Debra Weissman MD
40 Cross Street
Norwalk, CT 06851

About Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal works by destroying hair follicles, which are found in the middle layer of the skin, the dermis. The laser energy is at a specific wavelength of visible light is absorbed by melanin in the hair shaft. Melanin is the substance that gives our skin and hair its color.

We use two kinds of lasers; the Alexandrite (also called Gentlelase), and the Lyra lasers.
We choose which laser to use based on your skin type. If you sunburn easily, or burn and then tan, we use the Alexandrite. If you tan and never burn, have brown or black skin, we use the Lyra.

Since the laser is targeting melanin, it is very important you avoid the sun during laser treatments. Using the laser on tan skin can alter the pigment of the skin leaving light areas called hypopigmentation. Use of a sunblock is crucial throughout your laser treatments. If you are prone to herpes outbreaks or cold sores, please inform us ahead of time.

Hypopigmentation of the skin is a risk of laser surgery even if you are avoiding the sun.
Hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin can also occur. It is a common reaction to become red and irritated after laser treatments; in some people, this can leave residual hyperpigmentation.

Scarring is also a potential risk of laser hair removal and very rarely, the laser energy stimulates hair growth causing an increase in the numbers of hair. Occasionally the laser will destroy the pigment in the hair shaft but not the follicle, resulting in persistent white hairs.

Some areas of the skin respond better to the laser than others. It takes an average of 5 treatments, sometimes up to 10 to get satisfactory results. Laser hair removal is not permanent; however it will reduce hair growth significantly. Results vary from person to person and you may not feel that you have gotten as much benefit as you wanted. You will not be reimbursed for the treatments if you are unsatisfied with your results.

The hair shaft must be in the hair follicle in order for the laser to target it. Therefore, you must only shave for 4-6 weeks before and throughout the treatments. Waxing, tweezing, and depilatories remove the hair root from the follicle and the laser will be ineffective. Laser treatments are done every month. You can apply a topical anesthetic 1-2 hours before the procedure to lessen the pain if desired.

The fee for each session with the Alexandrite or Lyra laser varies depending on the amount of area being treated. Please call us to set up an appointment for a laser hair removal consult to discuss treatment costs.