Laser Hair Removal
Recognized for its superior efficacy and results worldwide, the Cynosure Apogee® Laser offers the best way to remove hair while treating age spots, sun damage and freckles. The Apogee® Laser also improves leg veins and varicosities. It is the best removal method for all skin types due to its dual laser capacity. The Alexandrite laser, which has a 755nm wavelength, and the Nd:YAG laser, which has a 1064nm wavelength, comprise the Apogee® Elite system.
Please find detailed information below about laser hair removal and the innovative technology behind the new Apogee® Elite Laser.
- What is laser hair removal and how does it work?
- How does the Apogee® Elite Laser hair removal system work?
- What are the benefits of the Apogee® Elite Laser compared to alternative treatments?
- What is the recovery process of laser hair removal?
- Why are multiple sessions required for near complete hair removal?
- How is the Apogee® Elite Laser used to treat spider veins?
- How do moles, freckles or tattoos affect the course of laser treatment?
- What is electrolysis and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
- How much does Apogee® Elite Laser treatment cost?
- What are the risks of the Apogee® Elite Laser hair removal system?
- How can I get the best value from each treatment?
- How much time should be allowed between treatments?
- Why does the hair sometimes look as if it’s growing for one to three weeks after laser treatment?
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses laser light to remove unwanted hair from any place on the body. The laser is attracted to melanin, or pigment, in the hair more so than in the skin so unwanted hairs are selectively targeted. Laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States resulting in approximately 90% of patients with permanent hair loss after three to five laser treatments.
During the procedure, a laser beam, which is a highly amplified beam of light, will go over the area where the patient wants the hair permanently removed. The laser passes through the skin to individual hair follicles, which are then damaged by the intense heat of the laser, inhibiting future hair growth. A jet of cool air is passed over the area simultaneously so as to make the procedure more comfortable.
One of the benefits of laser hair removal is the precision it affords a plastic surgeon to target unwanted hair on the patient, while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. Due to the efficacy of the Apogee® Elite Laser, areas like the back and legs might take close to an hour whereas the upper lip can take under a minute to remove any unwanted hair.
The combination of the 755nm wavelength laser with the 1064nm wavelength laser, which comprise the Apogee® Elite Laser, offer a noninvasive light therapy system that can eliminate unwanted hairs from all over the body. Each wavelength is suited to a particular hair and skin type combination, maximizing the variability of treatment.
The 755nm wavelength Alexandrite laser features selectable parameters and long-pulse durations that enable you to remove hair more safely, gently and effectively. At higher energy settings, this laser can be used for skin rejuvenation, such as treatment for sun spots and freckles. These darker areas of the skin have more melanin, causing the laser to be preferentially attracted to these areas. This can result in the destruction of this unwanted melanin, returning the skin to its normal color.
The 1064nm wavelength Nd:YAG laser also aids in hair removal and is more commonly used for olive to darker skin types. It can also be used to stimulate new collagen production through deep dermal heating of the skin, resulting in improvements in skin texture and tightness.
The multiplex mode, or MPX, of the Apogee® Elite Laser refers to the combination of both wavelengths. This dual use maximizes the effect of the laser in targeting unwanted hair, especially on the face, arm pits and bikini lines. The depth of penetration and relative safety on darker skin types of the 1064nm wavelength along with the higher attraction to melanin of the 755nm wavelength occur in sequential pulses during treatment, which helps remove even the most resistant hair.
The primary benefits of the Apogee® Elite Laser include:
- Given the Alexandrite wavelength’s high absorption by melanin, the Apogee® provides highly effective results, generating as much as 80% permanent hair reduction.
- The various selectable wavelengths and long-pulse durations remove hair more safely, gently and effectively.
- High fluence from large spot sizes results in faster treatment sessions.
- The double cooling technique of the Apogee® Elite system allows for a more comfortable experience.
The use of hair removal techniques such as shaving, waxing and depilatory creams may work temporarily but leave the hair follicle intact. This means that the hair will regrow within one to four weeks. The Apogee® Elite Laser offers long-term reduction and with more frequent treatment, eventual removal of unwanted hair.
Other techniques like plucking, waxing or sugaring can not only cause irritation to the skin, but can also stimulate the hair follicle leading to hair growth. This occurs because the body reacts and produces thicker, stronger hairs the next time. The Apogee® Elite Laser attacks the hair follicle without causing irritation, therefore unwanted hairs are weakened and minimized, especially after multiple treatment sessions.
While laser hair removal can be a simple process with little recovery time, proper skin care is important for achieving the desired result. Immediately after a treatment session with the Apogee® Elite Laser, you can expect the skin to be slightly red and swollen. The treated area may feel a little puffy and irritated, similar to a mild sunburn. For many people, this sensation disappears within a few hours but it is dependent on the size of the treated area, so the irritated skin may take up to a day or two to return to normal.
There are two ways that best alleviate any discomfort during the recovery process. Cold compresses help soothe the affected area while various moisturizing creams can also aid in the recovery of the skin. Antibacterial creams are usually discouraged because they tend to dry out the skin. Using a daily moisturizer will ensure that your skin returns to a healthy and supple state, leading to optimal results from your treatment.
In the first few days post-treatment, it is absolutely crucial that sunlight does not hit the affected area. Even a small amount of sun exposure can cause irritation and burning on the treated areas of the skin. The sun can also impact the effectiveness of any follow-up treatments. If the sun is impossible to avoid, be sure to use a generous amount of sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Shaving is also discouraged for the following four days so that the skin has time to heal. Waxing, tweezing, bleaching and plucking are not advisable at any time during laser hair removal treatments.
Unwanted hair will begin to fall out after a few days and is a normal part of the treatment and recovery process. This is often misunderstood as the regrowth of hair. Typically one treatment session will slow hair growth but does not guarantee permanent hair removal. Usually several laser hair removal treatments are needed to provide an extended hair-free period.
Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases. Each phase has specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair and each strand of hair is in its own stage. At any one time, 50 to 85% of all hair follicles are in the active phase, but only 25 to 35% of hair have enough pigment in their roots to absorb the laser at any one time. Seeing as laser hair removal targets melanin, multiple treatments are needed to reach all the unwanted hair. Treatment sessions are spaced accordingly to allow for the hair to cycle into active growing phases. While many people reach a satisfactory degree of hair reduction after four treatments, the most common number of treatments ranges from five to eight.
While the Apogee® Elite Laser cannot remove 100% of the hair follicles, its multiple wavelength technology combined with its cooling method maximizes the number of killed hair follicles each treatment session.
The number of desired treatments depend on:
- The degree of desired hair reduction, often times this changes once the patient sees the result of hair removal
- Hair color, lighter hair may require more treatments because it is more difficult to target
- Ethnic and genetic background
- Hormonal status, hair growth ebbs and flows with hormonal changes, so more laser treatments may be required at different times
- Size of the area being treated
- Density of the unwanted hair
- Age and weight
- Medication, potential side effects of certain drugs include the increase of hair growth
Spider veins are dilated or stretched blood vessels that appear on the legs and face. While the precise cause is unknown, heredity, excessive standing, weight gain, hormonal changes and pregnancy have led to the instances of spider veins.
Laser technology has become a very effective way in treating vascular deformities such as hemangiomas, port wine stains, and spider veins. The Nd:YAG laser light of the Apogee® Elite Laser in particular penetrates deeply into tissue and can be used for the coagulation of unwanted veins. Currently the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser is regarded as one of the most effectives treatments of leg veins and is less invasive than the needle-laden and less comfortable sclerotherapy.
There are necessary precautions that should take place when treating areas with moles, freckles or tattoos. Small moles and freckles do not require any special precautions, however large, dark moles and freckles may require a reduction in the intensity of treatment. This is similar to the way dark or tan skin should be treated. Tattoos will be avoided because exposure to the Apogee® Elite Laser may cause fading, discomfort or even in some cases a burn. Otherwise, normal hair removal procedures are suitable.
Electrolysis is the removal of hair using an electrical charge and a very fine needle. An electric current is applied with the needle into each hair follicle in order to destroy the root. The singed hair from each follicle is then removed with tweezers. Because hair grows in different stages and is constantly at different growth points at any given time, multiple sessions are needed to get the hair in the growth phase that is most effective for long term removal.
Advantages of Electrolysis
- It is a very effective treatment method for white, red and blonde hair because it doesn’t target hair pigment but attacks the follicle itself.
- The removal of hair in small quantities is ideal for electrolysis, seeing as the process is arduous and time consuming.
- Electrolysis is an excellent technique for removing unwanted hair in areas hard to reach with a laser, such as under the eyebrows, near the eyes and in the ears and nose.
- It is an ideal form of treatment for targeting unwanted hairs that the laser does not remove.
Disadvantages of Electrolysis
- Electrolysis can be a tedious process and is uncomfortable for many patients, especially those resistant to needles.
- Multiple treatments are necessary. Anywhere from 15 to 30 sessions might be needed to see results. Even smaller areas, such as the face, could require 2-3 hours per week for up to 2 years.
- The procedure may cause permanent skin discolor.
The Apogee® Elite Laser offers a much faster form of treatment and can remove even unseen hairs underneath the skin. Its ability to target all hair types while offering a relatively painless experience make the Apogee® system efficient and preferred.
While the cost of any hair removal treatment can vary, the Apogee® Elite Laser treatment offers an efficient and well-priced option. Due to the fact that hair removal is dependent on skin and hair type as well as the size of the treated area, cost is best determined after an initial consultation. We are confident you will find the pricing options affordable. Please call (201) 449-1000 or click Book Now for more information or to schedule a consultation. Apogee® Elite Laser treatment may be a tax deductible medical expense.
While there can be short-term side effects including reddening of the skin and local swelling, the dual wavelength system that comprises the Apogee® Elite Laser removes unwanted hair with unsurpassed discomfort. It is also less likely to cause prolonged irritation, pigment changes or blistering common to older laser systems. The light used in the Apogee® Elite Laser is safe and does not cause skin cancer.
The Apogee® Elite Laser also incorporates the use of the Smart Cool system which utilizes a “double cooling” technique. This enables the body’s natural cooling process to work in conjunction with a specifically engineered external cooling system that offers a safer and more comfortable treatment option.
In order to get the most out of each treatment with the Apogee® Elite Laser there are several things to think about before arrival.
- Avoid waxing, sugaring, plucking, EpiLady and electrolysis: These forms of hair removal temporarily remove the pigmented part of the hair follicle which the Apogee® Elite Laser needs to use as a target. Plus the laser seeks out actively growing hair roots, which are temporarily stunted after treatments like waxing and plucking. It is important to not wax, pluck, sugar or have electrolysis for at least eight weeks before treatment.
- Do not go tanning if at all possible. The Nd:YAG laser of the Apogee® Elite Laser system is effective for all skin and hair types, however the lighter your skin color at the time of treatment, the better the laser beam can get through the pigment of the skin to the hair roots. It is best to avoid tanning and especially artificial tanning creams for at least six weeks before treatment and even a few weeks afterwards to reduce the chance that your tan will be somewhat uneven.
- Shaving or trimming unwanted hair in the areas you want treated is a good idea. Some people find that the skin is less sensitive if it is shaved closer to the time of treatment. Another advantage of shaving the area before treatment is that you can shape the area exactly the way you would like it. This is especially helpful in areas on the face and bikini line. Contrary to popular belief, shaving does not make hair grow back thicker, faster or darker, so shaving beforehand and in between treatments is not a problem.
- The use of hair dye or bleach is not an issue because the laser only targets and destroys the hair roots. Dyes and bleach do not affect the color of the roots beneath the skin, so the Apogee® Elite Laser is just as effective.
It normally takes eight to twelve weeks for the next crop of hair roots to become active and develop the required amount of pigment to target. To get the best value, it is smart to wait the full eight to twelve weeks in between treatments. Of course, there is no issue with getting treatments more frequently. It may, however, be less efficient and may increase the total number of treatments required to reach the desired result. There is also no known benefit to waiting longer than the twelve prescribed weeks between treatments.
The Apogee® Elite Laser destroys active hair roots, but does not remove the hair instantly. Hair shafts in the treated hair follicles will fall out, this is part of the normal “shedding” process and mostly occurs in the first week after treatment. In some cases, hair can take up to two to three weeks to fall out, but will eventually shed on their own.
In the three to four days following treatment, it is important to not shave or use anything but mild soap on the treated area. No exfoliating creams or gels, wash cloths or body washes should be used as the skin is irritated by them.