Monday, June 30, 2008

Laser Hair Treatment for Teenager

ADOLESCENCE is an awkward time to grow a mustache. Especially if you’re a girl. When Vidya Srinivasan was 7, girls would make her play a man in games of make-believe because of the downy hairs on her upper lip. “It really started messing up my self-esteem,” said Vidya, now 13. “I got to thinking that maybe there’d been a mistake and I was really born a boy.”

Her mother, Dr. Hema Sundaram, a dermatologist in suburban Washington, tried to reassure her. The amount of hair a girl sprouts (and where) varies widely based on genetics, hormones and ethnicity, Dr. Sundaram said, and a bit of facial hair is not uncommon among women who, like the doctor and her daughter, are of Indian descent.

“But she started crying, and I felt like crying with her,” Dr. Sundaram said. “I tried to impart that if someone is saying something bad about you, it’s usually because they feel bad about themselves. But it’s very tough to deal with that when you’re 7.”

Together they decided to get rid of the unwanted lip hair. Bleach proved ineffective, depilatory creams irritated Vidya’s skin, and Dr. Sundaram ruled out waxing because of the inflamed follicles she had seen in her practice. Since last year, Dr. Sundaram has brought her daughter into her office several times to use a laser to put the hairs — and Heathers — at bay.

Her tormentors were silenced and, Vidya said, “I felt like I’d won.”

Parents of teenagers have long walked a fine line between helping a child grease the wheels of social acceptance, and stressing physical appearance too much. Do you let a tween shave her legs or armpits because other fifth graders do? Will a nose job be a lifesaver or a mistake to later regret?

In the realm of cosmetic decisions, there are few clear-cut answers regarding what is good and bad, comely or ugly.

Some cultural absolutes do exist. In the 20th century, for instance, Americans seemed to decide that crooked, imperfect teeth should be fixed as early as possible, even though most of us chew fine with imperfect choppers.

And now removing hair, like getting braces, is making the transition from vanity to necessity for increasingly more parents and their girls and boys. “I have a teenage client who is on the swim team and is getting hair removed from his back,” said Rena Abdinova, a registered nurse and an owner of the City Skin and Laser Clinic in San Francisco. “He has a 24-year-old brother who was also on the swim team in high school and had hair on his back, but then it wasn’t an issue. People are becoming much more self-conscious about hair.”

Teenagers often require more laser treatments than adults because their hormonal fluctuations can change the rate and pattern of hair growth. Still, hair removal by laser is the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure among minors, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, an organization of board-certified plastic surgeons.

In 2007, teenagers got 67,523 procedures — more than double the number that age group had in 2000, according to the society, which surveyed its members and board-certified dermatologists but not aestheticians or other doctors.

Many children seek to be denuded because excess fuzz embarrasses them. Others want to avoid a lifetime of battling hair. For Christine Furman, of Greenwich, Conn., getting laser treatment for the unibrow of her 16-year-old daughter Teresa was a celebratory event, not unlike ear piercing. Classmates had also nicknamed Teresa “Uno Brow.”

Laser hair removal devices, which were first cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995, work by beaming light at various frequencies through the skin in order to heat up and damage the hair follicle. It can take minutes or hours, depending on the size of the area, and usually requires several sessions.

Until the advent of laser hair reduction, the only long-term hair removal option was electrolysis, which can be pricey, time-consuming and painful. The average upper lip needs 6 treatments (5 minutes each) to be lasered compared with roughly 20 sessions of electrolysis (15 minutes each).

Laser Hair Treatment
Revitol Hair Removal Cream works equally well on men and women; it is safe for use anywhere on the body and it only requires one simple application. It will be absorbed quickly and removed instantaneously. Click Revitol Hair Removal Cream

Testimonial Institute of Laser Medicine's patients, in Los Angeles

Lynne, age 43, Registered Nurse/ Nurse Educator:
"This treatment has been life changing for me. After three treatments and one follow-up after one year, my life-long facial hair problem is GONE! The virtually painless treatment and excellent staff have truly changed my life. Thank you!"

Silvia, age 43, General Manager
"The laser treatments have given me the freedom to not have to worry about constantly having to shave my legs. The best part is not dealing with rashes and irritations and ingrown hairs., My skin feels smooth and clean. The bikini line is also much improved since there is no irritation from shaving."
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