American Society of Plastic Suregons

Laser Hair Removal at UPMC Hamot Plastic Surgery

The Sciton® Clearscan laser safely treats excessive hair growth on every part of the external body, except for the eyebrows.

At UPMC Hamot Plastic Surgery, we use this unique Sciton laser hair removal system on common areas such as the:

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Bikini line
  • Underarm

We can also effectively remove facial hair — including the beard on men — and treat all skin types and colors.

During your skin care consultation, we will design a personalized laser hair removal treatment regimen for you.

Frequently A​sked Questions About Laser Hair Removal

Click on the questions below to learn more about laser hair removal treatments at UPMC Hamot Plastic Surgery.

How does laser hair removal work and what are the benefits of the Sciton system?

Sciton laser hair removal with the Nd:YAG and the BBLight systems selectively targets your hair-producing follicles and destroys them with infrared energy.

A unique, computer-guided scanning system automates the treatment. It sets the parameters of your skin and hair type and places the laser beam in an optimum pattern — ensuring safe, fast, and effective treatment with minimal pain.

Benefits of the Sciton laser hair removal with the Nd:YAG and the BBLight systems

  • The combined laser technology system is safe for treating all hair and skin colors, from light to dark. It even allows us to treat ingrown hairs.
  • Unlike other processes, the laser beam treats many hairs at once, making it possible to remove unwanted hair from large areas of the body.
  • The high frequency automated scanner enables rapid, accurate, and even treatments with minimal pain.
  • The right wavelength and compression action provides maximum exposure to the hair follicle.
  • The Sapphire Crystal Advanced Cooling plate cools the skin providing, extra protection and greater comfort.

What happens during laser hair removal treatment?

When you come to UPMC Hamot Plastic Surgery for laser hair removal, we will:

  • Evaluate your skin and hair types and input your unique parameters in the Sciton system, which will determine your safe and effective treatment settings.
  • Discuss the laser hair removal treatment with you, answer any questions, and test an area of skin.
  • Scan the area of your skin with the Sciton high frequency automated scanner Nd:YAG laser or BBLight system. A Sapphire Crystal Advanced Cooling System will be immediately adjacent to your skin to remove heat, as the laser inactivates and destroys the hair follicles, ensuring a comfortable and painless treatment.

Treatment time to remove hair will depend on the area we're treating.

Always inform your laser aesthetician if you have been tanning, using tanning products, or exposed to the sun within the last three weeks. We will adjust your treatment regimen accordingly to give you the safest, most effective experience.

Are there any possible side effects of laser hair removal?

Side effects are rare.

You may experience some slight reddening or local swelling at the site of hair removal, but this typically goes away within hours. On rare occasions, some blistering or discoloration may occur, but typically resolves quickly.

Limiting sun exposure before and after each treatment will minimize the risk of complications. Following the treatment, you can generally return to work and resume all regular activities immediately.

What is the growth cycle of hair and how does it affect laser hair removal treatment?

Hair removal is all about timing because the hair on our body grows in cycles.

There are three phases of hair growth per cycle:

  1. Anagen
  2. Catagen
  3. Telogen

The first phase — anagen — is when hair removal works. It's the only phase of the cycle where the hair is still attached to the follicle and actively growing. This allows the heat from the laser to travel down the shaft of the hair and penetrate the follicle, permanently destroying it so it will no longer be able to produce hair.

There is usually about 30 percent of our hairs in the growing anagen phase at any given time. It takes approximately 2 months for the body hair to reenter anagen and new hairs to grow, and 1 month for the face hair to develop the next crop of active hair roots in anagen.

This is how the growth cycle affects laser hair removal and why a person needs multiple treatments at consistent intervals to eliminate all of the hair.

How many laser hair removal treatments will I need and what kind of results should I expect?

The number of treatments depends on several factors related to your specific kind of hair and skin.

Most people need five to eight treatments, spaced one to two months apart, although more treatments are occasionally necessary to reach complete hair removal.

Laser/light technology has been proven to create a permanent hair reduction in the number of regrowing hairs following each treatment in most skin types. How much hair you have in the anagen phase at the time of the treatment will dictate the amount of hair loss.

After each laser hair removal treatment:

  • There will be a 20 to 30 percent reduction of hair.
  • You will notice the hair will still grow for approximately two weeks before it will start to "shed."

At UPMC Hamot Plastic Surgery, we will design a customized laser hair removal treatment program for you, along with an estimate of how many treatments you may need in order to meet your expectations.

How can I get the best value for my laser hair removal treatments?

We suggest the following guidelines to get the best results for the fewest number of treatment sessions:

  • Avoid waxing, sugaring, tweezing or anything that pulls the hair from the root. Without the actively growing hair root there is no highway for the heat from the laser to enter the follicle.
  • Avoid exposure to tanning beds or outdoor tanning. Protect the areas of skin from the sun with an SPF of 30 or more.

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