If you have procrastinated about getting rid of unwanted body hair, it may be because older procedures lacked something to be desired.

Traditional hair removal techniques, such as shaving, plucking, and waxing, are only temporary, and the more permanent alternative, electrolysis can be painful, time consuming, and is limited to small cosmetic areas. Any one of these procedures can result in scarring, allergic reactions, and ingrown hairs.

Fortunately, the science of hair removal has advanced. Lasers, which have been used for many years in other cosmetic procedures, such as treatment of age spots and varicose veins, are now being used to remove unwanted hair. This procedure is available at the Center for Primary Care – Central, located just off Wheeler Road near Columbia-Augusta Medical Center.

GentleLASE, the laser system used by CPC, emits a gentle beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicle, where it is absorbed and transformed into heat. This process eliminates the hair follicle, without affecting the surrounding skin. The skin is protected during treatment by a cooling process using cryogen.

Hair removal from small areas, such as the face and bikini line, can usually be accomplished in less than 10 minutes. Larger areas, such as legs, chest, or back can take longer. Everyone who undergoes laser hair removal requires two to three treatments because the process is effective on hairs only during the growing cycle.

Hairs that are not in the growing cycle when initially treated will disappear after the follow-up sessions. Type of skin and the color

and coarseness of your hair can further affect how many treatments you will require.

Here’s what you can expect if you elect to undergo the laser hair removal procedure:

  • You will be given eyewear to protect your eyes from the laser light.
  • A small handpiece and probe will be used to deliver the laser to the hair follicle. You will feel a light spray of coolant on your skin just before each laser pulse.
  • You will be able to go home immediately after the procedure.
  • The treated area may become pink or red within 30 minutes of treatment. This redness may last for a few days.

Some precautions should be taken before and after the treatment. Avoid the sun for 4 to 6 weeks before and after treatment or as long as your physician recommends. You must not bleach, pluck, or wax the area to be treated for at least six weeks beforehand. You should shave the area to be treated one day before treatment.

Free consultations are available to determine if you are a good candidate for laser hair removal.

Based on this consultation, you can determine if the laser treatment is capable of meeting your expectations and if it is a good option for you. One important consideration to keep in mind is that most insurance companies do not offer reimbursement for cosmetic procedures, but you should consult with your insurance carrier for more information.

If you are interested in a consultation or if you would like further information, contact the Center for Primary Care- Central at (706)868-7380.