Health Team

New laser removes unwanted hair painlessly

Posted July 20, 2011 3:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 20, 2011 7:22 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh plastic surgeon is using a new type of laser for hair removal that eliminates the need for pain medication during or after the procedure.

Unlike other lasers, the Alma Soprano laser remains in constant motion, avoiding the "rubber-band-snap discomfort" many people experience in hair removal procedures, said Dr. Richard Carlino, of Museum Spa and Laser Center, at 3633 Harden St.

"You can do it with all skin types. It's hair free, pain free and it's permanent, so it's been a really wonderful advance in the technology of hair removal," Carlino said.

Christine Bevin, one of his patients, said she made the decision years ago to put away the razor. After several sessions, she said, she began to see results. But laser hair removal had its downsides.

"It was quite a bit painful," Bevin said.

That's why many practitioners used numbing gels or lidocaine, which can discolor tanned skin.

"You get lightening of the skin, with little spots," Carlino said. He added that numbing agents are often used in toxic amounts.

With the new laser, only a cooling gel and a contact cooling tip are necessary to ease a patient's discomfort, and it attacks unwanted hair in a totally different way.

"It's not trying to blast the hair follicle. It's slowly raising the temperature to the critical point where you get hair destruction," Carlino said.

Bevin decided to give the Alma Soprano a try.

"You definitely feel a sensation, but it's definitely not painful in any way," she said. "It seemed to be more effective, meaning it took (fewer) sessions to get the same results."