What You Need to Know about Laser Hair Removal

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Laser treatment has become the gold standard for hair removal. It is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the U.S. If waxing, tweezing, and shaving leave you wanting better results from your hair removal routine, consider laser hair removal. The tips and information provided below can help you determine if laser hair removal is right for you.

How does it work?

Advanced laser technologies use light beams to target melanin in the hair follicle. Light is attracted to and absorbed by the dark matter, the melanin, which gives the hair its color. The heat from the laser disables the hair follicle at the root, hindering further hair growth. Unlike electrolysis where each hair follicle must be injected with a needle, laser treatments can treat many hair follicles at one time.

Am I an appropriate candidate?

Laser treatments can remove hair from just about any area of the body. It is commonly performed to remove hair from the legs, back, armpits, bikini area, and the face, except for the eyelids. Since the lasers target the dark melanin, the most appropriate candidates are those with light skin wanting to remove dark hair. Individuals with dark melanin should talk with the physician about the options available to them since continuing advances in laser technologies have shown good results for many patients with dark melanin.

How can I prepare for laser hair removal?

If you are considering laser treatment for hair removal it is important to find a licensed medical doctor such as a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with laser treatment experience to handle your case. The treatment itself may be performed by a nurse or other qualified aesthetician in the doctor’s office but the doctor will ultimately be responsible for overseeing your care and treatment. Be wary of spas and other treatment centers performing laser treatments that are not under the direction of a licensed medical doctor. Laser treatments are medical techniques which require skill and optimal equipment. To ensure the best results and to limit your risks of side effects, look for a doctor’s office where laser treatments are regularly performed and where you can get all of your questions answered in an initial consultation before you commit to any treatment. During the initial consultation, ask your aesthetician for his or her preparation requirements such as avoiding the sun or tanning bed exposure prior to treatment.

What can I expect during treatment?

Laser treatments are virtually painless. During the procedure a topical cream is used to anesthetize the treated areas to reduce any discomfort. Sessions for smaller areas of hair removal such as on the face and under the arms can easily be completed on a lunch break. Larger areas such as the legs and back may take a little longer but can usually still be completed in a about an hour. For most individuals, an average of six treatment sessions spaced a few weeks apart is all that is needed to achieve maximum results.

What are the potential side effects?

Laser treatment for hair removal is a safe, effective, and easy way to get the smooth skin you desire. Yet like all medical procedures there are some risks and potential side effects. The most common side effects are redness and swelling following treatment. This usually subsides after a few hours and can be managed with an ice pack. Other side effects may include temporary skin discoloration and the production of more hair growth. That is why it is important to seek treatment under the care of a licensed medical doctor with years of experience in laser procedures. This will ensure that you are treated with the right laser and the right settings unique to your skin and hair tones.

What are the general results of laser hair removal?

After your first treatment session you will begin to see the results. By your final treatment session you will be enjoying smooth stubble free skin with no more worries about waxing, tweezing, or shaving.

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