Laser Hair Removal
Conveniently located to serve Seattle, Kirkland, Bellevue, and Redmond
The demand for laser hair removal is at an all-time high. Laser treatments now provide a successful permanent reduction and nearly painless alternative to shaving, waxing and other hair removal methods. At Liebertz Plastic Surgery at Yarrow Bay we offer the Palomar StarLux 500 IPL machine, a powerful pulsed light system. It provides the most versatile and effective treatments available, with superior cooling to reduce treatment discomfort and minimize damage to the skin.
Why use IPL (Intense pulse light)?
Unlike lasers which use intensely focused light, IPL is intense broadband light. IPL delivers energy to both the superficial and deep layers of the skin, sparing the epidermis (outer layers of skin) from damage. There is virtually little to no recovery time post-treatment.
How does IPL Hair Removal work?
A beam of light passes through the skin to the hair follicle, where it is absorbed as heat. The heat then destroys the hair follicle and alters the hair’s ability to reproduce. As body hair grows in different phases (growth cycles), it is necessary to repeat treatments to ensure effectiveness. For most individuals, a minimum of 5-6 treatments is necessary to achieve permanent reduction. Maintenance is sometimes required to target re-growth over the years.
Who is a good candidate for laser hair removal?
Laser treatments work best in lighter-skinned, darker-haired patients because the primary target in hair follicles is melanin pigment (the “color” of the hair). The more contrast between the skin and hair, the better the expected outcome. A darker skin tone or tan skin creates interference with the amount of energy that reaches the hair follicle, creating a less effective treatment. Because the pigment in the hair follicle is the target for the laser energy, gray, white, and some red hairs (which lack pigment) cannot be effectively treated with any laser or light-based devices.
Laser hair removal may also not be effective if the area targeted for correction has keloid scars since the treatment may aggravate the condition. Laser treatments can also cause skin irritation in the form of blistering. People who are prone to cold sores may not be ideal for this treatment.
If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor to find out whether laser hair removal is a safe option for you. If you are taking certain acne medications, this can also affect your candidacy.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
There are many benefits to having unwanted hair removed through the use of laser therapy. They include the following:
– Hair is precisely targeted
– Procedure is quick
– Results are permanent (for 90 percent of patients) or long-lasting
For many patients, laser hair removal is painless, although some experience minor discomfort, usually described as something like a rubber band’s snapping against the skin.
Avoid any unprotected sun exposure for at least two weeks prior to your treatment. This includes tanning beds. Treatments cannot be done on areas with a spray tan, sun tan, or sunburn.
The area being treated must be shaved clean within 24 hours of your appointment. If you come unprepared (unshaven) for the appointment, a fee of $25 may be charged for clean-up time and supplies.
When possible, avoid wearing makeup, lotions, and deodorant directly prior to the treatment.
Your Laser Hair Removal Session
During your laser hair removal appointment, the selected areas will be cleansed. Afterward, topical anesthesia may be applied. Laser hair removal is virtually painless, but anesthesia will reduce treatment discomfort, which is often compared to the feeling of a rubber-band snap.
After 30 minutes, you will begin to feel numbness in the area. The Palomar StarLux 500 IPL machine will then be calibrated to match your skin type and hair color. The device will then target your hair follicles with laser energy to prevent or delay future hair growth.
Immediately post-treatment, the area may feel warm similar to a mild sunburn. The skin may appear slightly pink, sometimes temporarily bumpy or itchy.
You may apply cold packs, ice, or cool compresses to soothe the area. We recommend aloe vera gel or topical hydrocortisone if needed.
In between laser sessions, you must avoid waxing, tweezing, and use of depilatories or bleaching creams to obtain optimal results. You may shave the area as often as needed.
Continue to stay out of the sun and use an SPF 30 or higher that protects you from UVA and UVB rays.
It is important that you stay on the recommended treatment schedule to obtain the best results. After a series of treatments, most people can expect 80-90% permanent reduction as well as slowed re-growth. A small percentage of people do not respond well to laser treatments. It is common to do touch-up treatments as needed to target re-growth over time.
Complications of Laser Hair Removal
The most common complication of laser hair removal is the regrowth of 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 laser hair treatment include skin irritation such as blistering and crusting, changes in pigmentation or texture of the skin, and scarring at the removal site.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
The total cost of laser hair removal will depend on the number of sessions you come in for. For ideal results, at least five to six sessions will be needed.
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure. Because of this, it is ineligible for coverage from health insurance providers.
Prior to receiving any laser treatment, we will conduct a consultation to review your medical history and medications to make certain you are a good candidate for laser hair removal in Bellevue. Our goal is to educate you on laser treatment expectations and provide a spa-like environment where you feel comfortable receiving your treatments. At your initial visit, we can give you an idea of the approximate number of sessions that may be required to achieve desired results. At The Spa at Yarrow Bay, only experienced, licensed professionals operate our equipment.
Areas that can be treated
- Full Face
- Full Arm / Half Arm
- Bikini Line / Extended Bikini
- Lip / Chin
- Upper / Lower Back
- Full Leg / Half Leg
- Full Back
- Fingers / Toes