Laser Hair Removal
In San Mateo, we offer a new option for men and women tired of the costly, temporary, and painful methods of removing unwanted body hair. Our laser hair removal treatments attract patients from Burlingame, Palo Alto, and throughout the Bay Area to the specialists at Allura Skin & Laser Center. Our San Mateo clinic uses the latest laser hair removal technology for treatments. Additionally, our board-certified dermatologists oversee all procedures.
Our dedication to excellent skin care and rejuvenation is the foundation of our practice. If you’re considering laser hair removal and want to learn more, request an appointment online or call our office at (650) 344-1121 and a member of our team will help schedule an appointment.
Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Virtually anyone who wants long-term reduction of unwanted body hair can benefit from laser hair removal treatments, although blonde and white hair are typically more difficult to target. The minimally invasive procedure effectively removes and reduces hair on all areas of the body and face, including the:
- Chin and upper lip
- Arms and underarms
- Bikini area
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser hair removal doesn’t actually remove hair; it disables hair follicles so they stop producing hair. We use the GentleMax™ laser hair removal system at our center. It is one of the most advanced hair removal lasers available, using dual wavelengths to deliver powerful light beams with speed and safety for excellent results. The laser energy penetrates and destroys hair follicles without damaging your skin. The GentleMax includes a unique cooling system to enhance your comfort during treatments.
What Can I Expect?
Your treatment begins with a topical anesthetic or cooling device applied to the targeted area. Laser energy is then moved uniformly across the treatment areas with a handheld device. Our advanced GentleMax laser system includes a unique cooling system to enhance your comfort during treatments. Comfort levels vary from patient to patient, but most describe the laser treatment as a sensation similar to a rubber band snapping the skin. Most patients tolerate treatments extremely well.
Preparing for Your Treatment
Laser hair removal treatments are simple and effective but require a bit of planning and preparation. We will review the following instructions during your laser hair removal consultation to prepare you for your treatment:
- Avoid sun exposure and self-tanners for at least 2 weeks before your treatment. Treatments are most effective and comfortable if your unwanted hair is significantly lighter than your skin. If you already have a tan, wait for it to fade before your laser hair removal treatment.
- Stop plucking, waxing, and bleaching unwanted hair for 2 weeks before treatment. For optimal results, there should be as many actively growing hairs as possible at treatment time. The laser energy will heat up any pigment in the hair that is below the skin’s surface in the follicle.
- Do not use products that contain alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) or other substances that may increase sun sensitivity for at least 1 to 2 days prior to treatment.
- Shave the areas of unwanted hair the night before or morning of your treatment. Any hair above the surface of the skin will absorb the laser energy, heat up, and put you at risk of burns, as well as hyperpigmentation and pigment loss of the skin. If you cannot easily reach the areas you want treated, for example if the unwanted hair is on your back, we will shave it for you when you arrive.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal affects only the hair follicles that are active at the time of the treatment. Because not all follicles are active at once, multiple treatments are needed to stop all or the majority of follicles from producing hair.
Multiple treatments are needed, but the specific number depends on the area or areas targeted. Most patients will see desired results after 3 to 5 treatments. Appointments are scheduled a month or 2 apart, and many of our patients combine laser hair removal with skin care treatments such as intense pulsed light (IPL) to maximize their benefits during a single visit.
The GentleMax laser can be adjusted so that it won’t harm your skin, even if you have acne, while still getting rid of unwanted hair. It’s possible that removing the hair on your face will even reduce future breakouts.
No. Laser hair removal destroys active hair follicles so they can no longer generate hair.
Excessive sun exposure should be avoided as much as possible during the time between treatments. You should cover the areas being treated if you’re going to be in the sun for more than a few minutes, especially during the hours between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Apply sunscreen if necessary.
Laser hair removal is a tested treatment with a long track record of safety. Virtually all medical procedures carry some risk of complications, but those associated with laser hair removal are rare and relatively minor. Some of the complications that can occur include:
- Lightening or darkening of the skin
- Changed skin texture
- Incomplete results
The most common complication is the regrowth of unwanted hair. Additional treatments can help.