Laser Hair Removal San Francisco
Aura Skin Spa is the premiere medical spa for laser hair removal in San Francisco. Our physicians, registered nurses and nurse practitioners have performed thousands of procedures. We offer several lasers (alexandrite and YAG wavelengths) for permanent hair reduction that safely and effectively removes unwanted hair anywhere on the face or body for men and women and on all skin types.
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How Does it Work?
Laser hair removal works by producing a beam of high-intensity light that penetrates deep into skin tissue. The light delivers a controlled amount of therapeutic heat which is attracted to the pigment contained in the hair follicle, thus destroying it while leaving the surrounding skin unaffected.
Technology matters. Aura features a Candela GentleLASE, a long-pulse alexandrite wavelength for fair skin types and a Cutera CoolGlide, a YAG wavelength ideal for darker skin types. Therefore, the laser's wavelength, the patient's skin color and hair coarseness will determine the amount of treatments necessary for effective hair reduction. Typically, 4-6 sessions are required at four to eight week intervals. Additional sessions may be required for optimal results. The area being treated determines the duration between treatments (i.e. face - 4 weeks, bikini - 6 weeks, legs - 8 weeks).
One of the key features of the Candela GentleLASE is a Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) – a patented technology that provides each patient with increased comfort and safety. The Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD) technology protects the upper layers of your skin with a cooling burst of cryogen. Together, the long-pulse laser and DCD cooling offer optimal treatment with minimal side effects.
Who is a Candidate?
At Aura, we can treat all skin types. Candidates with lighter skin and darker hair typically require fewer sessions. People with darker skin may require more sessions for effective results to be achieved.
Blond, red, grey or white hair does not work. The reason for this is there is no melanin in the hair follicle and hence, no target for the laser.
Our medical professionals may perform a test patch during the initial consultation to determine if you are a candidate and eligible for laser hair removal in San Francisco.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Depending on the amount of hair treated, the procedure varies from patient to patient. Generally, each patient can expect the following.
- Treatments are performed in the privacy and comfort of Aura Skin Spa, by a physician, registered nurse or nurse practitioner.
- Safety eyeglasses are worn to protect the physician or nurse practitioner and the patient's eyes from the laser light during the procedure.
- A small hand-piece that touches the skin is used to deliver the laser light. Depending on the laser being administered, a light spray of coolant is delivered and felt on the skin just before each laser pulse or, cold gel is applied directly on the treatment site before each laser pulse.
- A test area may be done prior to the entire treatment. A full treatment may be done on the same day or up to two weeks later, depending on the skin's reaction.
- Most patients experience little discomfort at the treatment site because of the Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD), the cold gel or the chill-tip hand-piece.
- The procedure could take as little as a few minutes to as long as an hour, depending on the area being treated.
- The treated area may become pink or red within 30 minutes of treatment; this may last from a few minutes to several days and is relieved with the application of ice, cooling gels or other calming agents.
Is it Painful?
The degree of discomfort varies with each person, depending on his/her pain threshold. Some patients may feel slight discomfort with the laser pulse, sometimes described as the snapping of a rubber band on the skin. This discomfort is minimized by Candela's DCD cooling or Cutera's chill-tip hand piece.
Topical anesthesia such as lidocaine cream or ointment is recommended for laser hair removal treatments and Aura will provide a prescription for each patient at the initial consultation.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Multiple sessions are required because hair grows in cycles. The number of treatments required depends upon your skin color, hair color and coarseness of the hair. Everyone will require at least four to six treatments as the process is only effective when the hair follicle is in its active growth phase. The hair's active growth phase is approximately every six to eight weeks, the duration between each treatment. Once a series is complete, some maintenance may be required to keep an area completely devoid of hair. These maintenance treatments may only be required at yearly intervals. This is dependent on the area being treated and the individual. Results vary from individual to individual.
Safety and Side Effects
Lasers have been used for many years for a variety of medical and cosmetic procedures. Laser hair removal in our San Francisco medical spa is an extremely safe procedure. At Aura, we have board certified physicians that oversee our treatments and highly trained nurse practitioners performing laser hair removal.
Some of the side effects that can occur with laser hair removal are pigmentary changes, such as a darkening or lightening of the skin. These changes can persist for a period of many months, however, are almost always temporary. Blisters and burns can also occur, although rare. Darker skin types are at a higher risk.
Is the hair gone forever?
Laser hair removal is accomplished through a series of multiple sessions. Treatments are performed every four-six weeks. The average number of sessions to achieve over 80 percent permanent hair reduction in a good candidate is 4 to 6 sessions. Maintenance sessions may be required for some patients. Many patients find that maintenance sessions done once or twice a year after completing the initial treatment protocol is ideal for keeping the hair away.
Why do I need multiple sessions?
Multiple sessions are required for laser hair removal because your hair grows in cycles. Laser hair removal is effective when treatments are performed during the hair's active growth phase. This is typically every four to eight weeks, the duration between treatments.
How immediate are the results?
Results can be seen immediately after a treatment. However, permanent hair reduction will not be long-term until a series of treatments have been performed. Everyone will need at least four sessions to see good results.
What if I'm tan or a person of color?
A tricky part of laser hair removal is targeting the hair follicle without damaging the melanin pigment in the surface of the skin. Different lasers are used for different skin types. At Aura, we have lasers for all skin types. The doctor or nurse practitioner will determine which laser is safest for your skin type.
Who performs laser hair removal?
In the state of California, only a registered nurse or physician can perform laser hair removal. Our physicians and registered nurses have years of experience and have treated thousands of patients.
How do I prepare for treatment?
The best way to prepare for laser hair removal is to not wax or tweeze the hair. The hair follicle needs to be in place for the process to work. You may be asked to shave the hair a day before or the day of your treatment depending on the area being treated. Depending on the laser being used, we ask patients not to tan or use self-tanners.
Is it expensive?
Laser hair removal is affordable if you consider the costs of waxing, over-the-counter topical products and other hair removal methods over the course of many years. The price of laser hair removal depends on the area being treated. Aura offers free consultations and various financing options for our patients.
Are there different lasers?
Yes, there are different lasers that yield different results. At Aura, we use an alexandrite wavelength best for fair skin types and a YAG wavelength best for darker skin types. Our physicians and nurse practitioners will explain in detail the advantages and disadvantages of the different wavelengths during the free consultation.
What happens after the treatment?
Typically, the hair on the surface of the skin is singed immediately after a treatment. The hair follicle is also damaged and swells up. The treatment area can become temporarily pink or red. This only lasts minutes to hours. There is no down-time and you can resume your daily activities immediately.
Call or email us today to schedule a consultation for laser hair removal in our San Francisco medical spa!