Thinking about laser hair removal in San Francisco? SF facial plastic surgeon Dr. Corey Maas discusses some of the facts, misunderstandings & expected outcomes related to laser hair removal & IPL.

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* The following auto-generated transcript has not been proofread for grammar, spelling or accuracy.

“I had some great questions today that came out of Apparent Care Center Spa upstairs and the nurses and I were going over it and discussing really a lot of the myths and sort of old wives tale that exist around a lot of treatments we do and there’s some great example that I can give you like not bending over after Botox and some things that are frankly silly but in the end there’s some key things that we can do and specifically today we were talking about laser hair removal and IPL or Protorejuvenation and the things that we should be aware of and we should be communicating with our patients and with you which you should know if you’re having laser hair removal things to avoid before and things to avoid after obviously two are very, very important and there’s not a lot of things about laser hair removal or IPL somebody other are energy based light or laser technologies that you really have to remember. The facts about laser hair removal however are pretty simple and processes that you she should be keeping in mind. Laser hair removal number 1: doesn’t treat the hair itself, the goal is to damage the hair follicle, the hair follicle let creates the hair, there are lots of way to yank hair out but they don’t keep the hair from growing. The way that laser hair removal that works is by targeting them melanin which is the pigment in our skin and hair, eating the melanin enough in that heat destroys the follicle. So if you have very light skin and very dark hair you have the best chance for a great outcome because the skin is relatively clear, there’s not a lot of pigment in it and all of that energy is going to be absorb by the hair itself damaging the hair follicle. We think that’s really the key thing but it doesn’t mean the darker skin patients can’t get laser hair removal. So if you’re tan or if you’re olive complector or even if you’re an african-american it’s simply means that we need to adjust the laser energy in such a way that we can treat the hair which is almost invariably darker in the surround the skins with whatever skin type you are and that’s really an important concept.

So I talked about that for one reason and that is “If you’re tan, avoid tanning, If you are to have the difference between the color of your hair and the color of your skin as much as you possibly can obviously in some ways you can control that but no tanning before laser hair removal is really important and that includes by the way Spray tanning, so this is everything you do with natural or unnatural pigment. You want your skin to have a great of a contrast between the hair that you’re treating and the skin color as possible. Number 2, is preparation for hair removal. In our clinic, we’ll do this for the patient that they wish but it’s awfully easy, it’s been much easier and even more safer if you shave your own legs, your bikini area, obviously very difficult to shave your own back, we’ll do that for men and women if they have hair in their back which is rare or the face which women often shave their faces.

So, a lot of people are concerned or asking, do I have to let the hair grow and the answer is no, we only want the hair that is below the skin surface to be heated in fact having surface hair just absorbs more of the energy that’s not effective or efficient in damaging the follicle itself. We obviously wanted to be well-hydrated and have a normal diet and all those sort of things, be healthy and well-rested anytime you come in for a treatment so if you’re not we’ll help you get hydrated and it’s really good to see you feel comfortable during the treatment.
So a summary on preparation for laser hair removal is very simple. We want to make sure that you come in shaved if you’re able to do that in the areas and the shape that you want the hair shaved that’s important because the shape of hair is around the station of the bikini area some people are very particular about that and it should be relatively freshly shaved without a lot of lumps, bumps or redness. We want the hair as short as possible but want it to exist you should avoid coming in after waxing because the hair has been completely removed from the shaft, it’s been completely remove from the hair tunnel if you will the conduit which their travel and there’s much less target. So we can’t do it right after waxing and then number 2, is we want to make sure that the skin is as light as it can be. So don’t come in after spray tan or after two weeks in Hawaii where you’ve been tanning because the difference between the hair, color and the skin color have a big impact on how good the outcome is, doesn’t mean you can’t be treated but it requires more treatment when there’s not much of a difference between hair color and skin color.

The last thing you know that brings up I think is important in preparation for hair removal is people just have this very light kind of grey hair has no pigment at all in it represent very little target for all the lasers that we use and that’s important there’s a few things that we can do to the type of a guy or stain that we can use that’s supplied daily and sort of washed up and gradually get the hair to get some color to it and that’s a little some cover some and problematic but it does work, its efficient, you can call us we can go through the process and we can get you the right product to use.

Another thing that I found is with light hair and even so the peach [Inaudible [00:05:44] hair it seems a little more responsive to a treatment called Intense Pulse Light which is not very efficient for hair removal, I rarely if ever would recommend it with hair removal and accepting those cases sort of [Inaudible [00:05:56]light hair.

So if you have any other questions about laser hair removal in general. The process, preparation or the recovery please don’t hesitate to write DrMaas.com, send pictures or photos if you want and I also welcome videos and if you don’t mind sharing it publicly, let me know, if you want to keep it private that’s fine. As always it’s a pleasure to help you keep looking your best, Dr. Corey Maas.”