Laser hair removal is a quick, non-invasive way to permanently reduce unwanted hair. It is a common, quick, and safe procedure. A variety of lasers have been FDA-approved for hair reduction.
The area to be treated is cleansed and shaved. A topical numbing cream may be applied. The technician scans the treatment area with the laser, which emits a specific wavelength that passes harmlessly through the skin and into the hair follicle. The follicle is heated and damaged, putting an end to hair growth.
Hair growth can only be affected during the growth cycle. Several sessions are required to destroy all hair follicles.
You may experience stinging, mild swelling and pigmentation changes immediately after treatment. These effects are temporary, as are the rare appearance of blisters and lesions. Scarring and the activation of viral infections, such as herpes and shingles, may occur if you are already predisposed. For this reason, you must give a complete medical history before treatment.
No, you may return to your normal routine immediately.
Laser hair removal is fast and has long term and in some cases permanent results. Other hair reduction methods must either be done often or hair by hair.
The area may be red and swollen immediately after treatment. You can return to your normal schedule, but avoid the sun and use sunscreen. Over the next few weeks, your hair will appear to grow as it falls out.
Results are revealed as your hair goes through its normal cycles. By six months, you should have an idea of how much hair has been reduced.
The procedure may take anywhere from minutes to hours depending on the size of the area to be treated.
Laser hair removal works best on those with darker hair than skin tone.
With the newest lasers, individuals of all skin and hair types can be treated. The hair must be darker than the skin.
If you have a history of keloid formation, excessive scarring, or poor healing, you may not be right for this treatment. Tattoos and permanent makeup can be altered by laser hair removal. This treatment cannot be performed in areas with open sores, lesions, or infections.
Patients usually experience mild pain which can be followed by several hours of a sunburn-like sensation.
Results vary from person to person. Permanent reduction is common but cannot be guaranteed.
Avoid Accutane® for six months before treatment, and avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and Retin-A® for three weeks before treatment. You should not tan (sunless or otherwise) or use any method of hair removal besides shaving for six weeks prior to your session.
Keep the area clean and dry. For the first few days, do not scrub or irritate the skin with heavy creams, chemicals, lotions, or sun exposure. Use sunscreen with SPF 45 or greater. Apply moisturizers, cold compresses, or over-the-counter steroid creams at your discretion. Contact your physician if you develop blisters, scabbing, or signs of infection. Your hair will still appear to grow for two or three weeks as it falls out. Additional treatments can be performed until you achieve the desired results.