Shaving, tweezing and waxing are common do-it-yourself ways to remove unsightly body hair. Problem is, these methods of hair removal can also sting, while causing skin rashes, nicks and painful cuts – even infection, if you’re not careful.
So if you’re fed up with the discomfort and ongoing hassle, laser hair removal might be your solution.
Laser hair removal is among the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States. Dermatologists for years have been using laser light to help patients eliminate unwanted hair. The result? Improvements in skin appearance and self-esteem.
A laser beam delivers concentrated light into hair follicles. Skin pigment in the follicles absorbs the light, which destroys the targeted hair.
Laser light can be used to remove unwanted hair from almost any part of your body, including the face, legs, chin, back, arms, underarms, along the bikini line, as well as other areas.
The beauty of laser hair removal is that the procedure targets specific areas with high precision, while leaving your surrounding skin undamaged. It’s fast and virtually painless. Most patients report, at most, a slight tingle.
Another benefit is there’s no long-term commitment. After three to seven sessions the unwanted hair is nearly eliminated in most cases.
As with nearly all medical procedures, laser hair removal requires training, skill and experience to perform effectively. You’ll want to check out the credentials of the dermatologist or aesthetics technician. How long have they been practicing this procedure? What is their success rate? Any patient testimonials you can review?
Once you’ve selected a dermatologist, had your consultation and received answers to all your questions, you’re almost ready.
At least six weeks before a treatment, you should avoid plucking, waxing, and electrolysis. The laser your dermatologist will use is designed to target the hair roots, which are temporarily removed by waxing or plucking. If the laser light cannot beam on the root, chances are the hair is just going to grow back.
Also, take a break from sunbathing for about six weeks before (and after) a laser hair removal treatment. This is because the sun’s UV rays affect your skin pigment, making it more difficult for the laser treatment to work. Sun exposure also increases the chance of complications. Sunburned skin, especially, may feel more painful if you’ve also had laser hair removal treatments.
During your appointment, your laser technician will usually trim the hair around the treated area so the laser can more effectively reach the follicle and root. A topical numbing cream will usually be applied to your skin around the treatment area about half an hour before the procedure begins. This helps reduce any discomfort from the pulsing laser light. Sometimes a cool gel will need to be applied. This helps the laser light penetrate through the skin to the hair root.
Adjustments to the laser will be made to customize treatment to your skin color, as well as the color, thickness, and location of the hair being removed.
When all is ready, your dermatologist will pulse the laser light over the treatment area, then observe the skin’s surface for a few minutes to see if any adjustments should be made.
Afterward, you may receive an ice pack and possibly an anti-inflammatory ointment to reduce any discomfort.
Permanent removal of unwanted hair may require anywhere from three to seven or more treatments until the hair growth stops.
Expect that the treated area will feel sunburned for perhaps up to 48 hours. Your dermatologist may recommend a good moisturizer, including aloe-based products, as well as a cold compress to relieve any discomfort.
Within three to four weeks the hair on the treated area will fall out. During this time and for a week or two afterward, wearing sunscreen will help prevent any skin discoloration, which is temporary.
In rare cases, mainly among patients with dark skin, there may be blistering around the treated area. Swelling, redness, and scarring may also occur, although these conditions are rare.
If you have concerns about any skin condition, including unwanted hair, and need dependable answers fast, you don’t have to wonder, worry or wait. Walk-in Dermatology is here to keep you healthy. Our team of dermatologists and experienced healthcare staff will address your concerns and provide the necessary care for all your skin conditions. We can set up a Video Visit and even prescribe medications remotely, or you can schedule an appointment with us online. The choice is yours. But don’t wait until the problem gets worse. Contact us today.