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Laser hair removal not always effective




 

 

DEAR DR. ROACH: We spent a considerable amount of money on our teen daughter’s laser hairremoval procedures, but the poor thing takes after her swarthy father, and the treatment seems to have no effect. Is there any real science behind this treatment? — S.O.

ANSWER: There certainly is real science, and laser hair removal is effective, but its effectiveness is limited, and it’s important to have realistic expectations. Laser treatment usually doesn’t remove hair entirely, forever. Most people will have less hair, thinner hair and lighter hair.

About two-thirds of people will have at least a 50 percent reduction in the treated areas after a single laser course. With multiple courses, 90 percent of people will get up to a 50 percent reduction. Lasers tend to work best for lightskinned people with dark hair. Even people with apparently complete results usually get hair regrowth after six to 12 months.

Your daughter appears to be among those who have a poor response to laser. Besides shaving or plucking, other options include chemicals to remove the hair, medications to prevent hair growth and electrolysis, which is the only permanent hair-loss method — and even that depends on the technique of the technician. A dermatologist can help guide the right treatment for your daughter.

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DR. ROACH WRITES: In January I wrote about cluster headaches, and many readers took the time to write in with what had been helpful for them. Among the treatments recommended were the antidepressant Zoloft, and the anesthetic lidocaine administered in the nose. Several readers wrote in to tell me that acupuncture cured them. Mold and food sensitivities also were frequently mentioned, with an antihistamine and avoidance of offending agents being helpful. Botox, commonly used for migraine, was the key for at least one reader. Finally, several people said chiropractic manipulation cured their headaches.

It is easy to say, “If it worked for someone else, it will work for me.” However, the body is vastly complex, and it takes a great deal of judgment to know what is right for a given person. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I wanted to share my readers’ experiences. What is certain is that none of these treatments will work for everybody.

Many headache questions reach me on a regular basis. For a general explanation of headaches and their treatment, consider the booklet on that topic. It presents a comprehensive view. To order a copy, write: Dr. Roach — No. 901W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four days for delivery.

©2014 North America Synd.


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