Laser Hair Removal: Treatment
A large discrepancy can exist between patient expectations of treatment with laser-assisted hair removal systems and the actual effects of such a treatment. Open communication must exist between the care provider and the patient. A body surface area does not realistically remain completely hair-free after a single laser-assisted hair removal treatment.
Approximately 80% of all patients respond well to laser hair removal therapy.
Patients should be counseled to expect a 30% decrease in hair at the treatment area with each laser treatment.
Patients should understand that multiple treatments are often necessary to achieve the desired reduction in hair at a given body area. A minimum of 5 treatments is often necessary to achieve optimal patient satisfaction.
Treatments are typically spaced 1-3 months apart.
Individual response to laser-assisted hair removal is highly variable and depends upon numerous factors, including skin color, hair color and size, laser type, fluencies, wavelength, and skin preparation.
Laser hair removal is not without risk. Some discomfort may be associated with the procedure. Patients must also understand the potential for adverse effects, adverse reactions, and complications of laser treatment for unwanted hair.
The best candidate for laser hair removal is a patient with light skin and dark hair.
Author: Christian N Kirman, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Coauthor(s): Joseph A Molnar, MD, PhD, FACS, Associate Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Associate Director, Burn Unit, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Samer Alaiti, MD, FACP, Clinical Assistant Professor, Departments of Dermatology and Internal Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine; Medical Director, Miracle Mile Medical Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, Inc