanks to experts like Dr. Hervé Gentile.
If unwanted or excess hair is a concern, you are probably a good candidate for laser hair removal. Laser hair removal had been in use on an experimental basis for decades before it finally became available for commercial use in the late 1990s. It is now widely recognized as a fantastic technique for hair removal, and is practiced in clinics worldwide. Laser treatments provide a quick, affordable solution to unwanted hair without harmful side effects or damage to the skin.
To learn how you can benefit from Dr. Gentile’s vast expertise in the field of laser hair removal, contact our Corpus Christi office. We also provide virtual consultations to those who are unable to visit us in person at the present time. No matter where you log on, Dr. Gentile wants to connect with you.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is the elimination of unwanted or excess hair by way of exposure to laser light. The laser sends the light beam through the skin, and the heat generated by the beam destroys the hair follicle, slowing new hair growth. The science driving laser hair removal is called photothermolysis. Simply stated, the light from the beam targets melanin according to its hue, and hair follicles have a very distinct coloration. By zapping the unwanted follicles, hair growth is halted in its tracks.
There are multiple laser types that can be used in the process of hair removal. Dr. Gentile uses the LightSheer Diode Laser, which is one of the most versatile lasers in treating unwanted or excess hair. Not only is it able to treat a broader range of skin types than most other hair removal lasers, it also allows large areas of skin to be treated quickly and painlessly. The LightSheer Diode Laser is sensitive enough to treat areas like a woman’s face, yet robust enough to tackle unwanted hair on a man’s back.
According to the FDA, ‘permanent hair reduction’ is the long-term, stable reduction in hair growth after a treatment regime. For this reason, we consider laser hair removal as an enduring solution to excess or unwanted hair. To reap the maximum rewards of this revolutionary treatment, strategize a plan with Dr. Gentile. He can advise the appropriate number of sessions to deliver the most benefits from laser hair removal treatment.
Candidates for laser hair removal are males or females who have unsightly or excessive hair growth in unwanted places. Typical female patients have unwanted hair on their faces, necks, bikini lines, underarms, legs and arms. Male patients have unwanted hair in the ears, on their backs, posterior neck, hands, feet, fingers and toes.
The most dramatic results occur for patients who have dark hair with a fair complexion.
All patients will experience results, but for some, they will not be as pronounced. Dr. Gentile can determine your candidacy for laser hair removal during a comprehensive consultation. After your meeting, Dr. Gentile will assess whether an alternate technique will be more effective based on the area you’d like to have treated and the texture and color of your hair.
Private Consultation in Corpus Christi
During your consultation, Dr. Gentile will examine your “problem areas” and determine how your skin tone and hair color will respond to laser hair removal. After your initial treatment and ensuing recovery, the doctor can see how responsive your hair is to the laser treatments. This will determine how many additional treatments are required, based on your treatment area, skin, and hair type.
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To prepare your skin for laser hair removal, you must avoid sunbathing, tanning, waxing, and applying any skin irritants for at least 6 weeks before treatment. You may also be advised to cease certain hormone treatments or taking birth control pills in order to avoid skin discoloration. The procedure takes from a few minutes to one hour, depending on how many sites need treatment, so please schedule accordingly. The area will turn pink or red within thirty minutes and remain so for a few hours. You can return to your regular activities immediately after the treatment.
Because hair grows in phases, several laser sessions may be required to fully treat an area. This is due to the fact that a laser can only affect hair that is growing actively, or in the growth phase. The hair’s three phases are growth, regression, and resting. At any given time, the majority of our body hair is in the active growth phase. Repeated sessions will treat latent other follicles once they re-enter the growth phase. Three or more sessions are usually needed, spaced weeks or months apart.
Comprehensive laser treatment results in long term reduction of unwanted or excess hair. The number of treatments needed is determined by Dr. Gentile, and will vary depending on the size of the area being treated. Other factors that affect results are skin color, coarseness of hair, and color of hair. Laser treatments are not as effective on patients with light-colored or fine hair. The treatments work the best for dark, coarse hair on lighter skin. This is due to the fact that the laser responds to melanin, which is responsible for the coloring/pigmentation of skin and hair. Dr. Gentile’s laser also has an affinity for the small vessels around the hair bulb. The LightSheer Diode destroys the bulb and the follicle with two different actions. The laser can also be used to treat spider veins, especially in the face.
Recovery and Results
Usually, the shedding of the treated hairs occurs about two weeks following treatment. Patients should allow for the hairs to fall out on their own, rather than manipulating or forcing them. This will help to avoid any infections and will also improve the results of the treatment.
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A study presented to the FDA showed a permanent hair reduction of 89% in the patients treated over multiple sessions. After only two treatments, approximately half of the patients had a permanent hair reduction of 50%, with some experiencing permanent hair removal.
Complementary and Alternative Procedures
Laser hair removal is a great way to achieve smooth, lustrous skin. It is just one of the many options in Dr. Gentile’s suite of services.
IPL, or intense pulsed light, uses xenon flash lamps that emit broad-spectrum light. This light is applied to the surface of the skin and targets the hair shafts or bulbs of the hair. As the light is absorbed, the bulb and most of the hair shaft are heated, which destroys the follicle’s ability to produce hair. In addition to hair removal, IPL is used to treat dermatologic diseases and for photorejuvenation. Unlike the laser, IPL generates wider pulses of light, covering a larger diameter, which is beneficial for big target areas. However, IPL systems have not proven as successful for removal of hair.
Electrolysis has been used for over 135 years and has proven to remove all hair from an area, regardless of its color or pigmentation. The process involves the use of electrical current and, if used at an adequate power level, even fine blonde hairs can be eliminated. Hair re-growth may occur in areas that are prone to hormone-induced hair growth, such as a woman’s chin or neck. The electrolysis device destroys hair with heat energy. The hair then has to be extracted with tweezers. Depending on the patient, several electrolysis treatments are needed. Unwanted hair is permanently gone after multiple treatments are applied. Each treatment generally lasts from 15 minutes up to one hour, but it can be very painful.
There are two currents used in electrolysis: galvanic current, which requires 30 seconds to one minute to release each hair, and thermolysis, a shortwave method. Patients may opt for a blend of both currents, which takes far less time to release the hair. Because there are many electrolysis machines, it is helpful to inquire about the machine that your practitioner uses so that you can determine if the treatments will take longer.
Waxing is a semi-permanent solution to unwanted or excess hair. After a waxing procedure, patients will not see new hair growth for up to 4-6 weeks. There are two different approaches to waxing, which are listed below.
This wax is applied thinly to the skin and a piece of paper or cloth is smoothed over the wax. The paper or cloth is then quickly removed, which can be painful and can cause irritation.
This wax is applied directly to the skin in a thick layer, without a strip or cloth and dries as it cools. The wax is then pulled off and the hair is removed with it. This wax is said to be better for people with more sensitive skin, as it doesn’t adhere to the skin as much.
Laser hair removal costs vary depending on the size of the area to be treated and the number of treatments required for permanent hair reduction. As explained above, this varies from patient to patient. Dr. Gentile will determine a price for your treatment after your consultation, after your post-treatment results are evaluated. To discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding financing, please contact our office.
Laser treatments are a delicate art and science. You should only trust your skin with a board-certified expert. Dr. Gentile is a plastic surgeon based in Corpus Christi, Texas. His experience is extensive and his specialties include both surgical and non-surgical techniques. His extensive knowledge of laser hair removal allows him to determine the best ways to eliminate unwanted or excess hair for his patients. Dr. Gentile is a true pioneer and he has been offering laser hair removal since the late 90s. Should you be suffering with unwanted or excess hair, please call (361) 881- 9999 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gentile.
- Liew, S. H. (2002). Laser Hair Removal. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 3, 107–115. https://doi.org/10.2165/00128071-200203020-00004
- PARDO, R. J. & FAHEY, J. (2002). Use of the LightSheer™ Diode Laser System for Hair Reduction: Safety and Efficacy in a Large Series of Treatments. Pulse, 40(13), 1-6. Retrieved from http://mikronmed.se/dokument/lightsheer-studie.pdf