Dr Tan Hiok Hee
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
Laser Hair Removal FAQ
Laser hair removal can liberate you from a lifetime of plucking, waxing and shaving. Dr Tan Hiok Hee of Thomson Specialist skin centre, explains more about laser therapy and available hair removal Singapore treatments.
Why are some people more hairy than others?
Excessive hair is often due to hereditary factors, and there is usually no underlying medical cause. However, in rare cases it may be due to hormonal problems or medication.
What are some available hair removal Singapore treatments?
Temporary methods of hair removal include shaving, waxing, application of depilatory creams and plucking. The hair will grow back because the follicles and hair roots are not affected during the process. For many people, these methods are perfectly fine. In some patients, however, frequent shaving or plucking can result in irritation
to the skin.
Permanent methods of hair removal result in destruction of the follicles and hair roots. Thomson Specialist Skin Centre uses the Gentlemax laser system. This form of laser hair removal makes use of an intense light source of a specific wavelength (long pulsed Nd-Yag 1064nm) to heat up and destroy the hair follicle selectively. The laser energy is absorbed by the pigment within the follicle, and the heat generated in the process is enough to ‘burn’ the hair follicle without causing much injury to surrounding tissues.
The Gentlemax laser has an epidermal cooling system that allows for higher energy levels to be used safely in darker skin types, while reducing pain and discomfort.
What can laser treatments do (and not do)?
Laser hair removal can:
- cause selective destruction of hair follicles.
- achieve long-term hair reduction after multiple sessions of treatment.
- cause some minor side effects such as swelling and pigmentation of skin in a minority of patients. These are more common among patients with darker skin.
Laser hair removal cannot:
- achieve permanent hair destruction after one single treatment.
- work equally well for all patients. Generally, patients with dark hairs and fair skin respond best to laser hair removal.
- remove white hairs.
How do I prepare for a laser hair removal?
Before the laser treatment, you should:
- Avoid waxing and plucking of hairs for 2 weeks.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure 4 weeks and not be recently tanned before
treatment. This is to avoid damage to the overlying skin as the tanned skin will also absorb the laser light.
- Shave the hairs short 3 to 5 days prior to laser treatment
- If you have a history of herpes, please inform the doctor. Antiviral tablets may be given, if certain body areas, such as the lips or bikini lines are to be treated.
What should I do after my laser treatment?
After the laser treatment, you should:
- Continue to practise sun protection.
- Take good care of the treated sites to avoid any possible infection. Your doctor may prescribe you with emollients to soothe the skin.
What can I expect from my laser hair removal treatment?
- You will need multiple sessions of treatment to achieve significant hair reduction. For example, 4 to 6 sessions for armpits, 4 to 6 sessions for bikini line, and 5 to 7 sessions for lower legs.
- The treated areas may not be completely empty after laser hair removal treatments. However, the remaining hairs may be lighter in colour and finer in texture. After laser hair reduction, the treated hair may not shed for several weeks, but will eventually exfoliate.
- Approximately 20% reduction in hair growth is noted 4 to 6 weeks after each procedure.
- There may be a small risk of pigmentation of skin after laser treatment, this will usually resolve with time if you practice proper sun protection. Another uncommon complication is the development of blisters. If you experience this or any discomfort or pain, please see your doctor immediately.
NO MORE TAXING WAXING
Laser hair removal is an investment worth considering if excess hair is having a negative impact on your body confidence, or if frequent trips to the waxing salon are costing you too much time and money. Once you’re deemed a suitable candidate, the way forward should be smooth… just like your legs, armpits and bikini line after the treatment.
Interested in finding out more about hair removal treatments in Singapore? Find qualified, experienced and licensed Singapore dermatologists at the Thomson Specialist Skin Centre.