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Physician performed laser tattoo removal for long island removal results may vary


Dr.Undo Tattoo

T.M.

A Division of Messina Esthetic Medicine

283 Commack Rd. Suite 320 Commack NY 11725      631-675-1842



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     The use of lasers is an excellent and painless means of having a permanent reduction in unwanted body hair. There are two predominant lasers on the market that do an excellent job when it comes to laser hair removal.The alexandrite ( 755nm) and the  Nd- Yag (1064 nm).  The laser best suited to your needs is determined from your Fitzpatrick Skin Scale.  The scale is based on your basic skin tone but also includes your genetic history, ability to burn or tan in response to sun exposure and your history of sun exposure. The Fitzpatrick score will determine  which laser is appropriate for your needs as well as the power settings.

    

       The best results are found in very light skin persons with a dark thick  hair remember the laser seeks pigment so darker hair is an excellent target. The bulb of the hair absorbs the laser light which causes a photo-thermal reaction altering the growth cycle. This thermal damage will impair further growth but only for a few weeks at which point a repeat laser is performed. Under normal conditions the area will require about 7-10 treatments 4-6 weeks apart for the hair to be permanently reduced. Some persons require longer time frame.

      Again the best candidate for laser hair removal are persons with light skin and darker hairs. Unfortunately the laser is not as effective for lighter colour hairs especially grey hair colour.


If I have grey hair can I dye them darker then get lasered?

     This question comes up almost daily. Unfortunately the answer is no. Recent studies have demonstrated that by simply dying the hair shaft will not make the hair more sensitive to the laser. Remember, we are really targeting deep into the bulb, well below the skin surface and the hair dye just doesn’t reach that depth.


Why are most individuals given a test spot?

     Unless your are a true Fitzpatrick skin type I or possibly a II there is a small risk of getting a burn from the laser. We always set the laser parameters at a conservative level but on rare occasions a patient may be more sensitive than expected. Therefore we choose 2 laser parameters and give a test spot on a concealed area ( inner arm, leg, etc.) and have you return in 48 hours. This affords the safest treatment. The test spot is only required one time.


What are the complications of laser Hair Removal?

     LHR is a very safe procedure when the skin is properly evaluated and all the pre laser requirements are met such as being off antibiotics (tetracycline and other sensitising  medications). There can be some reddened immediately after the laser possibly slight itching. I prefer no showering for 12 hours after but if you must use a cool water temperature. Occasionally there is a slight folliculitis ( tiny red bumps) that are treatable with warm soaks.  Persons in the Fitzpatrick class V-VI are more susceptible to skin burns and hyper/hypo pigmentation which normally resolved in weeks to months.Some patients will have a test patch 2-3 days before the full treatment to establish the best and safest laser parameters.


Does all body hair respond to laser removal?

     Unfortunately no, although the majority of unwanted hairs will significantly decrease with multiple treatments. The best hairs are the thicker darker ones, facial hair in men responds as well but may take a few more treatments due to the extreme thickness and firmness. The very fine hairs that are usually light in color are poor responders as are grey and blonde hair. The best part, the hairs most often unwanted do respond very well  and include the chest, back, abdomen/pelvis, neck, arms & legs respond very well provided they are darkly pigmented.


Is there anything I must do before I arrive?

     We prefer that you shave the area before arrival, also avoid any emollients, perfumes or makeup in the area to be treated. Before the treatment we will clean the area to ensure that all the oils have been removed.


What medications should I avoid? How about daily activities?

    Unless imperative we defer LHR un till all medications that are capable of sensitising the skin to sun damage and burns are discontinued for at least a week. These include tetracycline, Rentin-A.. Accutaine and others.

     We recommend avoiding all unnecessary sun exposure for a week before treatment and depending on which laser you require no sun for 1 to 2 weeks after laser hair removal.

     After your treatment you will be given a sun screen that has a zinc base for added protection.


Is Laser Hair Removal the best treatment?

     When it comes the hair reduction the Alexandrite is the workhorse along with the Nd-YAG. Other similar devices such as a diode can also get results as well as IPL (intense pulsed light) which many call a “laser”

But it technically isn't because it emit a broad spectrum of wavelengths of light where as a laser emits only one specific wavelength. However the Diode and IPL seem to have variable results in reducing unwanted hair.


Does the treatment hurt?

     I offer every patient a potent topical anesthetic that will be applied to the area and remain in place for 20-40 minutes. This significantly reduces any discomfort, which has been described as multiple snaps from a stretched rubber band hitting the skin.