SkinCare Physicians

Is laser hair removal for you?

Published on Feb 15th, 2018 by Jeffrey Dover

Close up of woman satisfied with the laser hair removal on her armpitIt’s hard to believe that just over 15 years ago there was no such thing as laser hair removal. Now lasers and light sources are used the world over to permanently remove hair with little discomfort and little effort. Developed by Harvard dermatologists, this technique has revolutionized hair removal. While the effectiveness and safety of laser hair removal devices are no longer in question, results and patients’ satisfaction depend on several factors.

Brown/black hair vs. blonde/white hair

Laser hair removal is effective in most individuals regardless of the color of their skin. However, brown and black hair can be permanently reduced in a series of 4 to 6 treatments in most areas of the body, while blonde and white hair remains a challenge owing to its lack of melanin pigment, the target for laser light. The good news is that studies are underway at SkinCare Physicians to develop an effective laser to reduce blonde and white hair.

Facial hair vs. body hair

The most commonly treated areas are the upper lip and chin, sideburns, underarms, bikini area, arms and legs in women and the chest and back in men. Facial hair is a bit harder to remove and takes 6 or more treatments while bikini and underarm hair responds a bit quicker, and leg and arm hair clears in as few as 3 or 4 treatments.

Patience helps

After treatment there is usually mild redness and swelling that lasts a few hours. With most devices the hair is removed temporarily with 6 treatments. Our experience at Skincare Physicians shows that about 20% of the hairs never regrow and the rest slowly regrows over 4 to 6 weeks at which point it is time for the next treatment.

Cost is an issue? Consider at-home laser hair removal devices

Home devices are also available for laser/light hair removal. 2008 saw the first FDA-approved laser hair removal devices for at-home use.  These devices are now safe and effective. While they are much slower and they remove less hair per treatment than the professional treatments, they provide the ultimate in privacy and at a lower overall cost. However, before trying an at-home procedure, discuss it with your dermatologist to ensure the best results.

Still not sure if laser hair removal is for you? Consult one of our dermatologists at SkinCare Physicians in the Boston area or learn more about laser hair removal on our website.

Editor’s note: This updated blog was originally published on September 3, 2013.

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Chestnut Hill, MA (617) 731-1600

SkinCare Physicians®
1244 Boylston Street (Route 9)
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467

Phone: (617) 731-1600 Fax: (617) 731-1601

Medical Website Design & Marketing
by Etna Interactive

SkinCare Physicians®
1244 Boylston Street (Route 9)
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467

Phone: (617) 731-1600 Fax: (617) 731-1601

Medical Website Design & Marketing by Etna Interactive

The dermatologists and other medical professionals at SkinCare Physicians specialize in a wide range of dermatology treatments and services, including laser hair removal, laser skin treatment, hair transplant, eyelid surgery, body contouring, psoriasis, skin cancer, BOTOX® Cosmetic, fillers, and Thermage®. From their offices in Chestnut Hill, they serve Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton and Wellesley.