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Diode Laser Hair Removal at HOO Center for Dermatology

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been loyally going to HOO Center for Dermatology for the last 6 months.

I’m a fan of their no-nonsense take on offering you better skin and their investment in quality products and services for their clients.

Here’a a little bit more background about their clinics:

“First launched as House of Obagi in 2007, its promise was to transform skin in 6 1/2 weeks with its triple threat arsenal of prescription-strength Obagi Medical Products, Board-certified Dermatologists, and effective in-office treatments. Its main products, the Obagi Nu-Derm System, is known for addressing a wide range of skin concerns, trusted by 300,000 patients and 15,000 Dermatologists worldwide.

Today, it is known as HOO Center for Dermatology, a change of name that resulted in the broadening of its range of products and promise of results- credit this to HOO’s expert knowledge on skin treatments- branching out to a more comprehensive array of medical skin treatments using the latest lasers and machines, body contouring and weight management programs as well as plastic surgery procedures that enhance the face and body.” – (From the HOO website) 

Like their name states, they are distributors of top skincare line Obagi.  I’ve been a loyal fan of their foaming cleanser, toner, and matte sunblock for the last few months. I love products that do what they promise to do.

They’ve also recently formulated their own line with the same high standards but at a more affordable price point.

For the last few months, I have been trying a number of HOO services like their Genesis Laser (which you can read about here) and their skincare ranges. I’ve also been doing their Diode Laser hair removal for my underarms.

I recently asked HOO Alabang’s resident board certified dermatologist Dr. Charina Pelayo to share more about the process involved in having Diode Laser Hair Removal and why you should go for Diode instead of IPL. Here are her answers below, plus images of a treatment being done:

What exactly is a diode Laser?

A diode laser uses a semiconductor device to produce a coherent projection of light in the visible to infrared range. It uses a light beam with a narrow spectrum to target specific chromophores (i.e. melanin) in the skin. The 800nm diode laser wavelength offers the deepest penetration levels and superior melanin absorption. These unique characteristics make the diode laser the most suitable technology for laser hair removal, enabling safe and effective treatment of all skin and hair types, in all areas of the body.

Why is a diode laser more effective than an IPL laser for hair reduction?

The diode is a LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) machine which produces a single, concentrated wavelength of light. The diode precisely targets the melanin of your hair follicle, heating it up to disable its ability to grow, without affecting the surrounding skin.

IPL (Intense Pulse Light) on the other hand is not a laser. It’s a device that produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths of light that cannot be focused into a single beam. It’s like a “shotgun” approach to hair removal – because different wavelengths are dispersed at a variety of depths, only some of the light will be effectively absorbed by the hair follicle to achieve hair reduction. In addition, some of the dispersed light can be absorbed into the surrounding tissue as well, leading to possible heating of melanin present in the skin, thereby increasing the risk of burns for darker skin types.

The diode laser system therefore creates more heat directed at the hair follicle than IPL systems, hence achieving better results.

What areas for the body can be treated for hair reduction?

Laser hair removal systems can remove hair from any area of the body including the face, legs, arms, underarms and back. They can also treat sensitive areas like the areola and bikini area.

How many sessions on average will you need to be completely hair free?

We recommend that our clients undergo 6 to 10 treatments, with yearly touch-ups for new hair growth.

How much time should you have in between sessions

Between 4 to 6 weeks apart.

What possible side effects might happen?

Itching, redness and swelling of the hair follicles are to be expected after treatment. However, they rarely last more than 2 or 3 days. Being a LASER, burn is always a possible side effect which can be avoided by choosing the right treatment parameters.

Are there any individuals who should not have Diode laser hair removal?

Patients who have had prior problems with laser therapy should be carefully screened before treatment.

Treatment should not be attempted on patients:

* with a history of skin cancer or pre-cancerous lesions at the treatment area
* skin cancer
* dysplastic nevi
* tattoos
* significant concurrent conditions or any inflammatory skin conditions
* active cold sores , open lacerations or abrasions
* deep suntan, recent suntan, sunburn or artificially tanned skin.

Who are the best candidates for Diode laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is great for people who are fed up of using the short term hair removal methods (such as waxing and shaving) and who would prefer to have long term “hair free” results.

I’ve personally done 5 sessions of Diode Laser on my underarms and it’s has been nothing short of amazing. I have maybe 2 or 3 strands left per underarm at this time. This is what happens during the session.

(Photos are of a model getting her underarms treated)

The treatment starts with an inspection of remaining hair then shaving of the area. If you want to help the environment, I suggest bringing your own reusable razor so they don’t have to shave you one time then throw the razor away. Once shaved, a cooling gel is placed on the area to numb it.

The treatment then proceeds with the Diode laser while the gel is on the skin. Treatment feels like a rubber band slapping the skin or little ant bites. It is is certainly a little more uncomfortable when you still have a number of follicles to zap away. The more sessions you have, the more manageable it is.

Once all areas have been treated, the gel is wiped away. There is often a little redness, but nothing extremely unsightly.

The area is then iced before a calming cream is put. I honestly find the icing portion more uncomfortable than the laser. You are then advised not to wet the area for at least 5 hours. The whole session takes less than 30 minutes and you can then go through your day without any down time.

HOO Center for Dermatology often offers a number of skin care and hair removal packages throughout the year.

Learn more about HOO Center for Dermatology and book your first appointment through their 

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All You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Laser Genesis at HOO Center for Dermatology

As some of you may already know, for the last few months I have been working with Dr. Charina Pelayo of HOO Center for Dermatology to achieve healthier, glowing skin.

I have been religiously using their Obagi line (you can read my writeup on this here) and have also been subscribing to a Laser Genesis treatment once a month to help boost results.

I’m sure a number of you are curious about the Laser Genesis by Cutera and what exactly it can do for your skin. I asked Dr. Charina Pelayo to answer my own questions about the laser and perhaps they will answer yours as well!

What exactly is the Laser Genesis?
It is a non-ablative microsecond 1064 long-pulse Nd:YAG laser used mainly for skin rejuvenation.

Which company created it?
Cutera is a publicly listed company in the US that created the Laser Genesis, and is just one of its many innovations in the aesthetic laser industry. The company was founded in 1998 by veteran laser and optical engineers, and is known for being one of the leading manufacturers of aesthetic lasers. Their claims are backed up by numerous clinical studies under a highly proactive research and development team, who until now are developing laser applications that will deliver safe and effective treatments for the dermatologist to utilize on their patients all over the world.

What is the Laser Genesis best able to treat?
Enlarged pores
Uneven skin texture
Fine lines and wrinkles
Facial redness/Rosacea
Excess brown pigment (Melasma, Hyperpigmentation and Lightening of dark under eyes)
Hypertrophic Scar/Keloid/Red and brown stretch marks

How exactly does the Laser Genesis work?
Laser Genesis is a form of non-invasive laser therapy that uses laser technology to gently heat the upper part of the dermis. The laser pulses specifically target these 3 chromophores in our skin to effect improvement: WATER for skin rejuvination, HEMOGLOBIN for redness and PIGMENT for brown spots.

How does Laser Genesis compare to RevLite
These two lasers are usually compared by patients and doctors alike because they are both being advertised for skin rejuvenation. They are both 1064 Nd:YAG lasers, but the similarity stops there. Laser Genesis uses microsecond (1 millionth of a second) long-pulse photothermal energy to destroy its target chromophore, while RevLite uses nanosecond (1 billionth of a second) q-switch photoacoustic technology.

Laser Genesis is able to deliver repetitive high power micro-pulses and high-repetition photothermal energy or ‘bulk heating’ which is the principle being used to achieve skin tone and texture improvement, while still having some effect on pigment. RevLite on the other hand cannot achieve this bulk heating easily because instead it uses high-energy nano-second pulses to produce a ‘photomechanical’ effect that vibrates and shatters its target chromophore, which is mainly pigment.

Who are the best candidates for the Laser Genesis?
The best candidates for Laser Genesis are those who have mild to moderate skin texture problems like acne scars, chicken pox scars, traumatic scars, hypertrophic or keloidal scars and even red and brown stretch marks. If you would like to improve your skin’s tone and texture, lighten freckles and melasma, and minimize enlarged pores to achieve that “no make-up look”, then you could be a good candidate for this procedure too.

This same laser treatment may also be used for onychomycosis or nail fungal infections.

Who are not candidates for the Laser Genesis?
Those with Nevus of Ota and tattoo.

How soon do you see results after treatment?
After treatment, most patients notice that their skin has a brighter appearance with a light pink blush on the cheeks, just like when you wear light make-up. There is also a feeling of tightness because of the heat.

For skin texture and pigment improvement, you may see results immediately after, with further improvements seen in the next following weeks. For pore size and wrinkle reduction, you’ll start seeing results usually after 3 to 5 sessions. To achieve optimal results, a minimum of 6 sessions is advised.

How often should you have Genesis laser treatment for best results?
Every 2 to 4 weeks.

Are there possible side effects to using this laser that are worth mentioning?
Although most patients report a few if any side effects, the most common side effect is a slight pinkness or redness immediately after treatment, which typically disappears within 30minutes to an hour after the procedure. Being a LASER, burn is always a possible side effect because of the heat. But with cooling and the appropriate use of laser parameters together with observation of tissue-laser interaction, this side effect is often avoided.

I’ve personally done HOO’s Laser Genesis treatment twice and can vouch for its amazing effects. The laser itself is super pleasant to the skin, almost like someone lightly patting you with heat. As soon as the treatment is over, your skin looks a little flushed, like it’s glowing from within. A day or two later, there is minor flaking but this is just your old skin lifting to reveal a younger, more gorgeous you.

The great thing about Laser Genesis is that the results are long lasting. Three weeks into my treatment and I can still see my skin getting more even toned daily. I’m currently doing the Laser Genesis once a month and certainly plan to continue.

I’ve also personally tried Revlite in the past, and it did make me break out into little bumps and the results were not as gorgeous in the end. Between both lasers, the Laser Genesis is more expensive by a few thousand pesos per treatment, but it is worth it if you’re looking for a way to bring back your skin’s youthful glow.

Learn more about HOO Center for Dermatology and book your first appointment from their 

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My Amazing Skin Routine Thanks To HOO Center for Dermatology

Being a former beauty editor means that I receive a number of proposals from dermatologists and clinics to visit and try their treatments. But I’ve always been cautious about accepting because a face is nothing to “play” with. In the wrong hands, anti-aging can become downright scary and I’m not the type to be interested in anything invasive or permanent.

I’m so happy though I decided to accept the proposal of Paula from HOO Center for Dermatology to learn more about their clinics and revisit the Obagi line. HOO has been around for 10 years, quietly offering quality skincare treatments without any major promotions or celebrity endorsers. I recently mentioned to a cousin of mine that I visited HOO and she told me that she’s been going to them for over 5 years already! No wonder she always has beautiful skin.

Here’s a bit more about HOO Center for Dermatology from their website:

” First launched as House of Obagi in 2007, its promise was to transform skin in 6 1/2 weeks with its triple threat arsenal of prescription-strength Obagi Medical Products, Board-certified Dermatologists, and effective in-office treatments. Its main products, the Obagi Nu-Derm System, is known for addressing a wide range of skin concerns, trusted by 300,000 patients and 15,000 Dermatologists worldwide.

Today, it is known as HOO Center for Dermatology, a change of name that resulted in the broadening of its range of products and promise of results- credit this to HOO’s expert knowledge on skin treatments- branching out to a more comprehensive array of medical skin treatments using the latest lasers and machines, body contouring and weight management programs as well as plastic surgery procedures that enhance the face and body.” 

Dr. Charina Pelayo suggested I start an Obagi routine to help keep my skin even-toned and healthy and the results have been amazing. “Whatever it is you’ve been doing, keep doing it,” said my husband. I’ve been receiving compliments left and right on how my skin has been glowing and all around looking healthier. I have been using these five products for almost 2 months now and I plan to continue till I can’t. I don’t say this often, but the results have been speaking for themselves.

Step 1: Obagi Gentle Cleanser (AM& PM): This foaming cleanser is so concentrated that you need just a little to get a good lather going. It clears of grime, makeup, and dry skin super well too.

Step 2: Obagi Toner (AM & PM): This toner doesn’t sting and gently helps make the skin ready for your treatments by balancing its PH level.

Step 3: Obagi C Clarifying Serum (AM & PM): Just  5-7 drops spread evenly on the face and neck are all you need to give your skin extra sun protection, and promote collagen growth while fading dark spots. I like how this serum is non-greasy making it easily absorbed both morning and night.

Step 4: TR Complex (PM): This 0.1% Tretinoin Cream is used every other night to help build collagen and promote skin cellular turn over. I have to admit that this took getting used to with my skin flaking quite a bit initially. But then I was left with much nicer skin after and I can’t look back.

Step 5: Sun Shield Matte SPF 50 (AM): This has become my gold standard in sunscreen. It is light, non-greasy, doesn’t leave a whitish cast and has no fragrance. It’s sun protection perfection in a bottle.

Convinced? Learn more about HOO Center for Dermatology and book your first appointment from their 

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