Whether you shave, pluck or wax, every hair removal method is either painful or harms your skin in the long run. This is why for the longest time, people have wished for a painless hair removal method that can not only remove hair but also permanently remove hair follicles so that unwanted body hair never comes back again. But unfortunately, it is a wish far from coming true.
Or is it? Well, luckily, advancement in cosmetic dermatology has brought us halfway there. The advancement in this field has introduced a method that can perhaps help remove hair painlessly and perhaps semi-permanently. So you don't lose your hair forever, but it does give you a break from your regular hair-removing cycle. If you haven’t guessed it right, we are talking about laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal has gained a lot of popularity worldwide in the past few years. It is now one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures. In fact, many people now opt for it as their go-to hair removal method. If you are also curious about it, let's not wait any further. Here is all you need to know about the laser hair removal procedure.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
As discussed, laser hair removal is a painless hair removal procedure that can help you get rid of wanted hair on your face and body. As per its name, it uses laser technology, which means it's non-invasive and doesn't lead to any cuts or burns on your skin to get rid of hair follicles.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
There is simple science used behind the laser hair removal procedure. It entails the selective photo-thermolysis process, in which heat from the laser is used to destroy cells that have a lot of pigment (or color). Hair, especially dark hair, has a lot of pigment, so it absorbs most laser heat. The hair strands transfer this heat to the follicles, destroying their ability to grow hair in that particular region of the body.
However, it is important to note that your hair follicles have different growth stages, and for the laser treatment, your hair follicle should be in the "anagen" or the growth stage of its cycle to ensure it is destroyed properly. This is one reason why people need multiple laser treatment sessions so that they can cater to different hair follicles in different growth stages of their cycle.
What Happens in the Laser Hair Removal Process?
The laser hair removal process is a quick but long-term process. One session of the procedure takes a few minutes to maximum up to an hour but depending on the thickness of your hair and hair growth; you might need up to 2 to 5 treatment sessions that are about 12 to 16 weeks apart, making it a long-term procedure.
· Before the Procedure
The first step in the laser hair removal procedure is to find a reliable cosmetic dermatologist who is board certified and has experience in either cosmetic surgery or laser technology. To make sure you are fit for the procedure, it is essential to have your doctor review your medical history. Don’t forget that pregnant women, people getting acne treatment, and people with keloid scars, skin cancer, and genital herpes (HSV-2) should not have laser hair removal.
Next, make sure you avoid tanning beds or any kind of artificial tanning at least a few weeks before your treatment, and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible to protect your skin before the treatment. Before your session, you must shave your desired area and remove the hair at least two days before the session time. The hair removal procedure doesn’t work on body parts with hair longer than a grain of rice.
· During the Procedure
Laser hair removal is a multi-step procedure. It begins with your doctor giving you a pair of protective goggles that you have to wear during the procedure to protect your eyes from the laser. Your doctor will also be wearing similar protective eyewear. Next, your doctor might apply a topical anaesthetic to your skin, especially if it's a sensitive body part. This helps you avoid discomfort during the process.
Next, your doctor will use a handheld laser device or instrument and treat your skin with it. Usually, the instrument they are using has a cooling device on its tip that helps heal the skin simultaneously – if the instrument doesn't have the cooling device, your doctor will apply a cooling gel to lessen the risk of side effects.
The laser beam from the device will pass through the skin to the hair follicles and damage the hair follicles with the laser's intense heat. You might feel a warm prick or minimal discomfort during the process but will soon feel a cold sensation from the cooling gel that soothes the skin.
· After the Procedure
Right after the procedure, you might feel a little pain, and your skin might appear swollen and red. However, it will only last a few hours, and you can use a cold compress or some ice cubes to feel better. If there is a serious reaction right after the process (which is extremely rare), then your doctor will recommend you a steroid right away. After the hair removal process, avoid direct sunlight and tanning for atleast the next 6 weeks and use good quality sunscreen at all times.
Should You Get Laser Hair Removal Treatment Done?
Laser hair removal is a revolutionary treatment in cosmetic dermatology and has proven to be the most long-lasting and effective method for hair removal. The procedure is fairly painless – as compared to plucking and waxing. While you might not lose your hair permanently, with laser hair removal, you can lose your hair follicles and eventually stop hair growth for long periods of time, which allows you to avoid the hassle of removing hair every other week. Hence, if you do not have any medical conditions mentioned above and your doctor thinks you are fit for the procedure, we believe this is the perfect solution to your body hair problem!
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Pete / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz, Winter Haven, Largo, Hudson, Leesburg, Riverview, Brooksville, Clearwater, Ocala, Palm Harbor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Punta Gorda, Seminole, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.