Morsani College of Medicine

Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery

Laser Hair Removal

As the upcoming beach season approaches there is nothing worse than struggling with unsightly razor bumps from constantly shaving. This might be why approximately 1.1 million Americans were treated in 2011 with laser hair removal, a 15% increase from 2010. Laser hair removal has been studied for many years and proves to be effective in achieving permanent hair reduction.

This hair reduction occurs when laser light is absorbed by melanin, the dark color of the hair, which is primarily found in the hair shaft. The heat from the laser is then absorbed by the follicle while preserving the surrounding skin. This essentially disables the hair at its root which prevents it from growing back. Typically patients with red, gray, or blonde hair cannot achieve successful hair reduction with lasers based on the principle that the laser is attracted to the dark pigment (melanin), therefore lighter hair does not respond as well. Since the laser is attracted to the hair shaft it is important not to pluck, wax, or have electrolysis prior to treatments. Laser hair removal should be done in a series of treatments for optimum results to capture several growth cycles of the hair.

There are many lasers available on the market today for hair removal. It is important to recognize that different wavelengths of laser light are necessary to treat people with darker skin types since melanin (dark pigment) is the target of the laser. Here at the USF Cosmetic and Laser Center we have several lasers we use for hair removal and are able to treat all skin types.

Now is a great time to get laser hair removal in time for the beach weather!! It is essential to be a savvy consumer and chose a trusted provider for laser hair removal.

Nicole Nations, MSN, ARNP-C, Cosmetic Practitioner at the USF Health Cosmetic and Laser Center on Davis Islands. 813-259-8694