You’ve still got a few months until summer officially hits, so now’s the time to find some quick ways to get your legs looking shorts-worthy smooth. Two laser options may be available through your dermatologist that can get you hair- and vein-free faster than ever.
Hair Be Gone
Combining two types of lasers in one is the GentleMax Pro, released in February 2012, which pairs GentleLASE and GentleYAG, both FDA-cleared for hair removal. The new machine offers a dual wavelength laser and a variable pulse that allows your doctor to treat different types and color of skin. And because it has a larger-than-most 18mm spot size, you’ll suffer through fewer of those painful zaps.
Previous versions of hair-removal lasers worked best on light skin with dark hair, because the laser could pick it up easier in order to blast away the follicle. But the newer-generation machine works on even the finest of hairs. You’ll likely still need four to six of the treatments that can cost between $500 to $800 each (spaced about a month apart), but you’ll get out of the doctor’s office quicker.
Smooth Away Veins
If veins are the issue, there’s a laser for that, too. Some larger varicose veins, those unsightly bumpy purple ones caused by faulty valves, typically require surgery to remove them. However, more people are opting for endovenous laser ablation therapy, an FDA-approved procedure that’s been around for several years.
Instead of cutting out the vein and leaving a scar, a catheter is inserted near the knee or ankle and, with the help of ultrasound, it makes its way into the vein, where a laser pulse causes the vein to collapse. The benefit, experts say, is that with the laser treatments, there’s a 7 percent to 9 percent chance that the problem will recur within five years, compared to a 66 percent recurrence with surgery striping of the vein. Plus, it only requires a local anesthetic and you’ll have little to no downtime, compared to a week’s downtime with surgery.
There’s also Asclera, a less painful sclerotherapy solution that works by irritating or damaging the lining of the blood vessel to cause it to close and eventually be replaced by other tissue.
Have you tried lasers to get rid of unwanted hair or veins? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.
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