Gynecomastia (often referred to as "man boobs") is a condition that causes abnormal enlargement of male breast tissue. Symptoms vary from a small amount of extra tissue around the nipples to larger sized breasts. One or both breasts may be affected, and the breast tissue can be painful or tender. If this is the case, it should be assessed by a doctor. Gynecomastia is not linked to breast cancer, however, if breasts are sore or painful, it should be checked out by a physician. There are a number of causes... Continue Reading
Specialist plastic and cosmetic surgery practicePrecision Aesthetics, Dr. Vernon Ching, is a leading plastic surgery practice in Midrand/Johannesburg focussing exclusively on providing our patients with the best possible results. We offer both surgical and non-invasive procedures with patient safety being our top priority. Dr Ching combines his surgical skills with meticulous attention to aesthetic details to achieve beautiful and natural looking results.
Specialist plastic and cosmetic surgery practice
September 2019 Special – Laser Hair Removal
Palomar Starlux 500
Precision Aesthetics utilizes the Palomar StarLux 500 light therapy technology, Intense Pulsed Light (or IPL for short). Palomar is a leading developer and researcher of light-based and laser systems for aesthetic treatments. In 1997, Palomar initiated the optical hair removal field when the first high-powered laser hair removal system was introduced. Since that time, a majority of light-based hair removal advances have been rooted in Palomar technology.
While other conventional methods of removing hair, like shaving or waxing, remove hair by pulling it out or cutting it, laser hair removal targets the follicle of the hair (or hair root). Cells that are responsible for hair growth are contained within the hair follicle. If those cells are incapacitated, the hair will stop growing and fall out.
During the laser hair removal procedure, an IPL or laser beam goes into the skin to reach individual follicles. The major heat created by IPL or laser beams stops the growth cells of the follicles, which inhibits future hair development.
The hair that is treated will continually appear for 7 to 30 days after treatment. This is not new hair growth though, but the hair that was treated being ejected from the skin.
For optimal results, multiple treatments are required.
Frequently asked Questions
What Areas Can Be Treated?
The treatment is safe for any part of the body. It is often used on the chin, upper lip, cheeks, underarms, bikini line, and legs on women. For men, the arms, back, and chest are the concentrated areas for laser hair removal.
Am I A Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
The success of laser hair removal can be affected by skin and hair colour. The beams of both the IPL and laser target the dark pigment (melanin) in hair follicles. Light skin and dark hair are the attributes of the ideal candidate.
Patients with darker skin will receive very successful results after undergoing laser hair removal, but they do normally require a few extra treatments since the laser/light is drawn to melanin. In order to ensure optimal results, treating the hair and also keeping the surrounding area of skin unaffected, it is important that treatments are performed safely.
White, blonde, or grey hair is not affected by laser hair removal as those hairs contain very little pigment.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
The heat produced by the beams of light that penetrates the hair follicles and eliminates them can create some level of discomfort during the treatment. Pain can be significantly decreased by effectively cooling the area. Palomar’s cooling technology verifies that the end of the hand-piece is consistently kept at ~4˚C. It feels like an ice cube and helps keep the skin calm during the procedure
An option is to use numbing cream for situations when more discomfort or pain may be expected.
What Are the Side Effects?
Though it is rare that any side effects occur, it is possible for them to occur in some patients, especially those who tan on a regular basis. Patients with darker skin or who take photo-sensitizing medications are at a greater risk of developing complications.
Skin irritation is the most common side effect of IPL and laser hair removal. It might feel like a light sunburn but should disappear within 3 to 7 days. Scabbing and crusting are other rare side effects. In the event that this happens, notify your hair removal provider and follow the instructions they give.
Pigment changes can occur after laser hair removal. On the site of the treatment, the skin may seem darker or lighter. This change is normally temporary and disappears with time. People with darker skin usually experience a lightening of their skin, which often means that the treatment was performed at the incorrect settings.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
Hair cells that are in the active phase of growth and development during the treatment are the only cells that the IPL and laser beams can target. Not every hair is active all the time, as some of them are dormant. Hairs in the dormant stage are not affected by IPL and laser treatment, so it is required that the patient undergo multiple sessions spaced over time to guarantee that all hairs in the active phase are treated. To achieve satisfactory hair removal, 4 to 8 treatments are usually required. Depending on the area and hair properties that are being treated, treatments should be spaced 3 to 8 weeks apart.