Laser hair removal: frequently asked questions

The purpose of this section is to answer the most frequently questions asked by the patients about permanent laser hair removal. It should answer most of your questions.

 

If you don’t find the answers to your questions here, do not hesitate to ask Doctor Germain during the first consultation.

What is laser hair removal?

The technique consists in burning the hair bulb without damaging the skin. The laser produces a light beam that will pass through the epidermis without hurting it, before targeting the hairs to destroy. The hair follicles will be burnt, in a manner of speaking, by the beam of light produced through a process of “selective photothermolysis (SPTL)”. The beam of light is strong enough to destroy the hair from the root but insufficient to damage the skin and the nearby tissues.

Whom does it address?

This technique is aimed at women or men: to all those tired of monthly hair removal, to all those suffering of ingrown hair or of folliculitis, to all those that have a complex because of hirsutism issues, etc. This technique is equally recommended as folliculitis treatment, an infection and inflammation of one or more hair follicles. It is a common skin condition, affecting persons of both genders and of all ages. By removing the normal hairs or the ones ingrown under the skin, laser hair removal removes the major cause of the condition and also the hair handling attempts that lead to risks of infection.

Which are the main types of laser?

Several types of laser exist. The photo-thermal effect lasers cannot be used on tanned skin, which is not the case for photo-mechanical effect lasers. The first ones produce a very powerful flash of light and its energy is absorbed by the dark pigment of the hair and it leads to the burning of the hair bulb preventing the hair to grow again. The second ones produce a beam of light that generates photo-acoustic shock waves on the same resonant frequency as the hair pigment. This vibration will damage the hair bulb and will prevent the hair to grow back.

On which type of skin can hair removal lasers be used on?

The diode laser of Doctor Germain is very efficient on fair skin and dark hairs, but it is also recommended to remove hair from darker phototypes. The longer the wavelength, the more the energy needs to be increased in order to obtain a permanent hair removal. Long wavelengths are privileged for the treatment of dark skin.

What are the zones that can be treated?

The hair removal laser allows to treat all body areas: large (legs, back, chest) or small (lip, armpit, bikini line, neck and chin). It has the advantage on other techniques as it allows fast treating of large areas. We can treat all hairy areas but the results can be slower and sometimes disappointing on forearms and thighs. Certain areas are simpler to treat than others: the simplest are the armpits, the bikini line, the arms and the half-legs because the hairs are thick enough. The more complex areas are knees, thighs, face (lips), breasts and stomach because the hairs are thinner. It should be noted that peach fuzz is the most difficult to treat.

What happens during the session?

The sessions last between 15 minutes and one hour according to the area to treat. You will only feel very little pain. The sensation produced resembles that of a rubber band snap like a slight tingling. On case of extreme sensitivity, an anesthetic cream can be applied.

How much time does the treatment take?

Depending on the body areas that we wish to treat, from the simple facial peach fuzz to the thicker rug of the bikini line, you need to count between 4 to 8 successive sessions if you want to obtain an optimal result (spaced out of 3 to 5 weeks for the face and of 4 to 10 weeks for the other body parts in order to give your skin a rest between sessions).

What are the precautions to take?

Before the session, it is imperative to avoid all tanning and to not remove the hairs. After the session, you need to avoid sun exposure for the following 2 weeks; to protect and to moisturize the skin.

What are the consequences and side effects?

The immediate side effects of laser hair removal are pain, generally eased by cooling of the treated area and sometimes by applying an anesthetic cream before the session on the area to be treated by laser. You can observe redness and swelling of the area around the hair.

What are the risks and complications?

Practiced by experienced professionals in good conditions and with the correct equipment, the hair removal laser is not dangerous because risks are controlled. On dark skins, the laser has the same effect as an extended sun exposure and can lead to temporary variations of usual pigmentation. Exceptionally, brown spots (hyperpigmentation) or white spots (hypopigmentation).

What are the contraindications?

This technique must be avoided in pregnant women, in tanned skin due to the risk of discoloration and in areas having a skin anomaly like beauty spots. It is not recommended for allergic persons or under anticoagulant treatment, among others.

What are the benefits?

Even though the results are spectacular, the laser technique does not allow a total and permanent hair removal but it will concern 80 to 90% of the hairs. Over the sessions, they grow slower, thinner and their number decreases. The skin becomes smooth which is particularly visible on areas with dense and thick hairs and with repetitive folliculitis.

What are the session prices?

The prices depend on the laser device used, on the size of the area to treat and of the necessary number of sessions.

 

Doctor Germain practices himself all medical interventions in the office and especially laser hair removal.

 

According to the law, all laser hair removal treatments must be done necessarily by medical doctors and must not be delegated to non-doctor staff. According to Article 2 of the Decree of 6 January 1962, amended by the Decree of 22 February 2000 and approved by the Council of State (French: Conseil d'État) the 28 March 2013: “laser hair removal treatments must be done by medical doctors”. Doctor Germain is holding an Inter-University Diploma in Medical Lasers from the University of Toulouse III.

Your questions on laser hair removal by Dr. Germain in Toulouse