Unwanted hair is a common concern of both women and men. Whether it’s on the face, underarms, bikini lines, trunk or other areas, a number of treatments are available.
- Waxing, tweezing and threading remove hairs from their roots. When done over a long period of time, these treatments can result in a permanent decrease in the number of hairs.
- The facial hairs can be bleached so that they are less noticeable. This approach works well for thousands of patients. This is best done with commercially available hair bleach, and is usually not irritating if applied correctly.
- Electrolysis is a way to remove hairs individual hairs from the face or body. A very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle or opening on the surface of skin. The probe then releases a chemical or heat energy to destroy the hair root, the growth center of the hair. Only a fraction of the hairs are actually destroyed in each session and consequently, the procedure needs to be repeated.
- Depilatories are creams that can be used to remove hair from any area of the skin including the face. Depilatories weaken the hair so that it is easily scraped off where it emerges from the hair follicle. These types of creams are effective, but sometimes irritating. If your skin becomes irritated by such agents they should be discontinued.
- Vaniqa® is a prescription product approved by the FDA and is clinically proven to reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair in women. As opposed to removing the hair, VANIQA works by slowing the growth of hair. Patients often see results within 4 to 8 weeks when used twice a day every day.
- Shaving is another common and easy way to remove hair. Despite current misconceptions, shaving does not change the way the hair grows and will not make hair coarser.
- Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to reduce unwanted hair. This treatment is the most permanent way to achieve hair reduction. However, multiple sessions are usually required to achieve the desired effect. The laser typically works best on dark coarse hair, however some reduction may be achieved with lighter (blonde or grey) hairs with additional treatments. The treatment is often safest if performed on light skin individuals as individuals with darker skin tones have an increased risk of hyperpigmentatation after the treatment. Therefore, choosing the proper device and starting with a test spot are essential in these patients.
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