To understand how the Mediostar XT works, it helps to know a little more about how hair grows and how laser light vaporizes unwanted tissue.
How does hair grow?
Hair forms in a pouch-like structure below the skin called a hair follicle. What we see as hair is actually the hair shaft, which is the keratinized, hardened tissue that grows from this follicle.
The best hair color for the laser light to target is dark blond to black. The laser specialist will explain more during your consultation.
Everyone's hair grows differently, depending on age, weight, metabolism, hormones, ethnicity, medications, and other factors. But all hair goes through three distinct growth phases:
|| Active growth phase (called the anagen phase), which can last up to 3 months. At any given time,20-30% of our body hair is in this phase. During anagen, the hair has an abundance of melanin and that is the key target for the laser light. To get the maximum result 6 treatments are generally required to achieve 90-95% permanent hair reduction.
|| Regressive phase (catagen phase), which lasts about 3 days, during which the hair stops growing but is not yet shed. About 3 - 4% of our body hair is in this phase at any given time. Many patients report that hair starts to shed immediately, and can be found on a towel following a shower. We recommend not waxing, tweezing or using any methods to remove the hairs following your laser treatments.
|| Resting phase (telogen phase), which lasts 4-14 days, at the end of which the hair falls out and a new hair begins to form. Following the laser treatment the hair appears to still grow. These hairs are in fact club (dead) hairs and within 3-4 weeks the new hair from another active growth phase will begin to grow out of the same hair shaft. Remember that even though the hair is growing out of the same hair shaft, the follicle growing is new and is now ready for the laser light.
The Mediostar XT most effectively disables hair that is in the active growth (anagen) phase. If we get all of the active hairs each treatment that is generally 30 days apart, you would have disabled 20-30% of all hair follicles. Because all the hair in a treated area may not be in the anagen phase, more than one laser treatment is necessary to remove the hair that subsequently enters the growth phase. Our goal after 5-6 treatments is to have sustained 90-95% permanent hair reduction. Sometimes, a few additional treatments are needed to achieve permanent hair reduction goals for some patients.
How does the Mediostar XT work?
A laser produces a single beam of highly concentrated light. Different types of lasers produce different colors of light.
The light emitted by the Mediostar XT is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) located in hair follicles, melanin pigments give hair its color, and hair shaft. The laser pulses for a fraction of a second, just long enough to vaporize the pigment in the hair follicle- disabling several hair follicles at a time to eliminate or significantly impede the hair's regrowth - but not long enough to damage the surrounding skin. The Mediostar XT's special contact-cooling handpiece further protects the epidermis (upper layer of skin). This patented method of epidermal preservation allows delivery of more laser energy deeper into the hair follicle. The size of the coverage per laser pulse is roughly the size of a 50 cent piece.
Additionally, the Mediostar XT is able to treat a broader range of skin types than most other hair-removal lasers. It is delicate enough for a woman's fine, sensitive skin and robust enough for a man's beard, back, or arms.
The Mediostar XT effectively removes unwanted body hair. Traditional techniques such as shaving, plucking and waxing, provide only temporary hair removal. Electrolysis, while effective, often requires years of ongoing and frequently painful treatments. These methods may result in scarring, allergic reactions, and ingrown hairs.
Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment inside the hair follicle without damaging delicate pores and structures of the skin. Because hair cycles through "growth" and "dormant" phases, and because during the "dormant" phase the follicle has no pigment, a minimum of 4-5 treatments will normally be needed.
What does the treatment involve?
The patient is asked to wear eye protection. The area to be treated is then shaved. A small handpiece, or "wand", is placed against the skin, and the area to be treated is cooled before the laser is activated. The hand piece is repositioned and the laser is activated again. The size or the area treated will determine the number of laser activations, or "pulses", required.
What are the advantages over electrolysis?
With electrolysis, the operator inserts a needle into the hair shaft with the intention of reaching the follicle, and then sends a small electrical charge designed to disable the follicle. The operator then removes that particular hair with tweezers. Hair removal is much faster with a laser as the laser is pulsed about once per second across the surface of the skin. Each "pulse" of laser light disables a large numbers of hair follicles. Electrolysis operators can only treat those hairs that they can see and which they can reach the follicle through the hair shaft. A laser treats any "active" follicle, even if the hair has not yet reached the surface of the skin, or if the hair shaft is not straight.
How many sessions are needed?
The number of sessions will vary for each individual. During the initial visit, the laser light disables those follicles in the "active" phase of the growth cycle. Follicles in the "dormant" phase will not be affected. Since follicles cycle through "active" and "dormant" phases, additional sessions may be desired once the "dormant" follicles become "active". For this reason, we recommend a series of Five treatments.
Is the laser treatment painful?
While some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, most patients report little or no discomfort. For more sensitive patients, anesthetic creams can be applied prior to the treatment.
Are there any side effects?
Immediately after the treatment the skin will look pink and slightly swollen, similar to a sunburn. This will subside within 72 hours and the skin will return to normal. Occasionally, a patient will have temporary pigment changes, blistering, or scabbing. In the unlikely event of blistering, we recommend keeping the area moist with bacitracin.
This ultraviolet digital imaging reveals damage to the skin caused by sun exposure and other harmful agents before it becomes noticeable to the naked eye. Unlike simulated black- and-white ultraviolet photography, the ProfectTM allows you to take TRUE color and black-and-white ultraviolet images that reveal a much broader range of conditions in the skin. This helps to highlight areas of the skin that need the greatest amount of attention to minimize and reverse sun damage.
Since the Profect camera unveils photo-aging in skin, it serves to provide a snapshot of your skin's future. The camera also uses a digital imaging system which highlights moisture content and acne inflammation in the skin. This state-of-the-art technology serves to further demonstrate our dedication to early detection and prevention of disease. At AlluraDerm MD we offer a complimentary skin analysis to all our clients.