Everything about Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a commonly performed cosmetic procedure that gives better alternative for tweezing, shaving and waxing for the removal of unwanted hair.

It works by using lasers, that is, by focusing amplified light beam concentrating it on the hair follicles. This makes the pigment in the hair to absorb the light, which in turn destroys the hair.

Laser hair removal benefits

Speed: The laser beam pulse takes negligible time which can treat many hairs simultaneously. Unbelievably, the area about the size of a quarter can be treated each second. Large areas, such as legs or back, may take about an hour, while smaller areas like upper lip can take less than a minute.

Precision: The laser beam can selectively target coarse and dark hairs without damaging the surrounding skin.

Predictability: After 3 to 5 sessions, 90% patients have permanent hair loss.

Lasers are beneficial to remove unwanted hair from the face, arms and underarms,, bikini line, legs, and other areas.

Preparing for laser hair removal

It is important to understand that laser hair removal is a medical procedure that can have complication and carries risks if carried out with untrained hands. Hence, it becomes important to check for the person who performs the procedure before going for it.

If you plan to undergo laser hair removal:

1. You should reduce waxing, plucking and electrolysis for at least 6 weeks prior to treatment. The reason for this is that these processes temporarily remove the hair's root that is targeted by the laser.
2. Avoid sun exposure for 6 weeks prior and post after treatment, otherwise the results will become less effective, with more changes of complications after treatment.

The process of laser hair removal

The hair in the area to be treated is trimmed down, and the laser equipment is calibrated to the thickness and color of the hair and skin to be treated. A cold gel (or special cooling device) is applied to protect the outer layers of the skin.

After this, a single shot of laser light is given, and watch for a few minutes to check for proper calibration of machine, and any adverse reaction.

After treatment, ice packs (or cold water) are given, along with anti-inflammatory creams or lotions. The next treatment can be scheduled after 4 to 6 weeks. Treatments are continued until the hairs stop growing. Initially, the treated skin would look sunburnt, though blisters are rare.

Some normal side effects may occur after laser hair removal treatments, including itching, pink skin, redness, and swelling around the treatment area or swelling of the follicles (follicular edema). These side effects rarely last more than two or three days. The two most common serious side effects are acne and skin discoloration.

Numbing creams used in laser hair removal

During treatment, the person will experience some level of pain. And because of this numbing creams are available, often with an added cost. Using strong numbing creams over large skin areas being treated at one time should be avoided, as it can seriously harmed or even kill the patient. Some numbing creams are available over the counter.

They should be typically applied 30 minutes before the treatment procedure.

Cost of laser hair removal

It typically takes about 3 to 5 sittings to complete the treatment procedure, with each sitting costing about $450.

Hair removal laser device for home use

With advancing technology, laser devices for hair removal are now available for home use. They are usually cleared by FDA for home use. It also yields permanent results by disabling the hair follicle using the same diode laser technology preferred by dermatologists. Cost of such laser devices for home use may range from $450 to $500.

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