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Laser Hair Removal
UT Southwestern Medical Center offers laser hair removal by experts in dermatology to remove unwanted facial or body hair. We use the latest laser technology available for safe, effective treatment and the best possible results.
Advanced Technology for Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive procedure that uses a high-intensity light beam to penetrate hair follicles. Pigment in the hair absorbs the laser light, which damages the hair follicle. The procedure removes hair and slows hair growth for a long time, but not permanently.
At UT Southwestern, our dermatologists use the most advanced hair reduction lasers available today. With the latest technology, our specialists safely and effectively treat all skin types, from the very fair to the deeply pigmented.
Reasons to Consider Laser Hair Removal
Both women and men may have unwanted facial or body hair that can be removed with laser treatment. Hair pigment, not skin pigment, should absorb the light. Therefore, laser hair removal typically works better with greater contrast between hair color and skin color.
Patients with little contrast between hair and skin color can be at a higher risk of skin damage. Laser hair removal is less effective with lighter hair colors, such as blond, red, gray, and white.
Common treatment areas include:
- Armpits or arms
- Bikini line
- Face, such as the chin and upper lip
Our Laser Hair Removal Services
Our skin experts begin with a complete evaluation, and patients should tell their doctors of any history of scarring, skin disorders, or previous hair removal procedures.
For initial treatment, patients typically need three to six sessions every four to six weeks. Depending on each patient’s specific characteristics and goals, patients might need maintenance treatments after a few years.
What to Expect
Our skin care team reviews instructions with each patient to prepare for the procedure. General recommendations include:
- Limit waxing or plucking hair in the areas to be treated for several weeks before the procedure.
- Avoid sun exposure for several weeks.
The procedure typically lasts a few minutes for small areas, such as the upper lip. Larger areas, such as the back, might take an hour or more. Patients wear eye protection throughout the procedure.
During the procedure, the specialist:
- Presses a handheld laser instrument to the skin, usually using a cooling gel or a cooling device on the instrument to protect skin.
- Activates the instrument to send a laser beam through the skin to the hair follicles. Patients might feel discomfort and a sensation of cold from the cooling device or gel.
Patients can drive themselves home because no anesthesia is used. The treated area might be red and swollen for a few hours, but patients typically have little to no downtime. Ice and over-the-counter pain medication can relieve discomfort.