If you’re sick of ingrown hair, visible stubble, nicking your skin with razors, the pain or embarrassment of waxing, or simply exhausted from having to shave or wax all the time, you’ve probably thought about laser hair removal. Looking at the procedure from a distance, it appears simple. Spot a clinic where the procedure is done, sign up yourself and pick up an appointment. Reach the treatment centre on the date and let the beautician or the dermatologist do what you have requested for. Timeout! Is that really that simple and safe? Are all claims actually true?
Partially Yes, and there are several other important things you should know too about what the procedure involves, how to do it right, and to evaluate whether laser hair removal really is worth it for you.
It’s Not Really Permanent
Laser hair removal involves passing a laser beam through the skin to individual hair follicles and damaging them with the intense heat, which is meant to prevent the follicles from producing future hair growth. Laser will slow hair re-growth, but since hair grows in phases, it takes several treatments to achieve an extended period of no hair growth.
The amount of hair that laser hair removal can effectively remove depends on the area of the body—whether skin is thick or thin. Thin-skinned areas, such as underarms and the bikini area, are ideal for laser hair removal, while thick-skinned areas, like the back and chin, are a little less responsive to treatment.
Does Hair & Skin Colour Matter?
Hair and skin colour absolutely matter when it comes to removing hair because the lasers target pigment. The laser works best for people with light skin and dark hair because dark hair colour easily stands out against light skin, and thus the laser can more effectively target it.
Is it a single sitting treatment?
Laser hair removal is not a one-shot procedure-multiple treatments are required to achieve optimal results. Then, as hair begins to re-grow over time, you’ll need to get additional touch up procedures.
Is this a painful procedure?
Yes, it hurts. But most patients tolerate it well. This also varies from person to person. A person with darker skin will absorb more of the energy from the laser, which can add to discomfort. The degree of discomfort will also correlate to destiny of hair in the area being treated.
Be fussy with Where You Go
Just like other cosmetic procedures, before you sign yourself up to go under the laser you should first make sure the procedure is being performed by a qualified physician or aesthetician supervised by a physician. Severe burns are common injuries suffered during this treatment. Once you are satisfied with the physician, discuss your skin and hair type and understand what kind of laser will he be using.
Understanding the side effects
As great as laser hair removal may seem, as with any dermatologic procedure, there are side effects. Most commonly, patients will experience discomfort, itching, swelling and a slight redness in the area for a couple days after the procedure. You may also experience acne and skin discoloration (like darkening or lightening, particularly if you have tan or dark skin).
In more severe case, patients may experience blistering, bacterial infections.
What is expected before, during and after Laser Hair Removal
1. You should also avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and after treatment. Sun exposure makes laser hair removal less effective and makes complications after treatment more likely.
2. Depending on the laser or light source used, you will need to wear appropriate eye protection. Also the outer layer of your skin needs to be protected with cold gel or special cooling device.
3. Wash the treated area and pat dry for 3 days after treatment.
4. Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin.
Taking into consideration all facets, it can be summarized that Laser Hair removal is safe but like all treatments, it too has risk involved. Think and act wisely.