Laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic medical procedures in the United States. It involves using an intense pulsating beam of light called a laser in order to remove unwanted hair from a variety of body areas. During the laser hair removal process, the laser beam effectively penetrates through the epidermis of the skin to each individual hair follicle. As the rays of powerful heat damage the follicle, it inhibits hair growth in the treated area for a long period of time.
Although laser hair removal is usually effective at slowing the growth of hair, there is no guarantee that the removal will be long-lasting or permanent. In most cases, several treatments are necessary for the best results and routine maintenance may be needed for certain individuals to stay hair-free.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is particularly popular for slowing hair growth on the legs, bikini area, underarms, upper lip, and chin. For men and women who are tired of endless shaving or painful waxing treatments, laser hair removal offers a relatively effective method for removing unwanted hair from nearly any body part, with the exception of the eyelids or surrounding vicinity. Even if some hairs are resistant to the treatment, the newer hair growths will be considerably finer and lighter in color for easier removal.
Unlike the unsightly red bumps that can develop from shaving, lasers are extremely selective to the hairs and are efficient at leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. In addition, laser hair removal comes with the benefit of speed, since the laser can easily treat an area about the size of a quarter each second. Although large areas may take up to an hour, smaller body areas can be treated in a minute or less.
Laser hair removal is a relatively safe procedure, but it is not uncommon for certain patients to experience negative side effects. Immediately following the treatment, some patients report feeling minimal discomfort, swelling, and redness in the treated area. These skin irritation symptoms normally disappear gradually within the course of a few hours. Doctors will suggest that patients with skin that appears sunburned after the procedure use cold compresses or moisturizers to relieve the discomfort.
Furthermore, some patients experience the temporary darkening or lightening of the affected skin, especially if the operator performing the procedure used the wrong laser in an incorrect setting for their skin type. In rare circumstances, laser hair removal can cause scarring, crusting, blistering, or other more severe skin changes. This is why it is important to go to a facility under the direct supervision of a physician trained in laser techniques as opposed to a technician at a medispa.
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How to Prepare for the Procedure
If you are interested in undergoing the laser hair removal treatment, it is essential that you consult with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with extensive experience in the procedure. It is recommended that you beware non-medical personnel who advertise laser hair removal in spas, salons, or other facilities because the treatment is intended to be conducted by a professional doctor. During the consultation, be sure to review your medical history, discuss your expectations, and the related costs that will usually be out-of-pocket expenses.
Along with the tips provided by your doctor, make sure you avoid any hair removal methods that could disturb the hair follicle before the procedure. Shaving is normally allowed because it preserves the hair follicle but refrain from plucking, waxing, and any form of electrolysis. In fact, your doctor might suggest shaving before the treatment, since some research indicates that shaving will improve the end results. For up to six weeks before the laser hair removal, it is suggested that you avoid exposure to the sun and sunless tanning products that will increase negative side effects.
Request Your Consultation
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