treatments: laser hair removal

CPW Vein & Aesthetic Center is pleased to offer the world's most advanced treatment for long term hair removal. The Lightsheer™ diode laser system is the most advanced and efficient laser designed to remove unwanted hair from any region of the body in both men and women. The Lightsheer laser has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for permanent hair removal. The beam of laser light targets the pigment contained within the hair follicle below the skin surface. The laser energy is selectively absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and hair shaft which severely damages the growth center of the hair. The end result is destruction of the hair or restriction of regrowth.

The laser is effective at removing unwanted hair from the face, neck, underarms, bikini area, chest, breasts, back, legs and other areas. The patented Chilltip (TM) cools the skin surface during treatment which keeps discomfort to a minimum. Optimum removal of all or most hair in a given region requires 3-6 sessions which are separated by 4 to 6 week intervals.

Questions and Answers About Laser Hair Removal

What is the Lightsheer Laser system?
The Lightsheer laser is a diode array type of laser which is distributed by Lumenis and is approved for permanent hair reduction by the Food and Drug Administration- a claim that virtually no laser hair removal system can make. The LightSheer system was designed from the ground up for effective hair removal, providing unsurpassed safety, efficacy, and reliability. Its advanced high-power diode technology delivers a performance that is unmatched by any other high-tech hair removal systems. Both in rigorous scientific trials as well as extensive clinical practice, the LightSheer system has emerged as the gold standard in laser hair removal. Unlike any other laser, it has the ability to offer superior results to the widest variety of skin types. The LightSheer(TM) Diode Laser System has become the most popular laser hair removal device worldwide.

The Lightsheer laser generates light at an 810 nm wavelength which targets the melanin pigment which is contained within the hair follicle and shaft. The patented Chill Tip cooling handpiece is designed to protect the outer layer of skin by decreasing the surface temperature and preventing thermal injury from the laser beam. The Chill Tip also has a mild anesthetic effect which helps to minimize the discomfort of the procedure.

How does hair grow?
Hair growth is divided into three distinct phases - growth (anagen), regression (catagen) and a resting state (telogen). The location on the body determines what percentage of the hairs present are actively growing at a given time. Typically, anywhere from 33 - 90 percent of the hair on the body is in the anagen stage at a given time. It is in this stage that the laser treatment effects the hair follicle.

What affects the appearance of body hair?
Body hair is affected by numerous factors including body location, age, hormone levels, ethnicity and medication use. These factors influence the color, length and coarseness of body hair as well as the actual number of hairs in the active growth phase.

How does the LightSheer system remove hair?
The light emitted by the LightSheer laser is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle. The laser is pulsed, or "turned on", for only a fraction of a second. The duration of each pulse is just long enough to disrupt the hair follicle The laser energy is converted to heat, which results in thermal damage to the hair follicle.

How does LightSheer compare with other hair removal methods?
Shaving, waxing, and depilatory creams are all temporary methods which must be repeated on a regular basis. Hair removal with LightSheer offers longer lasting results.

How do LightSheer treatments compare with electrolysis?
Electrolysis is a tedious, invasive and painful process that involves inserting a needle into each hair follicle and delivering an electrical charge to destroy them one at a time. Electrolysis often requires years of treatments at regular intervals. LightSheer delivers light energy non-invasively to hundreds of hair follicles simultaneously. So, in a few minutes, LightSheer can effectively treat an area that would take over an hour with electrolysis.

Is the Laser safe?
Yes, the LightSheer System was developed from years of research at Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, one of the world's leading and most respected medical research institutions. The laser parameters were carefully defined to inhibit the re-growth of the hair by studying the anatomy of the hair follicle and precisely matching the laser output to the size, depth and location of hair follicles. A unique component of the LightSheer system, the Chill Tip actively-cooled handpiece was designed to conduct heat away from the skin before, during, and after each pulse. Remember, the Lightsheer system emits NO RADIATION. It emits light; it is not an x-ray.

Is it Painful?
You may feel a tingling or stinging sensation during treatment. Most patients tolerate this very well without the need for anesthetic. Certain areas on the body are more sensitive. We often prescribe a topical anesthetic to be applied to these regions to decrease the discomfort even further.

How many treatments are required?
The LightSheer laser works by disrupting hairs that are in the active phase of growth at the time of treatment. Since other hairs will enter the growth phase at different times, additional treatments will be necessary to disable all hair follicles in a given area. Treatments are usually given at intervals of approximately 4-6 weeks, or whenever new hair growth is first noticed. Many patients are completely satisfied with their results after only one or two treatments, while others will need four to six treatments for maximum results.

Are the results permanent?
We are very happy to announce that the FDA has recently authorized users of the Coherent LightSheer system to use the word "PERMANENT" as it pertains to the amount of hair loss in treated areas. This decision was not made lightly, and only after years of reviewing statistical scientific data on the results obtained with the LightSheer system. This is a claim very few other lasers in the world are allowed to use regarding hair removal.

What happens after treatment?
Within several minutes, the treated area may become slightly red and puffy. This reaction subsides quickly- for some within minutes and others within a day or so and then the areas return to normal. Patients often describe the sensation of a mild sunburn or somewhat sensitive for the first day or so. Most people return to normal activity immediately.
Around 3-10 days after treatment you may experience what seems to be hairs re-growing. Most of these hairs, however, are dead, treated hairs that are being shed and are not regrowing. In between treatments you should not wax or pluck your hairs because this decreases the ability of the laser to destroy actively growing hairs. However, you may shave, trim or bleach the hairs as often as you like.

Who is a good candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
The perfect candidate has dark hair and light to medium skin tone. Darker hair absorbs more of the laser light. And lighter skin interferes less with the movement of the laser light into the hair follicle. Dark or tan skin runs a higher risk of pigmentation changes following the procedure. The unique longer wavelength of this laser allows darker skinned patients to be treated. White hairs and light blond hairs respond least to the laser therapy.

Who is not a good candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Anyone who's skin is darker than their hair. Anyone taking Accutane or has been on Accutane for the past 6-12 months. Anyone who is on regular daily antibiotics. Anyone who is pregnant or planning on immediately becoming pregnant. Anyone who is very tanned (fake or real) or who is sunburnt--wait until the tan fades so you will get optimal results. Anyone who has a history of cold sores to the treatment area should start taking an anti-viral medication one day before treatment and for 3 days after treatment in order to prevent an outbreak. If necessary, we at CPW Vein & Aesthetic Center can provide you with a prescription for an anti-viral medication.

What special instructions are necessary after treatment?
-Do not apply any products on the treated areas of your skin, except sunscreen; and if you experience itching you may apply a small amount of hydrocortisone cream 0.5%. You may also apply a soothing aloe-vera or vitamin E gel. Avoid Retin-A, alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acids, astringents etc. You may wash gently with soap and water, but do not rub or scrub the area.
-Do not expose treatment areas to direct sunlight. Do not use tanning beds at any time during your treatment intervals with this laser. Wear a sunscreen daily if the areas to be treated will be exposed to sunlight.
-For three weeks before your first laser treatment and then throughout your laser treatments you absolutely should not wax or pluck any hairs.
-Do not pick or manipulate the skin in the treatment areas.

Jessica Plotnick, P.A., P.C.   |   CPW Vein & Aesthetic Center
75 Central Park West  |   New York, NY 10023
p: 212.639.1259   |   f: 212.496.1919

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