What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal gets rid of unwanted hair by exposing the hair to laser light that desolates the hair follicle. The lasers selectively target dark, coarse hair while leaving the skin unharmed. The pulse of the laser takes only a fraction of a second and treats several hairs at a time in an area about the size of a quarter. Smaller areas such as the upper lip can be treated in a matter of minutes whereas larger areas like the legs and back can take up to an hour.
Preparing for laser hair removal
Before the procedure do not pluck or wax the hair for six weeks. The laser targets the root of the hair and when you pluck and wax the root is temporarily gone. Also, try to limit your sun exposure for six weeks before surgery as well. The exposure to the sun makes the removal less effective and complications are more likely.
What to expect during laser hair removal
Before the procedure begins you will be prepped for the treatment. The unwanted hair will be trimmed down to a few millimeters above the surface of the skin. The laser itself will be adjusted to your skin color and hair type. The doctor will use a cold gel or a cooling device to protect the outer layers of the skin – this will also help the laser penetrate the skin.
After the procedure is complete, ice packs and anti-inflammatory lotions and gels will help with any discomfort. You will be able to come back in for the next treatment in about six weeks and can have as many sessions until the hair stops growing.
Benefits of laser hair removal
- Less shaving. After about your fifth treatment your hair growth has reduced 70-90% which can reduce shaving to approximately every six months. This is sometimes the equivalent of one full week of your year.
- Less ingrown hairs. The risk of getting an ingrown hair is reduced by 70-90% because you are shaving less.
- Softer and smoother skin. Even after the first treatment the hair is not as thick which means your skin is smoother and softer. When waxing, hair reappears after 2-3 days.
- Fewer blemishes. Many times after shaving people will develop skin rashes which can cause post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. This can leave scars and blemishes on the skin, but since you have to shave less often the risk of this occurring is reduced.
George Wooming, M.D. serves the Dallas area and is focused on educating people on Dermatology and Dermatologic issues, helping them stay beautiful! Contact us to make an appointment and learn more about laser hair removal.