Hi, I’m new to this forum. I’m in my mid twenties and am East Indian. I have a problem with hair on my chin, which I have been plucking out for the past 2 years. I pluck every 5-6 days, but am getting little bumps and feel like the skin on my chin has a different consistency than on other parts of my face. I do not want to shave, use other forms of epiliation, or get electrolysis. I was considering laser hair removal for a long time, but am worried because of the adverse effects that I have read about, including scarring and hyperpigmentation. I want to start plucking less, but the hair grows back so quickly and I am very self conscious and feel like this problem is affecting my relationships. Please help me find a more permanent solution. Thanks!
A warm welcome to you, coffee,and perhaps we can help you sort this out. I would just like to start off by asking you question if you don’t mind:
Why is electrolysis not an option for you?
Electrolysis is too painful from what I’ve heard, and I feel like I’d get quicker results with laser, and I’m scared of scarring with both potential treatments (laser and electrolysis).
You’d be really delighted and surprised at how tolerable and quick electrolysis can be if you find a reputable electrologist in your community to tackle those chin hairs. Why don’t you get some consultations and sample some work, but first read hairtell posts so you get a feel for the process. It’s really not a pokey-dokey process if you go to a skilled electrologist with decent speed.
Laser is not without pain. Many have reported that it hurts a lot. Laser may not get all the hairs if there are any lighter hairs mixed with the darker ones. If you have darker skin, there have been reports of hair being stimulated in some people with darker skin on the face. Will that happen to you? I certainly hope not, but you should at least know that could happen, even though it is considered rare.
Just some information for you to add to your decision process. You are correct to learn all you can for your situation and find skilled people to do hair removal so you don’t end up with undesirable skin manifestations.
For your reading:
"Dermatology, July 2005 Journal Scan
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
July 2005 ( Volume 53, Number 1 )
Paradoxical Hypertrichosis After Laser Epilation
Alajlan A, Shapiro J, Rivers JK, et al
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2005;53(1):85-88
Laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal has become a staple of cosmetic dermatology, also serving as a means for hair reduction in medical conditions such as hirsutism due to hormonal imbalances (eg, polycystic ovary syndrome). Lasers and IPLs cause permanent hair destruction through primarily photothermal effects, targeting melanin within the hair shaft and bulb. Intriguingly, anecdotal reports of paradoxical hair thickening and darkening have surfaced as the popularity of laser hair removal (LHR) continues to grow.[1,2]
In a single-center, retrospective case series, Alajlan and colleagues assessed the prevalence of apparent laser-stimulated hypertrichosis in a population of 489 patients who had received at least 1 LHR with a long-pulsed alexandrite laser (755-nm) over a 4-year period. They also sought to identify patient variables predictive of a higher risk of developing postlaser hypertrichosis.
For study purposes, investigators defined postlaser hypertrichosis as “a definite increase in hair density, color, coarseness, or a combination of these at treated sites when compared with baseline clinical photographs in the absence of any other known cause of hypertrichosis.” To assess potential predisposing factors, cases of postlaser hypertrichosis were compared with a randomly selected control group of 50 patients (taken from a pool of 489) who had undergone LHR without apparent hair stimulation. Potential predisposing variables identified by the investigators included patient age, sex, skin phototype, hair color, laser settings, and number of treatments.
Out of 489 patients, 3 showed clinical evidence of postlaser hypertrichosis in laser treatment sites during a 4-year treatment period (prevalence of 0.6%, 95% confidence interval: 0.01%-1.9%). All 3 of these subjects had black hair and phototype IV skin. Although additional variables such as age, sex, treatment settings, and number of treatments did not appear to differ between this group and the controls, the small sample size precluded adequate statistical analysis. One 39-year-old woman who showed signs of post-LHR hypertrichosis on her face was of Mediterranean descent; she received 13 laser treatment sessions without apparent improvement, and had a negative work-up for hyperandrogenism. The other patients were both men: one 30-year-old white man undergoing back and arm LHR, and one 21-year-old Chinese man undergoing facial LHR. This latter patient had also started finasteride for androgenetic alopecia prior to noting the increased facial hair growth.
There is a growing consensus in the laser community that paradoxical laser-induced hypertrichosis is a rare but real phenomenon. Unfortunately, the low incidence of this event makes it hard to prove that other factors are not involved. In the study above, for instance, 1 man developed facial hypertrichosis in the context of using finasteride for androgenetic alopecia. One main factor arguing in favor of a cause-and-effect relationship between laser treatment and subsequent hair stimulation is the occurrence of hypertrichosis only in laser-treated areas. When documenting such cases, it is important to obtain baseline and follow-up photographs to confirm a true increase in hair color and/or density, since patients may mistakenly perceive increased hair growth, especially if they are paying cosmetic fees to see hair reduction. It is also vital to obtain a full medical and drug history, including endocrine work-up, to rule out any other causes of hypertrichosis or hirsutism. Finally, it seems prudent to warn patients – especially those with darker skin phototypes – that, while rare, postlaser hypertrichosis is a possible complication of LHR. Other investigators have suggested that individuals with an ill-defined hairline, especially those of Mediterranean descent, may be at increased risk of developing laser-induced hypertrichosis. Hopefully, as more case series are reported, data pooling will allow for statistically meaningful analysis to confirm the importance of such hypothesized risk factors.
Hirsch RJ, Farinelli WA, Laughlin SA, et al. Hair stimulation induced by laser hair removal. Lasers Surg Med. 2003;32(suppl 15):32.
Moreno-Arias CA, Castelo-Branco C, Ferrando J. Side-effects after IPL photodepilation. Dermatol Surg. 2002;28:1131-1134"
How do you find a certified electrologist in your area? Most of the places where I stay, do not have anyone trained and the scars could last a lifetime.
Do you live somewhere in the United States?
No, I stay in Asia, where the options are very limited and there is no regulatory authority like the FDA