Laser Hair Removal
Do your attempts to remove unwanted hair continually leave you with bumps, nicks, and burns? Does the aggravation of repeated shaving, tweezing, or waxing drive you crazy? If so, this may be an option worth considering.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
A medical procedure using a laser to remove unwanted hair. It has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, in most major cities like Las Vegas Nevada.
How does it work?
Uses beams of highly concentrated light to selectively penetrate into the hair follicles. The light is then absorbed by pigment in the hair follicles, destroying the hair within the follicle which inhibits future hair growth.
Although the treatment effectively slows hair growth, it doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. It typically takes several treatments to provide relief from unwanted hair. Periodic maintenance treatments might be needed as well.
Various types of lasers have been developed and are used. The most common of which are alexandrite, diode, neodymium YAG and intense pulsed light sources.
Is It Safe?
Used primarily to remove unwanted hair from the face, legs, underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini line. Lasers can selectively target hairs with great precision while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. Each pulse of the laser takes only a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time.
Although it’s possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area, laser hair removal isn’t recommended for the eyelid or surrounding area, due to the possibility of severe eye injury.
Preparation for Treatment
As with any medical procedure, this treatment should be performed by qualified personnel, such as a physician or physician’s assistant. Be wary of spas, salons or other facilities that allow non-medical personnel to perform this treatment.
Hair color and skin type influence the success of laser hair removal.
For example, this is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair because the laser beam targets the pigment (melanin) in the hair. However, advances in technology have made laser hair removal safe and effective for patients with darker skin and individuals of color.
Before laser hair removal, schedule a consultation with the doctor. The doctor will use this visit to:
- Review your medical history, including medication use.
- Discuss risks, benefits and expectations, including what laser hair removal can and can’t do for you.
- Discuss options and answer your questions about laser hair removal.
- Take photos to be used for before-and-after assessments and long term reviews.
- At the consultation, be sure to discuss a treatment plan and related costs. Laser hair removal is typically an out-of-pocket expense.
- The doctor will also offer specific guidelines to help you prepare for laser hair removal. For example:
- Stay out of the sun. Some doctors recommend staying out of the sun for up to six weeks before laser hair removal. A tan increases the risk of side effects, such as skin lightening. If you have a tan either from sun exposure or sunless tanning products wait until the tan fades completely before undergoing laser hair removal. Sun exposure decreases the effectiveness of laser hair removal and may increase the risk of complications following treatment.
- Avoid plucking, waxing and electrolysis. If you’re planning to undergo laser hair removal, you should avoid other hair removal methods such as plucking, waxing, and electrolysis which disturb the hair follicle and interfere with laser hair removal. Shaving is OK, since it preserves the hair shaft and follicle. Some studies suggest that shaving before laser hair removal may improve results.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Before laser hair removal, any hair in the treatment area will be trimmed, and the laser equipment will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of the hair being treated, as well as your skin color. The area to be treated should be clean and dry.
Appropriate eye protection is necessary to shield your eyes from the laser. During the procedure, a hand held laser will be pressed against your skin. Depending on the type of laser, a cooling device on the tip of the instrument or a cool gel might be used to protect your skin. A topical anesthetic may also be applied to your skin to reduce any discomfort during treatment.
Next, a laser pulse will be administered to the treatment area and the area observed for several minutes, checking for any adverse reactions and making sure the optimal parameters are being used before proceeding.
Once the doctor activates the laser, the beam targets the follicles where hair growth originates. The intense heat from the laser beam damages the hair follicles, which inhibits hair growth.
Treating a small area, such as the upper lip, might take only a few minutes. A larger area, such as the back, might take several hours.
After the Procedure
Upon completion of the laser hair removal process, you may be given ice packs, anti-inflammatory creams or lotions, or cold water to relieve any discomfort, swelling or redness after the procedure. Symptoms are normally temporary and typically disappear within a few hours.
Your doctor might also suggest an aloe gel or other type of cream or lotion, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers. If you have a skin reaction immediately after the procedure, the doctor might apply a steroid cream to the affected area.
Although it’s possible that it may darken or lighten the affected skin, this is usually only a temporary condition. In rare cases can cause blistering, crusting, scarring or other changes in skin texture. After treatment, avoid tanning beds and exposure to the sun, especially in hot areas like Las Vegas NV.
When your skin has healed, use sunscreen whenever you’re in the sun. Wearing sunscreen will help prevent temporary changes in the color of the treated skin.
Over the next month, the treated hair will fall out.
Results vary greatly from person to person. Since hair regrowth is still possible, multiple treatments may be necessary to prolong the duration of hair loss. For best results, you might need four to six treatments spaced a number of weeks apart.
Additional periodic maintenance treatments perhaps once every six to 12 months might be needed as well.
The cost of laser hair removal varies widely, depending on a number of factors, including:
• Size of the area being treated and time required for treatment
• Number of treatments required
• Whether a doctor or someone else is performing the procedure
• The part of the country where you are having the procedure
Because each person’s pattern of hair growth is unique, it is difficult to predict exactly how many treatments will be needed to completely get rid of unwanted hair or the exact cost of doing so. For a better idea of the cost for your particular hair problem, you should schedule a consultation with a doctor.