Medical laser hair reduction
Laser hair reduction may be required by individuals for a variety of medical reasons. These include PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), or as part of the transition process for transgender individuals. Standard approaches to laser hair removal, as employed in beauty salons, etc., do not commonly take into account the difference in how people presenting for hair removal in this context require to be treated, both in terms of laser treatment parameters, and frequency of treatment. We may also be able to help with respect to skin care advice, or information regarding combining hair removal treatments with other procedures (e.g. genital gender affirming surgery or breast augmentation). You will also be guaranteed the discretion and privacy that is standard in the medical profession.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition which is commonly associated with excess hair growth. This excess hair can occur on the face, chest, back, and other areas. It can be very distressing for affected individuals. We use a combination of lasers, at appropriate intervals to help control the hair growth. Complete, permanent hair removal is rarely achievable, but substantial reductions in the amount of hair, with a concomitant reduction in the necessity to use other methods of hair removal such as shaving, is a realistic goal. For most patients with PCOS, relatively prolonged courses of treatment are required for optimal results, with top-up treatments at varying intervals necessary to maintain the result.
Hair reduction in gender reassignment
Hair reduction is commonly sought by individuals as part of their transition process. It may be a stand-alone procedure, or performed in conjunction with other procedures. Ms Fitzgerald does not perform genital gender affirming surgery, but as a result of her plastic surgery training, is well aware of the nature of the surgical techniques. She would be delighted to liaise with your surgical team, if required, to best plan any laser hair reduction in relation to planned or previous surgery. All hair reduction treatments are performed by our highly qualified laser nurse. We realise that it can be a big step to pick up the telephone and book an appointment for this treatment, and reassure you that you will encounter only the utmost in professionalism and care at Fitzgerald Plastic Surgery.
Preparation for laser hair reduction
In order to get the best result from your laser hair reduction procedure, please note the following:
The treatment works by laser energy being absorbed by the pigment in the hair, which in turn heats and destroys the hair-producing cells within the follicle. Therefore the hair must be visible to the laser, and present in the follicle. For this reason, bleaching the hair (which stops the light energy being absorbed), or any method of hair removal which involves removing the hair from the follicle (plucking, tweezing, waxing, threading), will render the area temporarily unsuitable for laser treatment. The area for treatment may be shaved, ideally 2-3 days before. A “five o’clock shadow” amount of hair regrowth is ideal.
If the hair is too long, the laser treatment can be more uncomfortable, and less effective. Therefore, we suggest that you do trim the hair in the area to be treated before your appointment. A hair length of 2-4 mm is about right. For your first treatment, we suggest you leave a small patch (2cm x 2cm) of “typical” hair a bit longer, to allow us accurately judge your hair colour and texture.
There should be no tan, either real or out of a bottle on the area to be treated. If you have had a suntan in the six weeks before treatment, please let us know, as even after a tan has faded, the pigment cells are active within the skin, and treating at that time could result in unwanted side-effects from treatment.