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Can You Get Laser Hair Removal on Your Face?

Posted on November 12, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

It’s unfortunate that the place where most people complain about unwanted hair is also one of the most sensitive parts of the body – our faces. The delicate nature of the skin on the face can easily be the source of redness and irritation after removing hair by shaving or waxing, and it’s also one of the most challenging places to hide inflamed or broken skin.

Fortunately, men and women can use laser hair removal to safely and effectively remove facial hair permanently. 

In common with laser hair removal on other parts of the body, several procedures (appropriately spaced out) will be necessary to target all the hair in a particular area effectively. This is because hair follicles grow hair in phases, and individual follicles grow unsynchronized, meaning that only some follicles are actively growing hair at any given time. The laser can only target follicles when they’re in their growth phase.

Facial Hair Location

Men typically benefit from laser hair removal on the jaw, chin, cheeks, rear of the neck, and around the neckline. Women commonly use laser hair removal on their upper lip, cheeks, and chin, although some women are also prone to hair growth in areas similar to the typical male.

Laser Hair Removal Advantages

In common with laser hair removal in other areas, the procedure provides a very effective way to ensure that hair in selected areas will be removed and prevent hair from re-growing afterward. It does not involve scraping or abrading the skin’s surface and hence does not require any significant recovery time after treatment. 

Laser hair removal allows men with particularly sensitive skin to avoid the continual risk of skin irritation and infection that can accompany regular shaving. It also prevents ingrown hairs following shaving, another significant cause of irritation and eventual infection. Even for men whose skin tolerates traditional shaving, the time and financial savings that result from removing the need to shave on a daily basis can result in considerable benefits.

Under some circumstances (for example, hormonal imbalances), women can grow unusually thick facial hair. Laser hair removal is incredibly useful in this case, as traditional hair removal methods risk not only allowing the hair to regrow but allowing it to become even thicker. Laser hair removal does not suffer from this drawback, as damaged hair strands simply fall out without being replaced by new growth.

Special Precautions

Although laser hair removal is safe and effective on the face, there are still precautions that need to be taken. Most importantly, find an experienced and medically qualified practitioner to perform the procedure. It’s imperative to shield the eyes from any possibility of laser exposure, so the eyes should be covered if a laser is used anywhere close. It’s also vital to use the appropriate level of light pulse energy – too little, and the procedure will not be fully effective, too much, and you risk burning or possibly even scarring.

As our faces usually are very exposed to sunlight, you will be given instructions to avoid direct sunlight exposure for several weeks prior to each laser hair removal procedure and wear sunscreen daily. This prevents skin color changes around your hair follicles, which could adversely affect the laser’s ability to target individual hair follicles effectively.

Given the increased sensitivity of some parts of our face, pain resulting from the laser light pulses could be a factor for some. An experienced practitioner using modern equipment will have several ways to minimize any pain or discomfort caused by the laser light pulses. These include anesthetic sprays and creams and cooling sprays or pads. Your practitioner should be able to manage your exposure to pain during the procedure.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care is experienced and medically qualified to perform laser hair removal, as well as a wide range of other non-invasive cosmetic techniques. We can answer any questions regarding your personal situation and can recommend the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.

 

Do Tattoos Affect Laser Hair Removal?

Posted on October 19, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

The laser hair removal process is based on a laser’s ability to focus destructive light energy onto individual hair follicles while avoiding over-heating surrounding skin cells. This is made possible by using laser light energy tuned to match a patient’s hair color – this works exceptionally well when the patient’s hair color contrasts strongly with their natural skin color. As you might imagine, the presence of tattoos (whether monochrome or colored) in the area that’s being treated presents a serious complication.

Location of Tattoos and Hair Follicles

Permanent tattoos are created by injecting pigment into the skin at a depth of between 1.5 and 2 millimeters. This allows the ink to penetrate beneath the skin’s outer layer and avoid being affected as the outer skin cells die off and are naturally replaced. Hair follicles are also located in the dermis but significantly deeper than where the tattoo ink is deposited. This allows tattoos to be placed in areas containing hair growth, without one affecting the other.

Problems with Use of Hair Removal Laser over Tattoos

Laser hair removal works by heating individual hair follicles until they’re damaged and stop growing. However, the laser light energy first needs to pass through all skin layers on top of the hair follicles, including the layer that contains the pigments that form tattooed areas. 

Using a hair removal laser over tattooed skin would result in laser light energy being absorbed by the pigment injected into the skin to form the tattoo design. This absorption of energy would result in rapid heating of the tattooed area. There’s a possibility that the laser would fade or alter the color of your tattoo, but there’s a far bigger chance that the energy absorbed by the skin cells containing the tattoo would lead to skin damage, blisters, and burning.

Laser Hair Removal Adjacent to a Tattoo

For this reason, a competent laser hair removal practitioner would decline to perform laser hair removal on top of a tattooed area. This doesn’t mean there would be any problem in using the laser hair removal laser in non-tattooed parts of the body, even those adjacent to tattooed areas. If there’s any risk of laser light spilling over onto tattooed regions, a simple template can be used to shield the tattooed area from any risk of laser light exposure.

Laser Hair Removal Prior to Getting Tattooed

If you’re considering getting a tattoo applied to an area that also contains unwanted hair, you should consider first using laser hair removal to target all unwanted hair in the area, and only after this process is complete should you continue and get the tattoo applied.  Conversely, if you’ve already got a tattoo that you’d like to get removed, then take care of this first, and proceed with hair removal afterward.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care is experienced and medically qualified to perform laser hair removal, as well as a wide range of other non-invasive cosmetic techniques. We can answer any questions regarding your personal situation and can recommend the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.

 

Can I Get Laser Hair Removal While Pregnant?

Posted on October 12, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

While pregnant, women typically have a lot more on their minds than excess body hair. The extensive hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy often bring unwanted hair growth, sometimes in quantities and places that you might not normally expect.

Although this is not always the case, many women experience increases in hair growth on the face, neck, stomach, breasts, lower and upper back, and several other areas. The growth may not just be confined to new areas of your body, but may also include thicker hairs than you typically have. 

While it’s a cosmetic annoyance and likely to go away on its own after giving birth, many women look for ways to remove this excess hair growth safely. Given your baby’s sensitivity to the chemicals and procedures that you’re exposed to during pregnancy, it’s well worth asking whether traditional hair removal practices are safe during your pregnancy. It should also be noted that extreme hair growth can be a sign of other medical problems.

Safe Hair Removal Methods

Shaving, plucking, threading, and waxing are regarded as the safest hair removal methods. However, there are several precautions that you should follow before undergoing a wax treatment, primarily to minimize the chance of infecting any open cuts or other skin blemishes. 

Questionable Hair Removal Methods

There are significant questions about whether bleaching, electrolysis, hair removal creams, or laser hair removal are safe for use while pregnant. Although these methods haven’t been studied in enough depth to give a definitive answer, we think it would be prudent to avoid using any of these methods if you’re pregnant, or if you feel that you might be. 

You should avoid any unnecessary risks to your baby; the chemicals, electrical pulses, or light pulses that these techniques use all fall under the category of things that can, and should be avoided. You should not only be concerned about any procedure’s adverse effects on your baby but also on your body — and even more so if you also plan to breastfeed your child.

Note that our warning against the use of laser hair removal while pregnant does not imply that the procedure is typically dangerous in any way, but simply that no research has been undertaken to determines its safety one way or the other. In the absence of this research, we have to recommend that the most prudent decision is to avoid the procedure until after giving birth.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care is experienced and medically qualified to perform laser hair removal, as well as a wide range of other non-invasive cosmetic techniques. We can answer any questions you might have regarding these procedures and provide advice on the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.

 

Why You Need Sunscreen Year-Round

Posted on October 7, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Most people understand the need to wear sunscreen in the height of the summer, but we find far less awareness of the need to continue to wear protection at other times of the year. Even here in Los Angeles, where we are pretty much guaranteed copious sunlight throughout the entire year, there’s a widespread belief that you only really need protection when the sun is burning hot.

Nothing could be further from the truth — damage from the sun’s UV rays is cumulative. Although exposure to high-intensity sunlight is incredibly dangerous, so is continued exposure to the lower intensity sunlight that we encounter throughout the year. Just because your skin may not be burning does not mean that you’re not in the process of damaging it. You can easily damage your skin without necessarily feeling anything untoward happening.

Negative Effects of Sunlight

Although sunlight has many positive benefits on the body, including boosting serotonin and Vitamin D levels and regulating our sleep patterns, sunlight can actually be responsible for a wide range of negative effects. 

Excess sun exposure can lead to sunburn, heat rash, premature wrinkles and aging, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. It can also lead to the development of several different types of skin cancer.

Sunlight is composed of a range of different light frequencies, most of which we see, but several of which we don’t. The ultra-violet (UV) components of sunlight are primarily responsible for damaging the skin. There are two categories of UV rays – longer wavelength UVA rays penetrate further into the skin and are primarily responsible for skin aging; lower wavelength UVB rays don’t penetrate as deeply and are the leading cause of skin burning. Exposure to either UVA or UVB rays can lead to skin cancers. 

Seasonal Effects

The intensity of UV light that you’re exposed to depends on several factors, including the season, the time of day, the amount of cloud cover, and your latitude, altitude, and even the ozone level. The EPA even publishes a UV index map of the US, along with a four-day forecast. UVB rays are most intense in the summer and spring; UVA rays are present in all seasons. In addition, UVB rays are present even in cloudy conditions; they also penetrate most window glass types.

Effective Protection

We recommend regular application of sunscreen, both as a precaution before exposing yourself to direct bright sunlight, but also as a part of your regular daily routine, year-round. It’s worth stressing that the need to use an effective sunscreen is not limited to when you’re lying on a beach, but is needed when you go about your everyday life, regardless of the temperature, the clothes that you’re wearing, and even if it’s a cloudy day.

Your clothes obviously provide considerable protection. But in addition to protecting your face, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck, shoulders, forearms, hands, legs, feet, and any other body parts that might be exposed. Some people even tan through their clothes, demonstrating that sunlight can penetrate through light clothing.

Sunscreen Products

Sunscreen products have come a long way from the heavy, greasy formulations used to be the only option. You can choose from a wide range of effective sunscreens that incorporate moisturizers, are easy to apply, and are absorbed by the skin. Although a sunscreen’s SPF rating provides a good indication of its effectiveness, you shouldn’t necessarily use this rating as the only way to select a product. A lower-SPF rated product that you’re comfortable using routinely will do you more good than a high-SPF rated product that you only use rarely.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care has experience in a wide range of non-invasive cosmetic procedures, including several that can be used to help rejuvenate your skin and help to mitigate the negative effects of too much exposure to sunlight. We can advise the most effective (and cost-effective) ways to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. Our team is also able to evaluate skin damage accurately. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.

 

Sculptra vs. Botox

Posted on September 25, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

When looking for ways to reduce or eliminate fine lines or wrinkles, you’ll find that there are two commonly-used ways to address these problems: dermal fillers or Botox. Sculptra is a widely-used injectable product that “fills in” facial lines, while Botox is an injectable neurotoxin that can relax the facial muscles that are causing the lines. Unsurprisingly both strategies have their strengths and weaknesses; today, we’re going to explore where exactly you might consider using each technique. But bear in mind that there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t use both of these non-invasive techniques concurrently, thereby getting the “best of both worlds.”

Common Characteristics 

Both products are injected into the skin, neither product requires any significant downtime or recovery period, although you may experience minimal bruising or swelling after treatment. Both products may require more than one treatment to achieve the best results; neither treatment gives permanent benefits.

Advantages of Sculptra and Other Fillers

Injectable dermal fillers are a quick, affordable, and proven to reduce or even eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. They use PLLA or hyaluronic acid, combined with other ingredients, to add volume to the skin, thereby filling in the lines and eliminating wrinkles. They also stimulate further collagen production by the body, extending their uses beyond the point where the body absorbs the filler material. In particular, Sculptra is formulated to maximize the production of collagen and yield benefits that last far longer than other dermal fillers – up to two years.

Dermal fillers are available in a wide variety of different formulations, providing solutions that are effective in different situations and for various skin textures. For example, fillers can also help mitigate the loss of facial volume and provide a degree of lift to sagging or loose skin.

Fillers do have some effect straight away after treatment. Still, they also create changes that only start to develop in the weeks following each procedure, and continue to develop over the course of several months. While this delay can be frustrating, it does have the advantage that the full benefits become apparent in a more gradual, more natural-looking manner.

Advantages of Botox

Botox injections work by relaxing selected facial muscles, thereby eliminating the lines or wrinkles that contraction of the muscles can cause. The effects of a Botox injection become apparent several days to two weeks after the treatment. As Botox works by deactivating muscles, it primarily affects dynamic lines and wrinkles, meaning those lines whose appearance is directly tied to transient facial expressions. If a line or wrinkle is always present, regardless of whether you’re smiling, frowning, or showing some other emotion, then it won’t be entirely eliminated by Botox.

Botox does not compensate for lost facial volume beneath the skin. Botox results can be expected to last anywhere from three to six months.

Obtaining the Best Results

The results that can be obtained by using Sculptra and/or Botox are heavily dependent on the skill of whoever performs the procedure. Both techniques are capable of creating natural or very unnatural-looking outcomes. For the best and safest results, you should carefully research the qualifications of each practitioner you consider and ensure that the person you decide on is medically qualified and has the training and experience needed to achieve the best possible outcome.

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between Sculptra and Botox. Both techniques can be used in combination, and in the hands of a skillful practitioner, you can gain the benefits of using the best method or methods according to your specific needs.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care is medically qualified and very experienced – we can advise on the best way to address your particular situation, whether that means using Sculptra, Botox, or a combination of both. We have extensive experience applying both techniques and a host of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.

 

Reasons to Avoid DIY Laser Hair Removal

Posted on September 18, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Laser hair removal uses finely-tuned laser light pulses to damage (and eventually destroy) the hair “root” or follicle. 

Professional practitioners’ actual apparatus varies but typically uses a YAG laser to create and focus laser light pulses – a similar technique, known as IPL (intense Pulsed Light), is also available. However, it is somewhat less effective on thick, coarse hair.

One characteristic shared by laser and IPL hair removal is that each treatment can only affect a percentage of your hair follicles – this is because all hair follicles go through a life cycle, with periods of growth interspersed with periods of rest. The laser or IPL pulses can only effectively target individual hair follicles that are actively growing, typically around 20% to 25% of the total at any given moment.

Professional Hair Removal Process

Professional laser hair removal equipment allows the practitioner to adjust the size of each light pulse, as well as the depth to which each is directed. This allows the procedure to be tailored to each patient’s individual requirements. In some cases, the light pulses can also be adjusted to maximize effectiveness according to each patient’s hair and skin color.

But aside from the technical details, an experienced practitioner will be able to draw from their training and personal experience to achieve the best results in the least time, while also ensuring that patient discomfort is reduced to a minimum, and while ensuring that the procedure is conducted in a safe and effective manner. This last point is far from the least important – a hair removal laser in untrained or inexperienced hands can not only be ineffective but is also capable of possibly causing burns and scars.

A professional will be able to determine the most effective schedule for repeated sessions — remember that each session can only target around 25% of hair follicles, so multiple sessions will always be required. 

Home “DIY” Hair Removal Process

Several “do it yourself” devices are now available, marketed as a way to achieve similar results from the convenience of your own home. Although this might seem like an attractive way to remove unwanted hair without having to leave your home, there are several factors that you need to be aware of.

What Exactly Are You Buying?

Firstly, most (if not all) at-home devices are not actually lasers — they instead use less effective pulsed light. Unsurprisingly they are also significantly less powerful than professional devices used by hair removal practitioners. This is good because it reduces the chance of causing injury, but it also means that these devices are way less effective at actually removing hair. The larger the area you want to treat, the more the drawbacks of at-home under-powered devices will become apparent.

At-home devices also often have limited lifetimes. Their light-producing elements may lose effectiveness and need replacing more often than the manufacturer claims.

How Can I Tailor Treatment to my Needs?

One of the most significant problems is how best to tailor treatment to your particular combination of skin and hair color, particularly if you don’t have the “optimum” combination of pale skin and dark hair. Basically you don’t get the ability to tune the treatment when using cheap at-home devices, which means that there’s a significant chance that you won’t be able to achieve acceptable results safely. Some complexions (particularly dark-skinned) are more at risk for burning or scaring when exposed to excess light energy.

Other Safety Considerations

If you decide to proceed with the DIY approach, some more critical advice – read all instructions carefully. You MUST avoid using a laser or IPL light pulses near the eyes, near the genitals, and around any unusual pigmentation areas, including tattoos and moles.

You also won’t have access to the full range of pain-control techniques that are available to professional practitioners. Don’t underestimate how painful an unprofessional hair removal session can be! 

Finally, keep in mind that you generally get what you pay for as in so many areas. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on short-term savings while neglecting to factor in the time and cost savings from using a professional to control unwanted hair most safely and cost-effectively.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care is medically qualified and experienced. We can advise on the best way to achieve permanent or long-term hair removal, tailored to your specific requirements. We have extensive experience with laser and IPL hair removal and a host of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.

 

Common Varicose Vein Myths

Posted on September 11, 2020 by Ella Fedonenko

Continuing our recent focus on varicose veins, we’re moving to try to dispel several of the more commonly encountered varicose vein myths. Given the potential long-term problems associated with untreated varicose veins, these are well worth tackling.

Varicose Veins are Just a Cosmetic Problem

Varicose veins are, without question, a cosmetic problem in almost every case. However, given the range of possible health problems that can be responsible for causing the condition, and the possible health effects that can result if varicose veins are allowed to develop without treatment, they absolutely also have the potential to cause significant long-term health problems.

As to the worst-case health problems that can be caused by varicose veins – deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms are two that should definitely get your attention.

Early diagnosis and treatment can not only help you avoid developing the cosmetic problem that varicose veins can become, but can also help you minimize or even avoid associated long-term health problems

Varicose Veins are Primarily a Problem for Elderly Women

Elderly women are the group most likely to develop varicose veins, but they’re certainly not the only group that’s susceptible. Around a third of adults will eventually develop varicose veins in some form, and men are certainly also vulnerable. 

Furthermore, although age is generally a significant factor, varicose veins are not confined to the elderly. They can develop at far younger ages, and can certainly start to become a problem in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.

Crossing Legs Causes Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can be caused (or exacerbated) by several factors. People with sedentary jobs are vulnerable, as are those who spend extended periods standing. Family history can be a factor, as well as carrying excess weight. The common factor is their tendency to disrupt normal blood circulation and cause blood to pool in the legs. 

Although it might seem that crossing one’s legs could cause blood circulation problems, this is typically not the case. Still, spending long periods with your legs crossed could lead to back pain, and even spending too much time sitting could eventually contribute to worsening circulation. Moderation in all things!

You Only Need to Worry about Visible Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are more likely to develop close to the surface. It’s certainly true that varicose veins in this region are more likely to be visible, and thus regarded as cosmetic problems. But varicose veins can also develop deeper beneath the skin and are less likely to be noticed, especially if you’re overweight. If you experience unusual pain in the legs, especially if this continues, you should definitely be evaluated by a doctor.

The Only Effective Treatment is Surgery

This used to be the case, but we now have access to both minimally and non-invasive techniques that can address many of the cosmetic aspects of varicose veins, including Sclerotherapy and laser vein therapy. Your doctor should be consulted as to the factors that may have been responsible for you developing varicose veins – it’s possible that you might require more treatment than simply resolving the visible component of varicose veins. 

Varicose Veins will Always Return after Treatment.

It’s not possible to give a blanket answer to this question, although it’s certainly not inevitable that varicose veins will return after treatment. Your doctor can advise you on lifestyle changes that will reduce the chances of their recurrence.

Your Laser Skin Care

Your Laser Skin Care is medically qualified and experienced – we can provide you with a full range of services, including full diagnosis of the cause of your varicose veins, advice on the best ways to treat the condition, and pointers on how to avoid them returning after treatment. We have extensive experience providing both laser vein therapy and Sclerotherapy treatments, as well as a host of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation or visit us online for more information.