Podiatry Practice in Algonquin, IL, and Woodstock, IL, Now Provides Hair-Removal Procedures.  Dr. Kevin Gavin Explains Why All Lasers Used For Hair Removal Are Not Created Equal.

Toe hair is a common. On men, obviously. But also on women.

While men normally don’t care about the hair on their toes, women tend to dislike it (particularly when they want to wear open-toe sandals or shoes revealing their toes) and therefore take to shaving it off whenever it comes up.

If you are sick of shaving your toes, and want beautiful, hair-free toes instead, laser hair-removal could be the perfect solution.

Now, if you have heard any terrible stories about laser hair-removal, either from friends or on TV, we can assure you: those are the results of OTHER lasers. Our laser is fundamentally different from (and altogether superior to) the other lasers you are going to find out there.

Proper hair removal comes down to using the appropriate laser for the job.

Removing hair effectively requires the same kind of laser necessary for the best spider vein removal treatments, and for the same reasons. The right kind of laser will get the job done and will prove entirely safe. The wrong kind of laser can leave you with horrible results and can even cause pain and scabbing.

But no worries.

We have the right kind of laser for these treatments. We have the safest laser for these treatments.

And what makes it the right laser (and the safest laser) comes down to the physics and optics at work in the laser itself.

In our article on vein-removal treatments, we discuss at length the science behind the Fotona Nd:YAG laser, explaining, in part, why the 1064nm wavelength is able to pass through the skin, ignoring skin pigment and hair pigment entirely — targeting, instead, the hemoglobin at the follicle itself. Most lasers simply cannot effectively penetrate the skin, reach the follicle, and deliver the heat directly to the blood supply there, killing the hair follicle permanently. Instead, most lasers target melanin (the pigment in your skin and hair) and build up too much heat on the skin before even reaching the follicle, which often results in burns, scorching, and (obviously) pain.

The Fotona laser is entirely different. By passing through the skin and targeting the hemoglobin at the follicle, the Fotona laser causes no burning, and minimal if any discomfort at all. (Only upon the most sensitive areas would you normally feel any discomfort during a Fotona laser hair-removal procedure, and even then it is quite mild because of the system we have and the way we conduct our procedures.)

Now, let’s say you wanted the hair off of your toes so you would never have to shave them again.

How many hair-removal procedures will it take to get rid of your toe hair so that it never comes back?

Answer: It depends. Unfortunately, there is no magic number of treatments. (And you should be very skeptical of anyone who promises you “permanent hair loss in 3 treatments.” Even if they say 5 treatments, or 6 treatments, or even 10 treatments.) The fact is, everyone has a different number of active follicles, and everyone has a different time line for the way they grow. We will customize a plan specifically for you and your body. We can say this, however: Realistically this is going to take about one year to get the job done entirely. And here's why: Hair follicles activate in cycles (or "Crops") about 7 to 10 weeks apart, and for most people it takes knocking out about a year of cycle to eliminate the entire range of active hair follicles.

Because here is the thing. You can only eliminate follicles that are active and in the growth stage. One those are destroyed, they are eliminated forever. But when the next crop of hair wakes up and switches into its growth stage, you'll need to knock those out. Then that set of follicles is destroyed forever. And every 7 to 10 weeks, depending on your body, you can expect to see another crop come along into its active phase. Over the course of about a year we will eliminate each successive crop, leaving you, in the end, with all of the crops destroyed and without any need to shave again.

Here are a few common questions we run into when it comes to hair removal:

Q: Does the color of my skin matter? And what if I have a tan?

A: Since the Fotona 1064nm wavelength passes through the skin ignoring melanin, your skin type doesn't matter, and having a tan doesn't matter.

Q: Does the color of my skin matter? And what if I have a tan?

A: Unfortunately, it might. Even though the Fotona ignores melanin, there is just something about white, nearly white blonde, light gray, and perfect red hair that thwarts all lasers in their attempt to get rid of it. It has to do with some combination of factors, likely involving the reflectiveness and weaker blood supply in those follicles, which makes those hair colors resistant to laser removal. There’s no simple explanation for it. So if you have white or nearly white hair, or very light gray hair, or perfectly red hair, you might not be able to address it through any procedure short of electrology.

Q: Will the procedure be painful?

A: No, not particularly so, especially not on the toes. Treating all 10 toes only takes five to ten minutes, and the tops of the toes aren’t all that sensitive to begin with. What’s more, we have a special procedure that makes it more comfortable. It’s not a big deal at all. The results are a big deal!

Q: Do I need to do anything special in preparation for the treatment, or anything afterward?

A: You should certainly shave the hair on your toes before coming in, and it is a good idea to remove all of your toenail polish as well. After the treatment, over the course of 3 to 10 days, the dead hair follicles will shed out naturally (mainly in the shower or in your socks or in bed at night). In 7 to 10 weeks, you will want to set up your next appointment, once you see the NEXT crop of hair beginning to come in. If a new crop hasn’t begun to grow, it’s too soon. If you wait too long after it has been growing, however, you might miss that one and only catch the next. So you will want to stay on target with your toe hair removal schedule of procedures. Expect every 8 weeks (give or take a week or two), and catch every new crop as it comes up. After about a year of catching them, you will have caught them all. After that, the only way new hair would begin to grow would likely be through some significant hormonal shift (perhaps in pregnancy or at menopause). At that point you would take care of those new crops, and be done with it again.

If you would like to look into having the hair removed from your toes, don’t trust the procedure to an inferior laser (or an insufficiently trained laser operator). We can take care of you right here in our office, using the finest laser in the industry, with the safest possible procedures, achieving the greatest results in the fewest number of treatments.

Call us today or fill out our short Request an Appointment form (you can find the link at the top of this page) to set up your first consultation or arrange your first session.

Stop worrying about toe hair.

Come in to visit us and let a trained professional, equipped with the best laser on the market, at the office of Dr. Kevin Gavin, of Algonquin, IL, and Woodstock, IL, help you take care of the hair on your toes for good.

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