Are you sick and tired of shaving multiple times per week? Do you hate having to let your unwanted body hair grow out so it can be waxed? If so, you may be interested in a better hair removal solution. Today, our experts at Aurora OB-GYN in San Antonio, TX are talking about the Icon laser, a hair removal method that painlessly removes unwanted body and facial hair.
How Does Icon Laser Hair Removal Work?
Icon laser hair removal works by sending intense pulses of light to active hair follicles. The light energy emitted by the laser is hot and burns the targeted follicles. This destroys them so they release the growing hairs and cannot grow new hair in the future.
What’s great about this highly advanced laser is it is attracted to dark pigment. This is great because it means the skin around the active hair follicles will not be affected. However, it also means that hair follicles in the treatment area that aren’t actively growing hairs will not be affected.
How Many Sessions Will I Need To Achieve My Hair Removal Goals?
You may need between three and six sessions to achieve your hair removal goals. This depends on the thickness of the hairs being removed and the color of your hair. This treatment is more effective when there is a greater contrast between the color of your targeted hairs and your skin tone.
Also, this treatment is most effective when the actively growing hairs in the treatment area are short. The shorter your hairs are, the more efficiently energy is delivered to the hair follicles.
Why Do I Need Multiple Sessions?
As stated previously, this laser only targets hair follicles that are actively growing hairs. However, the hair follicles in your targeted area are not in the same phase at the same time. Hair follicles may be going through one of many stages at any given time, including the growth phase, the transitional phase, and the shedding phase.
Since not all of the hairs in your targeted area will be in the same hair growth cycle at the same time, you will need to come in for a follow-up appointment when you notice hairs growing in the treated region again. Most people find they need follow-up sessions every four to six weeks.
How Soon Will I See the Results?
You can expect to see the results of your treatment within one to three weeks of your treatment session. While the hair follicles are destroyed at the time of treatment, not all of the hairs are released immediately. How quickly your skin releases the active hairs in your treatment area depends on your unique response to the treatment. However, you should be aware that you can expect to see faster results if your hair is short at the time of treatment.
Also, you can see the results of your treatment faster by mechanically exfoliating the treatment area gently starting two days after your session. You don’t need to buy anything special to do this. A washcloth will suffice. If you exfoliate nightly, you are much more likely to see your results in a week or two rather than three weeks.
What To Expect During Treatment
During your treatment session, you will feel pulses of warmth as the laser zaps the active hair follicles. However, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during your session.
We can apply a topical numbing cream to your skin before your treatment begins but most people don’t find this necessary. The laser has a cooling tip to keep your skin comfortable throughout the course of the treatment. Depending on the size of the area you’re targeting for hair removal, your treatment may take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes.
Where Can This Treatment Be Used?
This treatment can be used virtually anywhere you have unwanted hair. It is usually used to remove unwanted hair from larger areas, like the back, abdomen, chest, and legs. However, it can also be used to remove unwanted hair from the chin, upper lip, underarms, arms, and bikini area. Regardless of where you are having unwanted hair removed from, you will be given eye protection to keep your eyes safe during your treatment session.
How Should I Care for My Skin After My Treatment?
Once your treatment session is over, there are several things you need to do to care for your skin. For instance, you must protect your skin from sun damage. Make sure you wear sunscreen every day during the two weeks following your treatment, reapplying the cream every four hours. Also, it is of extreme importance to keep your skin hydrated once your session is over. However, you should also not over-moisturize your skin.
During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your skin. We will advise you on how often to moisturize your skin based on the type of skin you have. If you have oily or normal skin, you should only moisturize once daily. Whether you moisturize in the morning or before you go to bed is up to you. If you have dry skin, you should moisturize in the morning and at night.
Is There Any Downtime After This Treatment?
No, there is no downtime following this treatment. You are free to return to work as soon as your session is over. However, there are some recommended restrictions. For instance, you are free to use a mild soap to wash the treatment area gently, but you should pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it dry during the first two days after treatment.
Also, it is highly advisable to avoid using cosmetics other than a moisturizer during the first 24 hours following your treatment. If you feel the need to wear makeup after your treatment, but you had unwanted hair removed from your face, make sure you remove the makeup very gently at the end of the day.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
You may be a good candidate for this treatment if you are tired of using hair removal methods that don’t provide lasting results. However, to ensure you are a good fit for this treatment, we need to discuss your medical history and current health. Unlike some laser hair removal treatments, this laser hair removal treatment is safe for individuals with dark hair and skin. There is no risk of the skin bleaching or burning.
Also, this treatment will safely and effectively remove unwanted blonde, grey, or red hairs. To ensure the greatest contrast between your skin and hair color, do not tan in the weeks before your treatment. It is also important to minimize sun exposure and wear sunscreen diligently before your treatment to mitigate the risk of a sunburn.
How Else Should I Prepare for Treatment?
There are several crucial preparation steps you must take before your treatment. Protecting your skin from sun damage is essential. It is also essential to not wax, pluck, or tweeze your unwanted hairs in the treatment area for four weeks before your treatment to prevent skin irritation. For the same reason, you should not use a depilatory cream to remove unwanted hair before your session.
On the other hand, it is highly advisable to shave before your laser hair removal session. Remember, the shorter your targeted hairs are, the more effective the treatment will be. We recommend shaving with unscented shaving cream and a brand new razor on the morning of your appointment. Furthermore, you should refrain from cosmetic treatments that may cause skin irritation before your session, including:
- Chemical peels
- Mechanical exfoliation
- Cosmetics containing retinol
Who Doesn’t Qualify for This Treatment?
While most adults qualify for Icon laser hair removal, it is not right for everyone. For example, you should not consider this treatment if you are pregnant. You should also not consider this treatment if you are taking any medications that cause photosensitivity. Furthermore, you should not receive this treatment if you suffer from an uncontrolled medical condition that causes photosensitivity.
Enjoy Long-Lasting Hair Removal Today
The Icon laser works by burning hair follicles so they can no longer produce hair. Depending on the color and thickness of your unwanted hair, you may need between three and six sessions to achieve ideal results. If you think this hair removal method is right for you, please contact us today at Aurora OB-GYN in San Antonio, TX to schedule your initial consultation. We are happy to help you find the best way to achieve the silky smooth skin you desire.