Winter is the perfect time to get your body bikini-ready

It’s a chilly 54 degrees in Del Mar this morning. As I sit in my flannel pajamas, sipping hot coffee and shopping online for last minute christmas gifts, the last thing on my mind should be getting my legs and bikini line lasered. I mean but it’s December, and I won’t be in a bathing suit for MONTHS, right? Wrong! Winter isshutterstock_65578495-copy the perfect time to go hair-free and be carefree.

At Dermatology & Laser of Del Mar winter is the most popular time of year for laser hair removal. For most patients we recommend a treatment series of 4 treatments at 4 to 8 week intervals. There is a gradual reduction after each treatment. This means that your full result can take 4-6 months to achieve. Start in December, be smooth and silky in June!

How does it work?

In our office we use the GentleMax PRO for hair removal, and it’s awesome! It has two separate laser wavelengths, so we have the ability to treat all different skin types. From super fair skin to darker skin, we can deliver a safe and effective treatment.
Lasers emit specific wavelengths of light that are attracted to different targets such as; water, colors (red or brown pigment). With the GentleMax PRO the wavelengths produced are attracted to melanin, and there is melanin at the base of your hair follicle. The energy absorbed into the base of the follicle creates heat that coagulates the blood vessels at the base of the hair follicle, cutting of the hairs food source. Once this occurs that follicle stops producing hair.

There are three stages of life for your hair:

Catagen phase: Also known as the transitional phase, allows the follicle to renew itself. During this time the hair follicle shrinks due to disintegration and the hair strand is detached from nourishing blood supply. With less blood supply and less pigment in the hair, it is less susceptible to treatment.
Telogen phase: This is the transitional phase, allows the follicle to, in a sense, renew itself. During this time, which lasts about two weeks, the hair follicle shrinks due to disintegration and the papilla detaches and “rests,” cutting the hair strand off from its nourishing blood supply. Without this blood flow the hair follicle will not be able to absorb enough laser energy to sufficiently treat it.
Anagen phase: In order for the hair to be effectively treated with laser it must be in an anagen, or active growth stage. The longer the hair stays in the anagen phase, the longer it will grow. During this phase, the cells in the papilla divide to produce new hair fibers, and the follicle buries itself into the dermal layer of the skin to nourish the strand. This is the optimal time to treat the hair.

What should I expect?

You should shave the treatment area the day before your appointment. The less hair that on the surface of the skin, the more energy that can be absorbed into the hair follicle. This is important for not only a more effective result, but less surface irritation.
You can apply a topical numbing cream, LMX 4%, to the area 30 minutes before treatment. This can be purchased through our front desk, at most pharmacies or on Amazon.The LMX desensitizes the area and makes the treatment more tolerable.
The treatment will take between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area. It isn’t that uncomfortable, it feels like being snapped by a small rubber band. I find it irritating, but not painful.
You will have mild redness, a maybe a little inflammation in the treatment area for up to a day. Topical 1% hydrocortisone may be applied to reduce these side effects.
After 3-4 treatments you will see that it takes much longer for the hair to regrow and much less will come back after each treatment.

It sounds too good to be true!

It’s not! You can have smooth, softer skin. No more razor bumps, ingrown hairs or stubble.
I think it’s important to mention that that laser hair removal is not entirely permanent. You will see a bit of regrowth in follicles that where not actively producing during your treatment series. Most patients come in once a year for maintenance after their initial treatment series.
To schedule your laser hair removal consult or treatment contact our office. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s so worth it!