How does the GentleMax laser treatment compare with other hair removal methods?
Shaving, waxing and depilatory creams provide temporary results. These treatments must be repeated frequently. Electrolysis is tedious, invasive and often painful. It involves inserting a needle into each hair follicle and delivering an electrical charge to destroy them one at a time. Electrolysis often also requires years of treatments at regular intervals. The GentleMax treatment delivers non-invasive laser light energy to hundreds of hair follicles at one time. In just a few minutes the GentleMax can effectively treat an area that would take over an hour with electrolysis.
How does a laser work?
Energy from a power source is pumped into the “lasing medium” – a substance that produces light particles when energized. A laser produces an intense and concentrated beam of light. This beam of light brings energy to the area of treatment through a delivery device such as a handpiece.
How does the GentleMax hair removal laser work?
The GentleMax generates intense, long-pulse Nd:YAG light through a handpiece, which effectively disables unwanted pigmented hair follicles, impairing their growth. The laser’s chilled handpiece is placed gently on the skin and glides along as pulses of light are delivered from the laser. When the light penetrates the skin, it selectively damages the root of unwanted hair. Although some hair will be damaged at the time of treatment, many hairs will continue to fall out over the next two weeks after treatment.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Treatment results may vary among patients. The GentleMax is cleared by the FDA for Permanent Hair Reduction. The FDA defines permanent hair reduction as the long term, stable reduction in the number hairs re-growing after a treatment regime.
What are the GentleMax laser treatments like?
The GentleMax cools and soothes the skin as it glides along the treatment area. When the pulse light is delivered, some patients experience a mild stinging or pinching sensation. No local anesthesia or pain medication is usually required. Some patients prefer a topical anesthetic when sensitive areas are treated. Because the GentleMax incorporates a large spot size and a high rate of energy delivery, treatments are extremely fast and effective.
Are there any side effects?
Short-term side effects include slight reddening of the skin or local swelling. These effects typically are transient. Side effects that can occur are caused by absorption of the laser energy to the skin above the hair target. Increased or decreased skin pigmentation can result from burning of the skin. Although these pigment changes are not felt to be permanent, they can take many months to resolve. Rare side effects include blistering, scarring and permanent skin discoloration. Although this method of hair removal is exciting and reliable, failures do occur. Clinical results vary in different skin types and hair colors. The results are not guaranteed.
How to Care for Your Skin After Treatment
Congratulations! You have taken the first step toward more healthy and radiant looking skin by having a Fraxel restore™ laser treatment. Now it is important to help your skin heal quickly and protect your skin investment.
• Skin Care Products. All of your skin care products should be non-irritating and non-clogging for the first week or so after Fraxel Laser Treatment. Examples of brands that offer gentle and inexpensive products that are ideal to use: Aveeno®, Dove®, Neutrogena®, Cetaphil®, Cerave®, etc.
• Sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, proper and frequent application of sunscreen is very important. The sunscreen should offer broadband protection (UVA and UVB) and have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more. You should apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outside. After that, reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours. If direct sun exposure is necessary, wear a hat and clothing that covers the treated area. Use this regimen during the healing period and always. You will probably find that you use about 1 bottle of sunscreen per month, rather than the 1 bottler per year that most people use.
• Moisturizer. Remember that peeling and/or flaking is normal during the healing process. Therefore, the product should be non-irritating and non-clogging, else you could develop breakouts. During the healing period your normal moisturizer may be too occlusive, so consider products from the brands listed above. Instead of using 2 separate products, use moisturizers that contain SPF 30+. Reapply whenever your skin feels dry.
• Scrubs, Toners, Glycolic Acid, and Retin A. Your skin will be sensitive for the first week or so after treatment, so do not use products that will cause irritation during this time. Do not use abrasive scrubs, toners, or products that contain glycolic acids or Retin A. Read the product labels.
• Bleaching Creams. Discontinue use of your bleaching cream while your skin is tender. Restart your bleaching cream on the date specified by your doctor
• Resume your normal skin care regimen when your skin has fully healed.
• Cold Sores. If you have a history of cold sores, ask your doctor about care!