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If you are plagued by unwanted facial or body hair, you probably resolve the problem with waxing, shaving, plucking, or depilatories. Managing this hair can be time-consuming, painful, and expensive over time. Thankfully, you now have the option to undergo a procedure with long-term results: laser hair removal in Irvine. This treatment delivers smooth, virtually hair-free skin.

Am I a candidate for laser hair removal?

Both men and women can enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal. For men who do not wish to have all their body hair removed, the Clarity laser can also effectively thin out the hair on such areas as the chest and back. Laser hair removal can treat any of the following areas of the face or body:

  • Legs
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Arms
  • Bikini area
  • Lip
  • Chin
  • Underarms
Technician applying a laser hair removel implement to a patient's arm.

What is laser hair removal, and how does it work?

Laser hair removal in Orange County is the removal or reduction of unwanted hair by laser light works with the scientific principle of selective photothermolysis, a microsurgery technique that targets tissue in a specific area without damaging the adjoining tissue. When a precise wavelength of laser light is applied to hair in the treatment area, the melanin (pigment) in the hair absorbs the light energy, converting it to heat. The buildup of thermal energy destroys the treated hair follicles, leaving the surrounding skin intact and unharmed. Some follicles may only be partially damaged, allowing the hair to regrow – so multiple treatments will be needed to reduce the quantity or eradicate the unwanted hair for the long term.

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What is laser hair removal like? Does it hurt?

We asked our patients what their ideal laser hair removal procedure would be. The primary goal is that the treatment must work! But beyond being effective, there were a few other things we heard, loud and clear:

  • Comfortable laser hair removal: Laser hair removal with older devices is often painful. Lutronic’s Clarity™ laser offers gentle, pain-free laser hair removal, and is appropriate for all skin types.
  • Fast hair removal: The Clarity system is one of the fastest laser hair removal lasers available. If you want hair removed from a larger area, multiple areas, or your entire body, there is no better option available. In fact, the Clarity laser allows us to treat the entire back in about 10 to 15 minutes!
  • Hold the topical anesthetic: Clarity uses a built-in Cryogen spray to enable fast, safe, and effective hair removal without the need to apply a messy gel.

Will the hair be gone forever?

The hair follicles affected by the laser are disabled, and therefore hair regrowth is halted with our Ladera Ranch laser hair removal. However, hair follicles are always in various phases of growth. Only the follicles in what is termed the “growth phase” are affected by the laser. This is why several sessions will be necessary to ensure as many hair follicles are disabled as possible.

Is this laser safe for all skin colors?

Laser hair removal can be performed with one of two systems: one for lighter skin, and one for darker skin. No matter how dark the skin, our lasers are considered the gold standard for treating unwanted hair on darker skin types. The laser’s longer wavelength safely bypasses the skin, targeting the melanin in the hair shaft, rendering it unable to produce hair. 

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How should I prepare for my laser hair removal?

Before your treatment, you must not wax or pluck the hair you want to be removed. Stay out of the sun and avoid tanning, including artificial tanning products and tanning beds. If you have a history of cold sores, viral infection, or herpes, you should take an anti-viral medication three days before your appointment. We also recommend that you do not use any Retin-A, Renova, Retinol, Tazorac, Tretinoin, Glycolic, Alpha-hydroxy, or any skin lightening products in the area to be treated.  

On the day of your treatment, you should gently wash the area being treated and do not apply any products or makeup, including lotion, deodorant, powders, or perfumes. You also need to shave the areas to be treated with a clean, new razor before your treatment. Arrive for your appointment in loose, comfortable clothing.

What is the recovery from laser hair removal like?

After your laser hair removal treatment, you must be gentle with the area treated. That means no scratching or picking at your skin. If you must take a shower, do not use hot water on the treated areas immediately following your procedure. 

Mild swelling, redness, and tenderness are all typical side effects, and any discomfort should subside after six hours. You may take Tylenol if you choose, and use a cold compress as needed. Avoid sun exposure, and use a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF 30 or higher on the treatment area. The treated hair will exfoliate or push out in about two to three weeks. It may appear darker and thicker before falling out. Avoid swimming, sports, and strenuous exercise for two to three days following your treatment.

Why choose South Coast Plastic Surgery in Irvine and Ladera Ranch?

At South Coast Plastic Surgery, our laser hair removal specialists are trained and certified. When laser energy is applied to the skin, you want to ensure you are under the care of a top professional with extensive experience. All procedures at our practice are performed under the guidance of our board-certified plastic surgeons, each of whom is a respected member of the medical community. We are committed to offering a superior patient experience at every phase of your journey, and you will find our practice to be warm, inviting, safe, and private.

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Is there any hair color that does not respond to laser hair removal?

Gray, blonde, and red hair may not be treatable, as the pigment in the follicle is lighter and does not attract the laser energy. Your hair must be darker than your skin for this system.

How many sessions will I need?

Effective laser hair removal usually takes three to five treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart, depending on how much hair you have and how thick it is. The hair becomes lighter and finer with each treatment. Initially, you will see patchy spots where the hair is gone. This is normal.

Are there any side effects?

After a laser hair removal treatment, your skin may appear somewhat reddened, but this is temporary and should subside within 24 to 48 hours. Other side effects, such as blistering, are exceedingly rare. Always ensure that only a certified laser hair removal expert performs your treatment.

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