New medical lasers remove unwanted facial hair permanently

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Copyright (c) 2010 Janet Webb

For men, not only is a 5-o'clock shadow or groomed facial stubble common place, but it has recently become a fashion statement. But of course, facial hair growth for women is anathema, and an estimated 41 million adult American women employ a variety of facial hair removal techniques regularly, some reporting daily care for unwanted hair.

Superfluous or excessive hair, sometimes called hirsutism, can affect any area of the body, but for women it is particularly vexing and embarrassing on the face. It can be caused by many different things, including genetics, ethnic heritage and systemic medical conditions, or even medications like steroids or birth control pills. Some popular short-term solutions for removing unwanted hair are electrolysis, plucking and waxing, and most women understand the time, pain and temporary hair-free status related to these techniques.

Modern medicine, however, offers an effective and nearly permanent solution for removing unwanted hair through the use of cutting-edge lasers. Recent advances in hair removal using medical lasers mean a safer, gentler and faster solution, using either the Cynosure Laser with TKS or the Apogee Elite laser.

With Cynosure, in as few as three to four treatments, this gentle beam of laser light can reduce unwanted hair. This relatively quick and painless treatment uses a laser that emits a gentle beam of energy that passes through the skin to the hair follicle. The energy is then transformed into heat which damages the follicle. The scientific principle called Thermokinetic Selectivity (TKS) makes this method of hair removal particularly effective.

Nearly everyone is a candidate for hair reduction with the Cynosure laser. Because hair grows in cycles, the laser only affects hair when it is in its early-growth phase. The laser disables follicles that are actively producing hair at the time of treatment. At any time, some hair follicles on everyone's body are dormant. For that reason, repeat sessions are scheduled to treat the follicles when they re-enter the growth phase. Patients with darker complexions can be treated after a successful test patch, but fair-skinned patients with dark hair are the ideal candidates. Blonde hair does not respond to laser treatment.

This procedure can last from a few minutes to more than one hour depending on how large the area being treated is. The hair is treatd with a beam of concentrated laser light that selectively absorbs the melanin in the surrounding hair follicles and the hair shaft. Laser procedures can treat hundreds of hair follicles at a time, unlike electrolysis which kills one hair follicle at a time.

The Apogee Elite is a revolutionary new laser that emits a beam of light that heats the target area or hair follicle and the light energy damages the target while sparing the surrounding skin. In addition to treating unwanted hair, the Apogee Elite treats small facial veins, bluish-purple leg veins and spider veins, and it works on all skin types including dark and tanned skin.

The number of sessions needed to treat unwanted hair using the Apogee Elite laser depends on the selected treatments and the skin and hair type. Sessions are usually 10 to 15 minutes long, although larger areas, like full leg, may take longer.

Exfoliation will occur naturally in the 7-14 days following the treatment, during this time plucking is discouraged, but patients may shave. Immediately after treatment with the Apogee Elite laser, patients may resume normal activities, although a sunscreen may be recommended. Results vary with each patient, but in some cases, one treatment may be sufficient while others might require two to six treatments before results are noticeable.

For less pernicious unwanted hair, there is also a FDA-approved prescription cream called Vaniqa that is clinically proven to reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair. Women report the need to tweeze, shave or wax unwanted facial hair are no longer necessary or greatly reduced.

Vaniqa does not only remove the hair, it slows the growth. Results are evident on almost all patients within 4 - 6 weeks when used twice a day every day, although some patients report needing longer treatment periods.


Janet Webb prides herself on looking good. When she got tired of tweezing, waxing and plucking, she turned to Dr. Raval at Rocky Mountain Laser Aesthetics in Denver for permanent facial hair removal using the Cynosure and Apogee Elite medical lasers.

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