Laser Hair Removal Parameters. Is This Too Low? (photo)

I just got laser hair removal on bikini and legs. It only was mildly uncomfortable at times using the GentleMax Alex laser. I'm concerned as they had the setting on 8 joules. I am between 3-4 skin type but closer to 3. Will these parameters work or am I just wasting my time? I had only a little bit of redness on my inner thigh after which disappeared within 3 minutes following tx. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 1

Hair Removal and the Alexandrite Laser

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The most important aspect in laser hair removal is to obtain the proper clinical endpoints without damage to the surrounding skin.  These include vaporization or singeing of the hair (did you see and smell it burn), and peri-follicular erythema and edema (swelling and redness around the follicle after the treatment, which typically lasts a few hours).  When these endpoints are met, you obtained proper energy to damage the hair.

With that being said, and while I do not use the GentleMax (a unit that contains 2 lasers, the Alexandrite and Nd:Yag, I have used the GentleLase long-pulsed Alexandrite for 14 years), that setting seems quite low.  Typically we might treat someone of your skin type at a starting fluence (energy level) of 16-20 joules/cm2 and adjust from there.

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
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