IPL Hair Removal

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Although there are many temporary treatments (including tweezing, shaving, using depilatory creams and waxing) to remove unwanted hair, patients seeking more permanent and less irritating/painful methods are frequently good candidates for this treatment. Light-based technology is used to remove unwanted hair from a targeted area, while leaving surrounding skin unharmed. Common areas on which hair removal is performed are the chin, upper lip, chest, underarms, back, bikini line and legs.

Who is a candidate for IPL Hair Removal?

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Because the light used to destroy hair follicles targets melanin (pigment), the best candidates have dark hair and light skin. Conversely, those with blond, red, gray or white hair or dark skin are usually not good candidates. The treatment may work on darker skin, but there is a higher risk of discoloration because darker skin has more pigment in it. It’s best to consult with the technician to see if the treatment is right for you. The technician will perform a test spot and wait between 15 minutes to 48 hours, depending on your skin tone, to assess your reaction to the light.

Make the move to get rid of unwanted hair.

What areas can be treated?

  • Faces
  • Underarms
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Back
  • Bikini Area
  • Chest

How does it work?

A handheld device that emits intense pulsed light is moved across the area, focusing on individual hair follicles. Light is used to target the pigment in the hair bulb and destroy it, which stops the hair from growing.

Hair growth takes place cyclically in three stages. The most effective IPL hair removal takes place during the anagen (full-growth) stage because the hair follicles in this stage are susceptible to the heat from the light. Because all hair is not in the same stage of growth at any given time, several treatments (usually between 6-10, spaced 4-8 weeks apart) are necessary. To some extent, the length of treatment depends on the texture of the patient’s hair and the location from which it is being removed.

What are the benefits of Hair Removal?

There are many benefits to having unwanted hair removed through the use of Intense Pulsed Light technology. They include the following:

  • Hair is precisely targeted
  • Procedure is usually quick
  • Results can be permanent or long-lasting

Will it be painful?

For many patients IPL hair removal is painless, although some experience minor discomfort, usually described as something like a rubber band lightly snapping against the skin. The applicator has a cooling feature built into it to make the treatment as comfortable as possible, but you might feel a bit of discomfort if you’re treating a more sensitive area, like along the bikini line. If you find it too uncomfortable, let the operator know and they can adjust the treatment accordingly.

What is the recovery time from IPL Hair Removal?

Some redness, soreness or swelling may occur immediately after the treatment, but almost always disappears within a few days. Cold compresses or ice packs, moisturizers, and anti-inflammatory creams may minimize discomfort. Sun exposure should be avoided as much as possible for some period of time.

What are possible complications from IPL Hair Removal?

The most common complication of IPL hair removal is the regrowth of the unwanted hair. Frequently, however, the hair that regrows is finer and lighter than the hair that was removed. Usually, regrowth can be addressed with a few additional treatment sessions. Other complications that may arise after IPL hair treatment include skin irritation such as blistering and crusting, changes in pigmentation or texture of the skin, and scarring at the removal site.

How long does it take?

Hair reduction treatments take just minutes for small areas and about a half hour for larger areas.

How many treatments will I need?

Several treatment sessions are recommended for the best aesthetic outcomes. Light based hair reduction technology can only affect hair in active phases of growth so several treatments are needed to affect all unwanted hair. You do not need to let hair grow out between treatment sessions.

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If you have any questions please contact our staff at 985-727-7701.

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Martha E. Stewart, MD LLC Dermatology

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