Laser Back Hair Removal Cost
In the past, we were able to treat facial blood vessels, freckles and other sun-induced pigmentation, wrinkles, and tattoos using our KTP, Nd:YAG, and UltraPulse CO2 lasers. For hair removal, however, these lasers were less than optimal with regard to both safety and effectiveness.
When the long-wavelength Cutera CoolGlide Excel laser was introduced, I concluded that at last we had a tool available that had the combination of flexibility, safety, and effectiveness to allow us to begin to offer California hair removal treatment to our patients. After over three years of experience with the CoolGlide Laser, we have now replaced this laser with the hand built Sciton Profile Laser, a significant improvement over the CoolGlide. The Sciton has the same safe long wavelength laser that was in the CoolGlide, but the Sciton has numerous advantages. Because it fires through a sapphire cooling plate, it assures that the skin is optimally cooled before, during, and after the laser pulse. This results in a treatment that is both safer and less painful than treatments with the CoolGlide. Furthermore, the laser pulses are delivered via a computer-controlled scanner, rather than by manual movement of the laser head. The computer control assures that there is the exact amount of desired pulse overlap, no more and no less. Also, the computer fires the pulses in a pattern that assures that every part of the skin is covered, and also that each laser pulse is separated in time from the pulses on either side of it. This keeps the heat from one pulse from spreading to the adjacent pulse. This combination assures more uniform coverage with each treatment session, and the more perfect control of energy spread from adjacent areas further enhances comfort and safety. Furthermore, because the Sciton has dual Nd:YAG lasers, one can fire while the second is recharging. This means much shorter treatment sessions. Finally, because of its highly customizable advanced computerized control system, the treatment parameters are much more likely to be error free, as well as more effective, than older laser systems.
The purpose of the information presented here is to help you understand the nature of this major advance in California laser hair removal.
How the Sciton Profile Laser Removes Unwanted HairThis device provides an effective, fast, gentle, very safe method of hair removal. It generates intense, focused light pulses of a specific wavelength, which is readily absorbed by the pigment (coloring) within the hair follicle. This technology was refined through extensive research and clinical use of lasers with various wavelengths. As problems and shortcomings with other wavelengths became apparent, this particular wavelength stood out as the superior option, able to safely pass through skin of all types and colors, while still achieving optimal effectiveness.
The device utilizes a specialized sapphire cooling plate, which the laser energy must pass through before it contacts your body. This controls the temperature effectively and precisely, optimizing your comfort. A single pulse of laser energy only lasts for thousandths on one second, so it is absorbed by the targeted follicle almost in its entirety. Because the device is computerized, the spacing and timing of pulses is executed with exacting precision, which further reduces the risk of patient discomfort, or the spread of laser energy to surrounding tissues. Simply stated, this innovative design protects your skin, while directing the energy to deep hair roots.
Sciton Profile Laser utilizes a wider beam than many systems, allowing a greater number of follicles to be treated with each pulse. This is advantageous, as it allows the treatment of larger areas, such as the abdomen, back, arms, or legs, in one session. It is safe to use anywhere on the body, with the exception of hairs in close proximity to the eyes. The procedure is gentle enough to be performed with only mild anesthetic or with no anesthetic at all. It can even be used comfortably on sensitive areas, including the bikini line, nipples, and upper lip. The flexibility of this system, and the innovative design of the handpiece, allows us to tailor the treated according to each patient’s skin color, hair color, and hair texture. Permanent improvement can be achieved with just a few treatment sessions.
How Is Sciton Profile Laser Different From Previous Systems?In the past, lasers typically relied on very short light wavelengths, such as 694 to 810 nanometers. While these devices worked well under specific conditions, a high percentage of the energy is absorbed through the surface of the skin, reducing the amount that reaches the hair follicles beneath the surface. It also increases the risk of damaging the skin, rendering these wavelengths unsafe for most dark skinned individuals (including those whose skin was darkened by tanning).
Sciton Profile Laser utilizes a much longer (1064 nanometers) wavelength, which reaches deep hair roots, with minimal impact on surrounding tissue. This makes laser hair removal safe and effective for all skin types and ethnicities, which is an important improvement over older, limited systems. Additionally, the sophisticated computer controlled pulses are automatically optimized according to each patient’s skin and hair type and color, delivering individualized treatment with precision accuracy. The technician wears clear protective goggles when using this system, which facilitates better visualization compared to antiquated short-wavelength systems.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?People with light colored skin and dark, coarse hair typically respond best to laser hair removal. Darker skin contains higher concentrations of melanin (pigment), which competes with the pigment in the follicle for absorption of laser energy. For this reason, you should avoid tanning before and after treatment. Due to the cooling action of the sapphire plate, in combination with the longer light wavelength, this type of laser tends to scatter less and penetrate deeper than alternatives, making it the premier choice for treating dark skin.
Gray or very light blond hairs do not respond well to laser treatment, because there is little to no pigment to absorb the energy. The Sciton laser appears to have the greatest potential for treating light colored hair, due to its safety, enhanced effectiveness, and uniquely flexible design. However, we cannot recommend laser hair removal for blond hairs at this time, because we are still studying and refining the technique.
What Areas Can Be Treated with Laser Hair Removal?Anywhere that you have unwanted hair, except in the immediate vicinity of the eyes, can be treated using the Sciton Profile laser. The most common treatment areas in women are the underarms, legs, arms, bikini line, lateral cheeks, upper lip, and chin. Another increasingly popular treatment is complete hair removal in the groin area, and the Sciton Profile laser is the best choice for this because of its gentleness. In men, the most common treatment areas include the beard area, back, and shoulders. Sciton Profile laser is the premier choice for treating these areas as well, due to its speed and effectiveness.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Treatment As Compared to Other Hair Removal Techniques?We use the Sciton Profile laser, which is an advanced instrument that can be adjusted with exacting precision, for accurate treatment. Unlike electrolysis, which treats one hair at a time, this laser emits a broad energy beam, capable of treating many hairs simultaneously. It is a faster, more comfortable option than electrolysis, and it can treat hairs that were previously considered untreatable.
This system provides fast, safe, effective, and permanent reduction of hair. It reduces the number of hairs in the treatment area, as well as lessening the size and color of any hairs that do regrow. This laser has earned FDA certification for hair removal. The results are considered permanent, because although some hairs may remain in the treatment area they are smaller and lighter in color, making them a less significant cosmetic problem. According to FDA guidelines, "permanent" is defined as the continuing absence of hair two years after the area has been treated. Typically, 70 percent of patients treated see an improvement of 70 percent; 20 percent of patients see improvement of between 70 and 90 percent; five percent see improvement greater than 90 percent. The remaining five percent of patients are non-responsive to treatment for unknown reasons. Hairs that do remain after treatment are finer in texture and lighter in color than the hair that grew before treatment.
What Is Electrolysis?Electrolysis treats one hair at a time by inserting a fine probe into what is hopefully the base of the hair and destroying the hair root with small electric shocks. Electrolysis is useful for treatment of small numbers of hairs, hairs from areas in which it is difficult to use the laser such as around the eyes, in the nose, and in the ears. Electrolysis may also be useful to people who have very fair hair, which does not absorb the energy from the laser. Electrolysis does not produce total clearing of all hairs and can be a very slow and time-consuming procedure.
Are the Results of Treatment Permanent?The Sciton Profile system of hair removal has been studied extensively, and the result of long-term research indicates that most hairs become too tiny to be visible. However, there may be some hairs that are injured without being destroyed, and therefore rendered inactive temporarily. These hairs may begin to regrow after a period of time. Therefore, six treatment sessions, timed at six-week intervals, are necessary to achieve optimal results. Even after a series of treatments, you may have some persistent hairs that continue to grow. Permanent reduction of 70 to 90 percent is a very realistic goal, although it is important to understand that some patients do not see this amount of improvement. Any remaining hairs are typically smaller in diameter and lighter in color, making them far less noticeable. The Sciton Profile Laser is certified by the Food and Drug Administration to produce permanent hair removal.
How Much Hair Will Grow Back, and How Fast Will It Grow?Hair growth is cyclical in nature; it goes through active and resting phases. Laser energy acts on pigment found in the follicles of actively growing hairs. The actual hair shafts are shed within a month of treatment. For a person who is a good candidate for laser hair removal, a reduction of 30 percent is typically achieved with a single treatment. Stunned but not destroyed follicles will remain inactive for two to four months. Additionally, since laser energy has no effect on resting follicles, they may become active, beginning to grow new hairs.
The overall success of treatment cannot be determined until at least six months have passed since the series of sessions was completed. In a successful case, the results are very long lasting, although our data and research are limited by the fact that this treatment only became available a decade ago. There is a possibility that, at some point in the future, some regrowth may occur. However, to date, our patients are enjoying excellent, stable results. Hair growth and development continues as we age, which is evidenced by the coarse hairs seen on the faces of some elderly women. Therefore, even people who have achieved exceptional results may eventually wish to seek a touch-up treatment.
How Should I Prepare for Laser Hair Removal Treatment?Avoid tanning with natural sunlight or indoor lamps. You should also avoid waxing or plucking hairs for at least 14 days prior to treatment. You can bleach the hairs, because the chemicals will not reach the hair root, which is where the laser energy works its magic. Pigment in the visible part of the hair is irrelevant to treatment, because we will shave the area after taking photographs, before beginning treatment. For subsequent appointments, we will ask that you shave the area at home, at least two hours prior to your laser session. Hairs extending above the skin surface are detrimental because they absorb some of the laser energy before it can reach the root. Skin is a bit more sensitive immediately after shaving, which is why we ask that you shave earlier to make your experience more comfortable. It also gives you the opportunity to define the treatment region in areas such as the bikini line.
Please avoid taking anticoagulants (medications that prevent blood clotting) such as aspirin immediately prior to and following laser treatment. This will help minimize post-treatment bruising. In addition, we ask that you do not wear any cosmetic products on the skin that is to be treated. Because some cosmetics absorb laser energy they can cause overheating of the skin surface, as well as decreasing the amount of energy reaching the deep hair roots. If you wish, you can apply cosmetics immediately after your appointment.