Permanent Hair Reduction

Cincinnati Plastic Surgery Specialists in Permanent Hair Reduction

Thank you for considering UC Health Plastic Surgery for your plastic surgery procedure. We offer a safe, comfortable atmosphere in our modern, state-of-the-art facility located in West Chester, Ohio, convenient to both Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. Permanent Hair Reduction using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is conveniently performed right in our well-equipped procedure rooms. We offer a friendly staff of nurses and administrative support to help with your scheduling issues and questions.

What is Intensed Pulsed Light for Permanent Hair Reduction?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) using the Palomar Starlux® System may be used for permanent facial and/or body hair reduction in women and men. The Palomar Starlux® uses a high energy pulse of light which is absorbed into the hair follicles to permanently reduce hair growth. The heat not only loosens the hair, but reduces growth of new hair. A series of treatments are required for the best results. The number of treatments will depend on the area to be treated and the density and growth cycle of hair in that area. While IPL treatments are appropriate for all complexions, those patients with darker complexions will require more treatments.

Procedure Benefits

  • Decrease in amount and re-growth of hair
  • Smoother feeling underlying skin
  • Less time needed for shaving or waxing

Private Consultation

Your surgeon will examine the potential treatment area, taking into consideration the amount and color of hair. White, gray or very fine hair without color will not respond to IPL treatment. Your sun exposure and outdoor habits will also be discussed. You should be prepared to discuss your complete medical history, including any medications you are taking (including vitamins). You will also discuss the cost of the procedure and how many treatments that may be needed to achieve best results.


A sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher should be worn for 4 weeks prior to treatment. Herpes I and II within a treatment area may require suppression with medication prior to treatments. All tretinon products including Retin-a, Renova, Differin, and Avage should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to treatment. Although not an absolute contraindication, all other exfoliants should be reviewed prior to treatment. Six weeks before treatment, avoid the use of mechanical epilation including plucking, waxing, tweezing, electrolysis, or sugaring. Patients should also refrain from this practice during the treatment course. Shaving is permitted. A test spot may be treated prior to the procedure to assess skin reaction and appropriate settings for treatment.

Procedure Overview

The skin is cleansed and a special lotion is applied over the treatment area. The area may be shaved before the procedure. Goggles are placed over the patients eyes. During the procedure, the doctor or doctor’s assistant will place the hand piece on the treatment area to deliver series of pulses which feel similar to very light rubber band snaps. The Starlux ® system incorporates a photon-recycling process that uses mirrors within the individual handpieces to recapture scattered energy. The mirrors then send the energy back to the target area, increasing treatment effectiveness. The patients experience only minor discomfort during treatment; a warm sensation may be felt. Skin cooling is done with the Starlux® special handpiece during treatment, and ice treatments are used immediately after the procedure.

Recovery and Healing Time

No down time is expected with this procedure. A mild sunburn-like sensation is expected and usually lasts no longer than 2-24 hours, but can persist for 72 hours. You may experience temporary pink or red coloration of the treated area and swelling around hair follicles. Appearance of hair growth or stubble will continue for 7-30 days after treatment. This is not new hair growth, but the treated hair being expelled from the skin. Until redness is resolved, you should avoid makeup, swimming, hot tubs and Jacuzzis, activities that can cause excessive perspiration and aggressive scrubbing, and the use of exfoliants on treated area. It will be important to use a sunscreen after treatment. If you were treated to reduce facial hair, please follow any recommendations for skin care suggested by our skin care specialist.

Procedure Risks

  • Prolonged itching, redness, or rash
  • Blistering
  • Bruising
  • Peeling or crusting
  • Lightning or darkening of skin color
  • Removal of freckles
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Swelling
  • Infection

UC Health Plastic Surgery in West Chester, has three nationally recognized Cincinnati plastic surgeons.

Located north of Cincinnati, we serve West Chester, Mason, Loveland, Indian Hill and the rest of Greater Cincinnati and Dayton for all of their plastic surgery procedure needs.

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