Laser hair removal is a great, long-term solution to unwanted hair. Unlike most hair removal techniques which are not permanent and require frequent grooming, laser hair removal (or LHR) is a fast, gentle and lasting way to remove unsightly and embarrassing hair from almost any part of the body.
The most commonly treated areas with Laser Hair Removal in women include:
- Bikini line
- Tummy line
How Laser Hair Removal Works
LHR works by using an intense, pulsating beam of light – a laser – to penetrate the skin and heat the follicles from which hairs grow. The intense heat of the laser prevent future hair growth by damaging the follicles. Because the laser targets melanin, a hormone which causes pigmentation, it is most effective on those with light skin and dark hair.
During the procedure your doctor will press a hand-held laser device to your skin. Depending on the type of device used, cooling gel may be used to protect the skin from the intense heat. When activated, patients may feel some slight discomfort in the skin but treatment is not painful. The amount of time a treatment will take depends entirely on the size of the area to be treated. Small areas take only moments and large areas, like entire backs, taking several hours.
Before your Treatment
As having a tan increases the risk of side effects such as skin lightening, it is recommended that patients let their tans fade before undergoing laser hair removal. The tan should fade completely before undergoing treatment and patients are advised to stay out of the sun for 6 weeks before their treatment.
It is also important to avoid plucking, waxing, and electrolysis as these treatments can cause damage to hair follicles which interferes with LHR. Your doctor may recommend that you shave instead during this time as some studies have suggested that it can improve results in certain cases.
Schedule a consultation with a cosmetic doctor in your area in order to review your medical history and medication use and discuss the risks, benefits, and expectations involved in the process. At this time you can ask any questions you may have as well as getting an outline for your treatment plan.
After the Procedure
Some patients may notice redness or slight swelling in the treated area for a few hours following treatment. If so, you may apply ice to the area in order to reduce discomfort. Your doctor may recommend an aloe gel to soothe the skin as well as over-the-counter pain medication if necessary.
It is important to avoid sun exposure while the skin is still sensitive, and both natural sunlight as well as tanning beds should be avoided until healed. Even once you have healed, it is highly recommended to use sunscreen at all times in the sun.
Recovery & Results
Recovery from laser hair removal is quick and often completely painless. A series of treatments are usually required in order to achieve permanent and lasting results. This will vary greatly from person to person but most patients will require 4-6 treatments spaced a number of weeks apart in order to achieve best results.
I am Kelly Brown, a medical student who is fanatical about exploring new ideas in the health industry. I am currently an intern at the Cosmedical Rejuvenation Centre in Ontario. It has been my greatest dream and a wish made over the shooting star to be a doctor someday and I can’t explain my joy as I am getting closer to achieving my goal. I love the way plastic surgery transforms a person into something that he/she has been wishing to be like.
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