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Laser vs. Electrolysis for PCOS Treatment

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Patients with PCOS often suffer from hirsutism or excess hair growth. This is usually caused by excess androgens stimulating the hair follicle. Until your PCOS is treated at the root, quite literally, no pun intended, hair growth will return. PCOS treatment at the root involves blocking testosterone directly at the receptor site with anti-androgen medications. Once your androgens return to a normal level for women, only then should you attempt permanent hair removal.

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Many patients ask which is better: shaving, waxing, plucking, laser, or electrolysis. The choices are endless and overwhelming.

The only FDA-approved permanent hair removal method is electrolysis. That’s right! Laser hair removal is not permanent, but it is trendy at the moment.

Electrolysis uses electrical current to destroy hair follicles. A very fine probe is inserted into each hair follicle as the electrical current is delivered to the root. The hair is thin and removed with tweezers. It is more suitable for small areas as it is time-consuming to target each individual hair.

Laser hair removal is the application of heat to destroy the hair follicle. It can reduce hair growth and is better suited for light skin with dark, coarse hairs as the darker hairs better absorb the light photons (2). However, it does carry with it the risk of paradoxical hypertrichosis. This is a response where the laser removes active hairs while triggering increased growth of new hairs for unknown reasons. We do know it is more likely to occur in women with PCOS or hormonal imbalances, as well as those with dark skin (1).

Plucking, pulling, or waxing hair can not only cause your body to release an inflammatory response and deliver androgens to the hair, causing increased growth, but it can also distort the hair follicle, making electrolysis less effective (3).

If you must reduce the appearance of the hair, shaving, and bleaching are preferred. Remember that shaving does not cause hair to darken, but it can create a blunt tip, which makes the hair more visible as it grows back in (4).

Alana Dzurek, a licensed electrologist with 28 years experience, has developed a new multi-probe galvanic electrolysis device that allows coverage of larger treatment areas in less time. This reduces your visits to monthly sessions. Her state of the art facility Beverly Hills Hair Free is located in Beverly Hills, CA as well as in Dallas, TX. Using the new multi probe method and reducing sessions to monthly means many patients in surrounding areas are comfortable traveling to Dallas or Beverly hills, since it’s only once a month.

Beverly Hills Hair Free in Dallas, TX, for an appointment visit their website https://beverlyhillshairfree.com/.

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If you are located in the Atlanta area or, even better yet, Decatur, GA, check out PCOS Specialized Electrologist Mariel LLoyd at https://barenohair.com/. Mariel offers single probe electrolysis, which generally requires biweekly sessions to start.

Schedule a PCOS Sisters Telehealth appointment to determine what treatment is right for you here. We are a PCOS specialized telehealth care clinic providing primary care and PCOS treatment for women throughout Florida, Georgia, Texas, & New York. PCOS Sisters Treatment Program is derived from peer reviewed research and evidence based practice methods delivered by Nurse Practitioners.

Local offices:

Jacksonville, FL  

Atlanta, GA 

Houston, TX

Orlando, FL 

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/41138588_Paradoxical_Hypertrichosis_After_Laser_Therapy_A_Review
  2. Gacaferri Lumezi B, Goci A, Lokaj V, et al. Mixed form of hirsutism in adolescent females and laser therapy. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014;16(6). doi:10.5812/ircmj.9410
  3. https://electrologyworksnow.com/2022/09/10/to-pluck-or-not-to-pluck-how-tweezing-hair-can-damage-your-skin-and-worsen-your-hair-problem/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/hair-removal/faq-20058427#:~:text=No%20%E2%80%94%20shaving%20hair%20doesn’t,time%20as%20it%20grows%20out.
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