The Mayo Clinic of South Africa

Photogenica® LPIR Laser Hair Removal

We can eliminate your unwanted and unsightly hair with the use of modern laser treatment which provides long-term hair removal for large areas, without the difficulties and commitment involved in electrolysis.


The advantage of laser treatment for hair removal

Over the years, various methods have been used to remove unwanted hair: shaving, waxing, depilatory creams. But these methods only remove hair temporarily.

Electrolysis offers more long-term hair removal, but takes years of treatments and innumerable sessions since it requires the placement of a needle in each hair follicle. The procedure is tedious and impractical for treating large areas.

At last, a new laser treatment provides long-term hair removal for large areas, without the difficulties and commitment involved in electrolysis.  This new procedure offers an alternative with many added benefits:

Fewer treatments required
Suitable for large areas
Shorter course of treatment - Electrolysis can take up to five years to clear both legs
Accuracy - Unlike the electrolysis needle, laser light can't miss a target hair follicle.
Greater "coverage" - Each laser pulse treats several follicles at the same time. Electrolysis treats one hair at a time.
Non-invasive - No risk of needle-transmitted disease.


Questions and answers regarding hair removal

How is hair removed by laser?

The treatment is performed using the PhotoGenica ® LPIR Thermokinetically Selective laser. The PhotoGenica ® LPIR utilises the latest laser technology to remove hair with a minimum of pain, inconvenience and side effects.

The laser emits a powerful beam of invisible light which passes harmlessly through the skin, but is absorbed by the hair follicle. By selectively absorbing the laser energy, the hair follicles are disabled, impairing their ability to grow hair.

The key to the effectiveness of the PhotoGenica LPIR is the principle of Thermokinetic Selectivity (TKS). By correctly adjusting the pulse width (the amount of time the laser is on) the laser light is able to pass - unaffected - through the thin layer of skin pigment and reach the deep hair follicle. At the follicle level, the laser energy is absorbed and transformed into heat that disables the follicle. As a result, hair growth is impaired without affecting the surrounding tissue.

Is it safe?

The PhotoGenica LPIR was developed in conjunction with some of the world's leading authorities on the use of lasers for medical applications. 

By using the principle of thermo kinetic selectivity, the laser "parameters" (guidelines for effective use of the laser during treatment) were chosen to match the pulse width to the size and location of the hair follicle.

The result is a safer, faster and more effective way to eliminate unwanted hair.

What are the traditional methods for hair removal?

Until now,  Electrolysis has provided the only long term method for the elimination of unwanted hair. During Electrolysis, a needle is inserted into each hair follicle. Removing one hair at a time, this process is tedious. It can take months or years of treatments to achieve a satisfactory result. The effectiveness is also dependent on the skill of the electrologist.

Less permanent methods include shaving, plucking and waxing.

Shaving is the most common method of hair removal. Virtually everyone owns a razor, but shaving only lasts a few days and requires a constant commitment to maintain a hair-free appearance.

Plucking leads to a more attractive and longer lasting result than shaving, but is quite painful. Except for small areas, plucking is tedious and impractical.

Waxing is similar to plucking, but it can treat large areas. Like plucking, the process of waxing can also be painful; and can also cause allergic reactions and/or inflammation of the hair follicle.

What distinguishes this laser from other methods of hair removal?

The PhotoGenica LPIR has been designed to selectively treat only the hair follicle while leaving surrounding tissue  unaffected. The laser uses pulses of light the remove the hair, so there is no irritation to the skin, as with other removal methods.

Is laser treatment uncomfortable?

The treatment consists of a series of laser pulses, accompanied by a tingling or slight burning sensation.  Most patients describe the treatment as a series of rubber band snaps to the skin.

The majority of patients tolerate this sensation without anesthetics. However, for patient comfort, topical anesthetics or oral sedatives may be used. Within about 30 minutes of treatment, the area may become pink or red, and may feel like a mild sunburn for a day or so.

Because the laser dies not damage the skin, no bandages are necessary.

How long does it take?

Each laser pulse treats about a one centimetre area, which can contain ten or more hairs. The amount of time needed depends on the size of the area to be treated. The lip usually takes less than one minute; other areas, such as the leg, may take significantly longer.

How many treatments will be necessary?

The laser works by disabling hair follicles that are actively producing hair at the time of treatment. At any time, some hair follicles are dormant. Since the follicles are producing hair at different times, several visits may be necessary for total treatment. Your physician will work with you to develop the optimal treatment strategy.

Bikini line before treatment Bikini line after 2nd treatment

Bikini line before treatment

After second treatment

Post treatment skin care instructions

Precautions before and after your laser treatment

The area being treated cannot be exposed to the sun. To avoid sun exposure to the area, apply a broad-spectrum (UVA\UVB) sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher .

Expectations following treatment

Immediately following treatment the area may show a slight red discolouration with some swelling. Blistering may occur.

General skin care

During the healing phase the area must be treated delicately. Do not rub, scratch, or pick at the treated area. If a crust develops,  let the crust fall off on its own.

Apply a thin layer of prescribed ointment to the treated area several times a day to keep the area moist.

The area should not be scrubbed. Pat the area dry. Do not shave over the area if any swelling, crusting, or scabbing is present.

If swelling occurs, apply ice. Wrap the ice in a soft cloth. Discomfort or stinging may be relieved with Tylenol ointment.

If make-up is allowed, it must be applied and removed delicately. Excess rubbing can open the area and increase the chance of scarring.

Avoid sports, swimming and strenuous exercise for 2-3 days following the laser treatment.

Contact the office immediately if the treated area exhibits any signs of infection (pus, tenderness, fever)

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