Unwanted Body Hair
Hair usually becomes more visible during and after puberty and men tend to have thicker, more visible facial and body hair than women. Most of the time, a woman only has fine hair, above the lips, extremities or back. If a woman has thick, dark hair in these areas, the condition is called hirsutism and it may be cosmetically displeasing. Sometimes blood tests are necessary to exclude conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
How does OPT reduce hair count?
OPT , a 5th generation Intense Pulse Light (IPL), works by sending “intense light energy” through the skin and into the hair follicles, targeting the black pigments there. After being absorbed by the black pigment in the hair follicle, the light is converted into heat and destroys the hair follicle. With this technology, only black or dark brown hairs are suitable for treatment and lighter coloured hair e.g. grey, white, blonde hair will not respond.
What are the areas of the body that can be treated?
Commonly treated areas include chin, jawline, underarm, forearm, bikini area and lower legs. Other uncommon areas include ear, nipple and umbilical area.
In patients with recurrent infection e.g. folliculitis of the hair follicle of the beard and lower leg area, OPT IPL hair reduction treatment can be carried out to remove the hair to help prevent and eliminate the infection.
How is the OPT IPL Hair removal treatment carried out?
A topical anaesthetic cream is applied 45 to 60 minutes before treatment to minimise discomfort during treatment. The OPT light beam gives a rubber-band snapping sensation and some of the treated hairs would be burned off immediately. The remaining treated hair will not fall out until 2 weeks later. Mild redness and swelling after the treatment are expected and they should subside within a few hours.
Hair removal becomes permanent after several sessions of treatment. The number of sessions needed depends upon the amount and type of hair being removed.
Why do I need several sessions of treatment?
Hair goes through different growth phases and only hairs that are in the active growth phase will be hit or destroyed. The “hit rate” i.e. the percentage of hair destroyed, varies from 10 to 30% for each session of OPT hair removal treatment. Therefore the average number of sessions required to achieve permanent hair removal is around 3 to 4. Some people may need more sessions. Initially, it is recommended that you undergo a series of 3 to 4 treatments at four to eight-week intervals depending on the area treated.
How long does each treatment take?
An upper lip and chin can be done in 5 minutes. Underarms usually take 10-15 minutes. Legs and back take can take up to 45-60 minutes.
What is the care before and after treatment?
It is advisable to avoid too much sun exposure or getting a tan 2 weeks prior to OPT treatment. The tanned pigment would absorb the light and skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) may occur. There are no special precautions needed after the treatment.
Clinical results from OPT IPL Hair Removal
In general, 70-85% hair reduction is an acceptable clinical result and this can be attained after a series of OPT hair reduction treatment. There will always be some hairs that are resistant and have escaped the IPL destruction. You may have a few hairs re-grow over a period of time so touch-up treatment may be needed from time to time.
OPTTM IPL Hair Removal vs waxing / plucking / threading
Waxing, plucking and threading methods remove only the hair shaft and results are temporary. This leaves the hair follicle in place to grow new hair.
The advantages of OPT IPL Hair removal are as follow:
· Selectivity– OPT can selectively target dark, thick hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
· Speed– Each pulse of the OPT takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. Small areas such as the chin or jawline can be treated in less than 5 minutes
· Predictability– Many patients have good hair reduction results after completing a series of treatment.