Effects of Laser Hair Removal

By: cynthia piper | Posted: 21st December 2010

All these years, women have had to put up with shaving, waxing, and plucking. The time for change has finally come, with laser hair removal. Discounts, usually offered by certain spas and salons, are not everything. People react differently to laser therapy, and seeing a dermatologist or plastic surgeon beforehand can save you a lot of grief.

For those with darker or tanned skin, these risks are increased. The only way to be sure of the doctor's findings is if he's handled cases with skin similar to yours. Laser hair removal works on any body part, from the face, back, shoulders, arms, legs to the bikini area. The light source penetrates the skin to disable the hair follicle in its growth phase.

Four to 10 treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart and depending on hair type and target area, are usually required, because at any one point hair strands are found in different phases. Fair skin with dark, coarse hair needs fewer treatments. With 90% of hair follicles in the target area out of the way, your treatments can come to an end. To eliminate the last 10%, all that is needed are additional treatments once every few years.

In some cases hair does grow back, but these are far thinner and are barely noticeable. Facial hair can also be eliminated, though this may be a bit more effort might be needed. With a prescription cream that slows the growth of facial hair, fewer laser treatments are needed to eliminate facial hair, as found by the American Academy of Dermatology.

Some pain comes with the territory, and it is said to feel like a rubber band snap. However, this is countered by numbing the skin with chilling the area or applying a topical anesthetic. There have been recent reports of side effects from topical anesthesia used over too large an area during laser hair removal, which is another important reason why you must be treated in a dermatologist or plastic surgeon's clinic.

Treatments range from minuets to hours, as needed by the size of the area. Typical cost for the procedure is $200 per treatment, or $1,200 for a series of treatments to clear one region. You will be given directions you need to follow before and after treatment.

Prohibitions include all forms of tanning thirty days prior to treatment. Proscribed are also tweezing, waxing, and electrolysis. It would not do to remove the hair in the follicle, which is the target of laser treatment. Only shaving is given an okay the day before, because it leaves a little hair behind in the follicle. Sun exposure is a big no-no post-treatment, because it leaves the skin particularly susceptible. Any venture outdoors requires putting on SPF30 sunscreen beforehand.

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Tags: growth phase, hair follicles, hair follicle, laser hair removal, bikini area, facial hair, laser treatments, target area, academy of dermatology, hair type, coarse hair, laser therapy, tanned skin, hair strands