West Houston Dermatology

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How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

At West Houston Dermatology Dr. Stephen Mahoney uses the Candela Gentlelase hair removal laser, which is a widely used and trusted laser for hair removal.  Before the procedure, the physician assistant applies a numbing agent on the area to be treated.  Once treatment begins, light energy is emitted from a hand piece.  This energy safely passes through the outer layers of skin and targets the pigmentation of the hair follicle.  (Because light hair and gray hair have little to no pigmentation, laser hair removal is not recommended for blonds and those with gray hair).  Once released, the energy is absorbed by the hair shaft, converted to heat, and travels to the base of the hair follicle.  The energy from the laser damages the follicle and initiates the process of eliminating the hair follicle.  It’s important to understand that lasers can only “kill” follicles in their active growth phase (there are 3 phases).  So, depending on where the follicle is in its growth, a particular follicle may not be eliminated.  This is why several laser hair removal treatments are required to catch all the follicles in their active growth phases.  Regardless of what “medical spas” may claim, no laser currently approved for hair removal can provide complete or permanent hair removal; this is because some follicles will rebuild themselves.  Therefore, sometimes follow-up treatments are required even after a series of treatments.  Because the hot, humid summer weather is relentless in Houston, shorts and bathing suits are a must!  Don’t be a slave to razors and waxing – instead seek a longer term solution through laser hair removal from West Houston Dermatology.