Mr A. O. Grobbelaar  MBChB  MMed(Plast)  FCS(SA)(Plast)  FRCS(Plast)

Laser Surgery - Hair Removal

 

Introduction

Laser hair removal works by directing the laser energy to the hair follicle by targeting of the pigment. Therefore the darker or pigmented hair is most suitable to this form of treatment. Care has to be taken in patients with pigmented skin as their skin can absorb a certain percentage of the laser energy and cause unwanted side effects. Several lasers are currently in use: ruby, alexandrite, diode and several other lasers are used. Laser hair removal should be seen as a form of hair control requiring 3 to four treatments per year to control hair growth after the initial treatment sessions. Due to the cyclical growth of hair and the fact that the laser can only treat hair in the active phase it is not permanent at this stage.

The surgery

Can be performed as an outpatient. The treatment sessions last between 5 minutes and an hour depending on the area treated. The hair requiring treatment should be visible at the time of treatment ideally between two and three millimetres in length. In sensitive areas like the upper lip some local anaesthetic cream can be useful. After the treatment Aloe Vera gel can be applied to cool the skin down. Normal facial care and cosmetic use can usually be commenced after a period of 12 hours.

Side-effects

Very light hair does not respond very well. Redness usually disappears after a period of 6 hours. The skin may blister in darker skinned individuals but normally heals within a 10 day period. Hyperpigmentation can occur but is uncommon and normally resolves spontaneously after 6-12 months. Hypopigmentation can sometimes be seen in darker skinned patients. Complete evaporation of all hair treated does not always happen and residual dead stubble may have to be removed manually.

After the treatment

Cool the skin down with Aloe Vera gel. The skin should be protected form sun exposure for up to 6 months after the last treatment. Repeat treatments can be performed to the same area after 4-6 weeks.

If you require further information or want to schedule a consultation please contact Mr. Grobbelaar's secretary details on the Contact page