Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to remove unwanted hair.
During laser hair removal, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair.
The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.
Although laser hair removal effectively delays hair growth for long periods, it usually doesn’t result in permanent hair removal.
Multiple laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments might be needed as well.
Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair, but it can be successfully used on all skin types.
Why is it done?
Unwanted hair can be reduced via laser hair removal. Legs, armpits, the upper lip, the chin, and the bikini line are among the common areas treated.
With the exception of the eyelid or vicinity, it is possible to cure undesirable hair in almost any place. Tattooed skin also shouldn’t be treated.
The effectiveness of laser hair removal is influenced by skin type and hair color. The fundamental idea is that light should be absorbed by the pigment in hair but not by the pigment in skin.
The skin shouldn’t be harmed by the laser, which should only harm the hair follicles.
The best results are obtained by having black hair and pale skin, which contrasts with each other.
The likelihood of adverse reactions varies depending on the patient’s skin type, hair color, treatment strategy, and adherence to pre- and post-treatment care.
The most frequent negative effects of laser hair removal are as follows:
irritated skin. Following laser hair removal, temporary discomfort, redness, and swelling are possible. Symptoms and indications usually go away within a few hours.
Color shifts. The afflicted skin may become darker or lighter after laser hair removal.
These modifications could be short-term or long-term. Those with darker complexion and those who don’t avoid sun exposure before or after treatment are most at risk for skin whitening.
Rarely, laser hair removal might alter the texture of the skin by causing blistering, crusting, scarring, or other problems.
Graying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated regions are other uncommon side effects, especially on darker-skinned people.
Choose a physician who is board certified in a specialty such as dermatology or cosmetic surgery and has expertise performing laser hair removal on your skin type if you’re interested in the procedure.
Make sure a doctor supervises and is on-site throughout the treatments if a physician assistant or registered nurse will do the procedure.
Be wary of spas, salons, and other establishments that employ non-medical staff to perform laser hair removal.
Before undergoing laser hair removal, make an appointment for a consultation with the doctor to ascertain whether this is the best course of action for you. Probably what your doctor will do is:
Examine your medical background, paying particular attention to any drug usage, history of skin conditions or scarring, and previous hair removal techniques.
Talk about the potential dangers, rewards, and expectations, as well as what laser hair removal can and cannot accomplish for you.
Capture pictures for long-term evaluations and before-and-after comparisons.
Discuss a treatment plan and associated charges during the appointment. The cost of laser hair removal is typically borne by the patient.
Also, the doctor will provide detailed instructions on how to get ready for laser hair removal.
Making your skin lighter. Steer clear of any sunless skin care products that darken your skin. If you have a recent tan or darker skin, your doctor may also advise using a skin whitening cream.
Avoiding other hair removal techniques. The hair follicle should not be disturbed by electrolysis, waxing, or plucking for at least four weeks prior to treatment.
Staying away from drugs that thin the blood. Before the procedure, find out from your doctor which medications you should avoid, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Treatment area shaving. It is advised to trim and shave the day before laser therapy. It removes hair that is above the skin, which could cause surface skin.
What to anticipate
Two to six sessions are typically needed for laser hair removal. Depending on the location, a different amount of time will pass between treatments.
Depending on how quickly the hair grows, the treatment may need to be repeated after four to eight weeks on places like the upper lip.
The therapy may be repeated every 12 to 16 weeks on parts of the body where hair grows slowly, like the back.
You will put on specialized goggles for each treatment to shield your eyes from the laser beam. If necessary, a helper might reshape the area.
The doctor could administer a topical an aesthetic to your skin to decrease any discomfort during treatment.
Within the process
A handheld laser equipment will be applied to your skin by the doctor. Depending on the type of laser, your skin may be protected and the danger of side effects reduced by a cooling device on the instrument’s tip or a cold gel.
When the laser is turned on by the doctor, the laser beam will penetrate your skin and reach your hair follicles.
The hair follicles are damaged by the laser’s strong heat, which prevents hair growth.
The cooling device or gel may cause you to experience discomfort, such as a heated pinprick, and you’ll probably experience a feeling of coldness.
A small area, like the upper lip, might just require a few minutes of treatment. It could take longer than an hour to treat a larger area, such the back.
Following the procedure
After laser hair removal, you might experience redness and swelling during the first few hours.
Apply ice to the affected region to ease any pain. Then, the next day, the next day, the next day, the next day, the next day, the next day.
Avoid sunlight and tanning beds for six weeks after laser hair removal and in between appointments, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Your hair will gradually fall out over the course of a few days to a few weeks. This might appear to be ongoing hair growth.
Due to the fact that hair growth and loss cycle naturally, repeated treatments are frequently required. Laser treatment is most effective when applied to hair follicles that are just beginning to grow.
Outcomes vary widely and are challenging to forecast. The majority of people have hair removal that lasts several months, sometimes even years.
Laser hair removal, however, does not ensure complete hair removal. Hair that grows back is typically finer and lighter in color.
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