Vectus® laser: Hair removal without the pain
Dr. Touma uses thes Vectus® laser, the latest Diode hair removal laser, from Palomar®, the company that invented laser hair removal. This laser is unique because it is the least painful, while maintaining a high efficacy in hair removal, in extremely fast treatments.
The laser is used at both locations, in Downtown and Naccache.
Typically legs take 10 minutes, and a man’s back 15 minutes. Also this laser is equipped with the Skintel®, a patented melanin content reader, which measures the exact pigment intensity of the skin and adjusts the parameters in order to optimize the safety of the laser treatment and eliminate the risk of burns.
The Vectus® laser will complement the Gentelase, still a world best-selling laser, and the Nd:YAG which is used for very dark and tanned skin, all used at The Skin Clinic depending on patients skin color, hair quality or preference.
Hair problems - Excessive, ingrowing hair and laser hair removal
Excessive or ingrowing hair and laser hair removal
Excessive hair growth is due to genetic factors most commonly, hormonal problems or medications.
In women, the problem presents as the growth of facial and neck hair, or excessive hair in the breast, abdominal area, or lower back. In this case hormonal problems are not uncommon and are often due to a mild excess of male hormones, or cysts in the ovaries. Associated symptoms may include acne that is difficult to control weight gain, or thinning of the hair of the scalp. Also, after menopause, the decrease in estrogens leads to a state of relative excess in male hormones, and hair of the face and neck may start overgrowing.
Commonly hair in the areas of the legs, bikini area, arms or underarms is considered excessive or may lead to problems of ingrown hair and its removal is desired.
In men, the problem might be excessive growth in the chest and back or upper cheeks.
The best treatment for unwanted dark hair is using lasers, which are very effective, efficient and safe when used by a well trained physician. While we can now treat patients with any skin color, it is always best to avoid tanning before and after treatment sessions.
White or grey hair is best treated with electrolysis. Creams such as eflornithine delay hair growth and are helpful if used regularly. Excessive weight can lead to unwanted hair growth, and in this case, weight loss may be useful.
Hair Removal Lasers
Dr. Touma has experience in treating thousands of patients with hair removal lasers and the author of several publications and presentations on laser hair removal studies. (See CV).
The laser for Hair Removal safely removes unwanted body hair. Traditionally, Hair Removal techniques such as shaving, plucking and waxing, provide only temporary relief and may actually stimulate hair growth. Electrolysis, while still useful for white, grey and blonde hairs, often requires long and frequently painful treatments. Traditional methods such as waxing often result in scarring, allergic reactions, and ingrown hairs.
Laser Hair Removal works by targeting the pigment inside the hair follicle without damaging the delicate structures of the skin. Because hair cycles through "growth" and "dormant" phases, at least 4 treatments will be needed because hair in the growth phase responds best to laser treatment. We recommend a series of three to four treatments before long-term results are established. Maintenance treatments are often necessary. In addition, hormonal treatment may be necessary for some patients, especially in cases of facial and neck hirsutism. Facial hair may require many sessions because it tends to be more resistant.
Dr Touma does not recommend laser for facial baby hair, as it can become thicker with laser. Instead he recommends Eflornithin cream or electrolysis.
The hair is shaved on body areas, except the face in females where it is gently clipped and never shaved.
The patient is asked to wear eye protection consisting of an opaque covering or goggles. A small handpiece is placed against the skin and the laser is activated. The laser is equipped with a cooling device delivered prior to the laser beam, which decreases the pain and side effects of the laser. Sun protection before and after the treatment is essential. It is very important that the hair is not waxed or plucked in the period up to 10 days prior to laser hair removal.
The number of sessions will vary for each individual. This is dependent on the color, size and location of the unwanted hair. During the initial visit, the laser light disables those follicles in the "active" phase of the growth cycle. Follicles in the "dormant" phase will not be permanently affected. Since follicles cycle through "active" and "dormant" phases, additional sessions may be desired once the "dormant" follicles become "active". For this reason multiple treatments will be necessary. Regrowing hairs are usually lighter and thinner. It is best to retreat as soon as new hair growth is apparent and in some cases even earlier. Once the decreased density is achieved, maintenance treatments are recommended approximately once or twice a year. The number and intervals of treatments varies from one patient to another, but generally facial hair requires more treatment sessions, while non facial hair requires longer intervals between treatments.
For patients with very dark or tanned skin the current technology using the Nd:YAG laser allows treatment of darker skin with unprecedented safety and efficacy.
With electrolysis, the operator inserts a needle into the hair shaft with the intention of reaching the follicle, then sends a small electrical charge designed to disable the follicle. The operator then removes that particular hair with a tweezer. Hair Removal is much faster with a laser as the laser is pulsed about once per second across the surface of the skin. Each "pulse" of laser light disables a large number of hair follicles. Electrolysis operators can only treat those hairs that they can see and which they can reach through the hair shaft. A laser treats any "active" follicle, even if the hair has not yet reached the surface of the skin, or if the hair shaft is not straight. White, grey and blonde hairs do not respond to any laser and are still best treated with electrolysis.
Ingrown hairs on the neck of men and legs of women can be difficult to treat. The laser can be used to weaken the hair's ability to grow into the skin and avoid problems of bumps irritation, secondary infection and brows spots. For these cases, one or two sessions are enough to see results.
As for pain, while some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, most patients report manageable discomfort. The Cooling Device, attached to the Alexandrite laser , sprays liquid cryogen onto the skin simultaneously with each laser pulse to alleviate the sting of the laser pulse. In the case of the Vectus or the Nd:YAG laser used for dark skin, contact cooling is used. These systems minimize the level of discomfort during treatment. It is important to note that pain is an important aspect of the treatment as it indicates damage to the hair follicle, and its absence might alert the user to the lack of effective damage to the hair.
For the more sensitive patients, anesthetic creams can be applied prior to the treatment.
Unusual pain should always be reported by patients as it urgent indicate a possible burn that is difficult to detect by the laser technitian.
Immediately after the treatment the skin will look pink and slightly swollen, similar to a sunburn. This will subside within an hour or two and the skin will return to normal. Occasionally, a patient will have temporary pigment changes, blistering, or scabbing. Cases of scarring are extremely rare. A test spot is the best determinant of how each individuals skin will react, but with experience rarely necessary a test.
Why should I seek treatment by a Dermatologist
Dermatologist are experts to treat problems of the skin such as excessive hair. Dr Touma can identify and treat the underlying cause of excessive hair growth, especially when there are hormonal problems, and can best treat you to minimize the problems with laser hair removal, while maximizing the results of the treatment.
Dr. Touma uses the laser which is the most suitable technology for hair removal of any individuals skin color and hair color. The Diode and Alexandrite lasers provide the best balance between efficacy, speed, safety and comfort. For the dark skinned patients, Dr. Touma prefers to use the Nd:YAG laser.
Laser hair removal is a medical act. Dr Touma and his staff will provide you with the best and most professional medical care, in order to get the desired results with a minimum of treatment sessions, and a maximum of safety, and by providing attention to possible underlying conditions and treating them.
We advise everyone not to seek treatments in centers where no dermatologist is properly examining patients and supervising their treatments. Lasers centers without a full time dermatologist or plastic surgeon are considered illegal in Lebanon.