Page 1 of 2
Laser hair removal is your answer to getting rid of that unwanted hair, wherever it may be. Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses laser light — an intense, pulsating beam of light — to remove unwanted hair. Laser hair removal works by passing a light beam through the skin. The virtue of laser hair removal is now generally accepted in the dermatology community, and laser hair removal is widely practiced. Both men and women seek laser hair removal services to have unwanted hair removed. Laser hair removal has become extremely popular because of its speed and efficiency, although some of the efficiency is dependent upon the skill and experience of the laser operator, and the choice and availability of different laser technology at the clinic which is performing the procedure.
Lasers can cause localized damage by selectively heating dark target matter, in the area that causes hair growth, (the follicle), while not heating the rest of the skin. Because of the selective absorption of photons of laser light, only black or brown hair can be removed. Several wavelengths of laser energy have been used for hair removal, from visible light to near-infrared radiation. However, shorter wavelengths may be more effective in removing hair. Multiple treatments, usually 3-8, have been shown in numerous studies to provide long-term reduction of hair. The number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the area of the body treated, skin color, coarseness of hair, and gender. In addition, since hair grows in several phases, (anagen, telogen, catagen), and laser can only affect the currently actively growing follicles, (anagen), several sessions are needed to kill hair in all phases of growth. It's important to note that laser does not work on light hair and very fine hair a.k.a. peachfuzz.
Light skin and dark hair are an ideal combination, but new lasers are now able to target dark black hair even in patients with dark skin. Coarse dark hair on light skin is easiest to treat. Finer hair and hair on darker skin is harder to treat and may require more treatments. Temporary skin lightening or darkening, especially in darker skin types, or in patients with a recent tan, may be seen. Permanent skin pigment change or scarring is very rare.
The advancements made in laser hair removal equipment, more people are able to receive hair removal treatments than ever before. Side effects of laser hair removal treatments may include pain, perifollicular edema (swelling around the hair follicle due to excessive fluid), and erythema (redness and inflammation) lasting one to three days.
Laser Hair Removal Systems
There are a variety lasers on the market today, and come in all shapes and sizes. Lasers use different wavelengths of light; some utilize a cooling device, known as a Coolguide Laser. All laser systems emit a gentle beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicle where it is absorbed by the hair. The laser energy is then transformed into heat which disables the follicle. Lasers that utilize a cooling device will help provide the patient with increased comfort and protection by cooling the upper layers of skin.
The length of the procedure depends on the area being treated. An entire back can be done in 1 to 1 1/2 hours; underarms can be done in 1-2 minutes and an upper lip in less than 10 seconds. It really depends on number of areas you want treated.
Expect at least 3-6 laser treatments, but some might need up to 8 in order to get excellent results. Skin tone, hair coloring and coarseness of hair are all contributing factors to how many treatments will be needed. Your hair growth is on a two week cycle. The laser hair removal treatment will kill the hair follicles treated. Your hair will actually fall out. Two weeks later a new growth cycle begins, so another treatment. After the third treatment most people will have effectively prevent most new growth.
The new technologies have made the procedure is completely safe. Some patients may experience slight pink or red skin in the treated area. The color will most likely fade within a few minutes to a few hours. When cold packs are used, the skin will return to normal much more quickly. The lasers utilize energy wavelengths of light that pass directly through the skin into the hair follicles, effectively treating just the hair follicles targeted.
The laser hair removal treatments are like small rubber band snaps to the skin. Slightly annoying but not really painful. A few advil before the session will lessen the discomfort. It's really no big deal, but you can request a local, if you are very sensitive to pain.