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Patient Resources

Laser Hair Removal

 Are you are tired of waxing, shaving, threading and depilatories? If you are tired of stubble, or the inconvenience of running to get your bikini wax before taking off for the beach, and ending up with red, irritated skin, laser hair removal can be the solution you seek.

Dr. M. David Cole, MD. offers state-of-the-art laser hair removal for men and women, at his four California locations in Newport Beach and Torrance.

Laser hair removal reduces the amount of hair, and with repeated treatments you can be hair free. Because the hair grows in cycles, a series of treatments are needed to assure that all hair in the active growth phase is treated. Most of the time a patient will need a series of 4 to 6 treatments spaced about 6 weeks apart to achieve the goal. 

How does it work?

A professional pulsed laser generates a concentrated beam of light that is applied to the hair follicles in bursts of a few seconds. The pigment (melanin) in the hair follicle absorbs the light as heat, which destroys the hair follicle. Over a period of a few weeks to a month the treated hair will fall out.

What to expect

The first treatment can realistically provide a 10-25% reduction in hair. Patients report a noticeable reduction in hair follicles at about the 3-month mark. Dr. M. David Cole, MD. will advise as to when it is safe to have another treatment. Most patients are hair free for months to years. When the hair regrows it will be finer and lighter. To remain hair free, semi-annual or annual maintenance treatments will be needed.

The procedure

The treatment area will be cleaned, and the hair maybe trimmed. A numbing gel may be applied, which needs 30-60 minutes to work. You will wear protective eye gear.

The laser energy is applied to the skin, and vaporizes the hair, causing plumes of smoke and a smell like sulfur.

Does it hurt?

As the laser is applied the patient may hear a buzzing sound, and may experience a sensation of a rubber band snapping, or the feeling of warm pricks of the skin. A numbing gel may be applied before treatment, and a cooling device may be used to reduce discomfort. 

What are the benefits of laser hair removal?

  • It is long-lasting, with permanent reduction in the number of hair
  • It does not damage the surrounding skin
  • It is precise and targets light and dark hair
  • There is no downtime 

What are the potential side effects?

For a few days after the treatment there may be discomfort, much like a sunburn.

There may be swelling and redness. Ice packs, and anti-inflammatory creams will ease discomfort. Over time the skin color will return to normal.

Possible side effects include blistering, herpes cold sores, infections, scarring and changes in skin color. But these are rare, in the hands of a skilled dermatologist like Dr. M. David Cole MD., and his highly trained staff.

Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

For six weeks before the procedure, you should limit or avoid waxing, plucking and electrolysis. Avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and six weeks after treatment, as a tan increases the risk of pigment changes. It is ok to shave because this does not affect the hair shaft and follicle.

The laser is most effective on short, visible hair, so if you shave, let the hair grow into stubble.

Is it worth it? Let’s compare it to other hair removal methods:

  • Laser hair removal is as painful than waxing. But it is faster and provides a more permanent and more attractive outcome
  • Shaving and waxing remove the skin’s surface increasing the risk of infections and ingrown hairs, especially given the current trend of removing all hair in the bikini area
  • It is costlier, but offers convenience and longevity
  • It is faster than waxing and lasts longer
  • Depilatories are chemicals that break down the protein in the hair, but the chemicals can cause burns. And some people are allergic to depilatories

What about cost?

While it may appear to be costlier than other methods, generally it is less expense than decades of waxing!

Laser hair removal is safe, fast and effective. Under the supervision of Dr. M. David Cole MD, a board certified dermatologist, we will design a treatment plan just for you. We use the gold standard Candela GentleMax Pro Laser.

Don’t trust your skin to anyone but Dr. M. David Cole, MD. With four office locations, Newport Beach and Torrance, California, you can find the most convenient location for you, and receive expert care.