Advice; 8 treatments..what now?

Troubled by facial hair since I reached puberty, I decided to do laser hair reduction. I’m an arab white skin/dark hair female 20 years old. I needed the sides of my face treated and a little of my upper neck. I chose to do it with a pediatric dermatologist, who did the procedure in the hospital, mostly on people in their late teens. I was 18 at the time. My first 5 treatments were done with one machine (i dont know which) but I know they began at about “38” and went up to “42” with that machine. I would do all my treatments at 8 weeks apart, and was seeing good results as the hair was thinning, sometimes not returning. I went on vacation, and returned and began my last 3 treatments 6 months after the 5th one. They had gotten a new laser machine by this time, and if i remember correctly 2 sessions were done at “16” and the 8th/last one was an “18-15”. I have no idea which lasers were being used, but I do plan to call and ask. I remember seeing nd:yag, and coolglide written on my chart, but I never really paid too much attention to it. Now, about 3 months since my last treatment i have peachfuzz all over the area, and it is brown, so its very visible. I have fair/white skin and dark hair. I dont know where I should go from here. Now I bleach the area, but the blond hair is just as ugly. A friend of mine does treatments with the light sheer diode at a dermatologist and she has gone up to treatments at 20, and she has responded very well. I know everyone responds differently, but in the beginning I responded much better. I have been reading many of the forums and I see some people have long term results while others have grown back. Should I go do about 2 more “high” treatments with the light sheer diode and see how I respond? Any advice would help… [color:“brown”] [/color]

actually for the last 3 lasers i remeber them saying they were using gentlelase…

I think you should get your hormones tested. Have you ever had your hormones tested before?

After you get your hormones in check, you should switch over to electrolysis.

You’re lucky you didn’t experience any laser induced hair growth on your face like so many other women on this board have.

there are several things that can be going on here. it sounds like you were treated with Coolglide Yag at first and then with Alex GentleLASE after, but please confirm. Also, you’re at the age where you’re still developing hair. It’s hard to tell what was killed, what returned, and what is the new hair that you’re still growing. Bottom line though, you didn’t specify what type of hair you had before and what exactly happened to it. Is the peach fuzz you’re talking about on areas that didn’t have ANY hair before? Did you pay attention to that area before? Or is this peach fuzz what is remaining there now after the treatments? Also, was the hair that was treated originally coarse or fine? What kind of reduction do you think you got on what was actually treated overall? Several suggestions:

  1. Laser won’t work on peach fuzz. You need electrolysis for that.

  2. Please get your hormones tested for possible underlying medical conditions so you can get medication if there is something causing the growth

  3. What type skin are you? If you’re of arab origin, even if your skin looks lighter, it probably still had plenty of pigment. You are probably not lighter than a type III. Can you look up the Fitzpatrick skin chart and let us know where you think you fall? Also, at the settings you’re describing (assuming it’s an Alex machine), how did your skin react?

  4. Did you experience shedding after each treatment? Can you describe your experience in between treatments?

My derm tested my hormones before the treatments, and the results were all normal. My sister has no facial hair, except some peach fuzz on her upper lip. Before any treatments I had coarse black hair on the sideburns area, and some coarse black hairs on the chin areas. There was NO peachfuzz on the area bw the sideburns and chin, but now its everywhere. Now, it seems as though all the follicles are still there, but the hair is fine and brown. It is very soft, but still obviously there. I’d say I am a type III. Once at a consult with a different dr, an RN told me I was type II. After each treatment, I always experienced shedding. Many times I would get black dots that if I scratched at, a hair would fall out. After my 7th treatment I did see an increase in hair on my neck (which i think happened bc of them shaving the area before the treatment). After she did the 18-15 on the last treatment, the hair on my neck as of now is much better, as in its very fine, even though I do see some hairs coming out. After all my treatments I would be red for about an hour, but then I would be fine. I am very much considering electrolysis, but I don’t really know much about it, or any electrologists in san diego.

you can learn about electrolysis on this board. check the appropriate section. you can find recommendations in SD there as well.

shaving doesn’t cause new hair to grow or hair to become more coarse. laser can do that though on finer hair. whatever area the laser touched that previously didn’t have hair or had very slight peach fuzz could have stimulated that hair to become darker on the face, as it happens sometimes in women. generally, the advice you will read on this board, is that unless you have a serious hair issues with lots of coarse hair on your face as a woman, electrolysis probably a better choice for the facial hair. the problem with laser is just as I said above. it can stimulate hair follicles out of dormancy BEFORE killing them, which requires more treatments. and that’s better avoided by going with electrolysis from the beginning.

i wouldn’t have any more treatments on your face with any laser unless you have any large patches with coarse hair, which doesn’t sound like you do. chekc out the electrolysis forum.

I totally agree with Lagirl! Electrolysis is definitely better for fine facial hairs. I am also a II skin type, although not of arabic descent (not sure if that has an effect or not). I had laser stimulated growth on my cheeks as well and am now almost completely done with electrolysis and doing great. I wish I had started with it! I know it seems like a lot to deal with when you first start, but it is proven to be effective and safe and I can speak from experience that that is true and it works! I would definitely stop at 8 laser treatments and begin electrolysis instead for what you specifically are experiencing.

I am very much considering electrolysis, but I don’t really know much about it, or any electrologists in san diego.

There is an entire thread on the electrolysis board about Electrolysists in San Diego. There is a whole list of them with reviews. in fact, here’s the link to it:

The hard part about what she has to have done is that the coverage area is similar to what a man would have to have done, but the hairs are harder to see to insert on, and they are really deep rooted.

It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that you shop around and get lots of consultations and sample treatments because this type of work is not easy. You will be vastly surprised at the range of results and speed you find between practitioners.

One of my middle eastern clients had a former practitioner whose answer to the fact that she could not actually see the follicle well enough to insert on it, was to simply increase the power and touch the general area of the follicle and blast away. This horrible practice lead to little hair removal (created more ingrown hairs actually) large scabs, and deep dark pigmentations that took a looooong time to heal.

I am happy to report that we were able to bare her face entirely, to the point where she needs no treatment with only 50 hours of treatment that was spread out over 4 years, because in the beginning she refused to get on the schedule I suggested. When we actually got on schedule, we were finished in about 9 months and she said “I can’t believe it could have been this easy if I had just did it right to start with!”

It has now been over 18 months sine her last 15 minute appointment, and although I see her around town, and she thanks me all over whenever we meet, she has no visible hair on her face at all, and such smooth skin and clear, even pigment that no one believes her when she says she once had an “otter face” (her term).

if people have induced growth on areas w/no hair, can’t they do something about it. my derm never told me that, and now i guess thats why i have those extra hairs on my neck. she would go pretty far up on my cheeks, which is where the fine hairs are also. can’t people take action for that? now i’m going to have to spend money on electrolysis…which i could’ve done from the beginning

Yes, for you, electrolysis would have been cheaper, and less trouble over all. You won’t get far with a lawsuit however, because she can say “How could we know that she would have this reaction? It is one of the possible side effects, but it is a possibility that everyone who gets this procedure done accepts as a risk.”

Yeah, like anyone directly told you about that risk, so that you could accept it prior to living it.

it’s hard-to-impossible to prove that laser caused it and you probably signed something taking away any right to complain or sue. you’re right. you should be at least told that this is a possibility and can argue that a knowledgeable person wouldn’t treat the areas with no or sparse hairs. however, most people in this business don’t know what they’re doing. i guess a precedent needs to be set. so far, not many have stepped up to it.

Without a Class Action Suit, nothing will get done, and even with a class action, the lawyers will get rich, and the little guys will get coupons. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

Agreed. I would have NEVER gotten laser if they informed me of the increased hair growth risk! I’m working with an atty. here in GA because it is high time for some accountability but it is a lot of dead ends. . . .If you want his info. you can pm me.

Can electrolysis treat a lot of fine facial hair done after laser hair removal?

electrolysis can treat any hair. it takes longer for hairs that have been plucked or waxed etc and are thicker.

Absolutely, that is exactly what I had done and I am so happy with the results.