Hair Removal and Transplants: FSA Eligibility
What are hair removal and transplants?
Hair removal and transplants are cosmetic medical procedures and are therefore ineligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. In very limited circumstances, transplants for hair loss considered a deformity due to a medical condition could be eligilble with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN). Hair removal may be conducted through a variety of functions including electrolysis, waxing, sugaring, epilation, and threading. Electrolysis is a well-known permanent hair removal technique.
What are hair transplants?
Hair transplantation is a surgical technique. Hair transplantation involves moving hairs from a "donor site" to a part of the body where balding is occurring, usually on top of the head. The most common condition that hair transplants are used to treat is male pattern baldness (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Even though male pattern baldness is a medical condition, hair transplantation is a cosmetic procedure and is therefore ineligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
What is electrolysis?
Electrolysis is the act of removing a human hair through the use of a metal probe that does not puncture the skin, but merely enters the hair follicle. The probe delivers electricity to the follicle, causing localized damage that prevents hair regrowth. Various methods of electrolysis cause this damage in different ways via Emancipated Electrolysis:
Galvanic electrolysis delivers up to 3 milliamperes of electricity which creates sodium hydroxide at the site of the hair follicle.
Thermolysis hair removal is also known as radio frequency (RF), shortwave or diathermy. The probe is effectively a radio transmitter with an output of up to 8 watts at a specific frequency, which causes RF energy to emanate from the probe tip to the human tissue within about one millimeter. The hair cells are heated to between 118 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, preventing future hair growth.
The advantages of thermolysis and galvanic methods are combined by the "blend" method, which uses both technologies in the metal probe.