Laser Hair Removal
When body hair is excessive, darker or coarser than you would prefer, or appears in places that make you feel uncomfortable, it’s time to reconsider your hair removal options. Common methods for removing unwanted hair include plucking, shaving, waxing or chemical depilatories. Some of these can be painful, others are extremely messy, and all offer only a temporary solution.
Laser hair removal is considered a far more effective solution for unwanted hair with long lasting results, and has gained in popularity since first introduced in the late 1990s. In fact, the American Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons estimates that in 2008 over 1.3 million laser hair removal procedures were performed in the United States alone – making laser hair removal the #1 aesthetic laser procedure and second only to Botox.
How does it work?
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 laser targets dark pigment, called melanin, in hair. When the light beam hits the hair follicle (where hair growth originates), the intense heat destroys the hair follicle instantly. Although laser treatment doesn't guarantee permanent hair removal, it does extend the hair-free period, which can vary from several months to many years. With multiple treatments, long-term hair removal is possible. Laser hair removal is used for people who want to remove unwanted body hair. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and bikini line. However, it is possible to treat unwanted hair in almost any area of the body.
Hair color and skin type are the key factors that influence the success of laser hair removal. It's most successful on people with dark hair (brown or black) and light skin. However, it can also be used safely on people with darker skin types. Laser hair removal does not work for white, blonde, light brown or light red hair. Other options for these types of hair include electolysis. We also offer electrology treatments through our partner at Elizabeth’s Electrology.
Laser hair removal is most effective if hairs are visible but shaved short. You can shave the day of the procedure. Avoid waxing or plucking the hair and electrolysis three weeks before treatment.
During the Procedure:
You will wear goggles to prevent accidental exposure of your eyes to laser light. When the laser is activated, you may feel a stinging sensation. The procedure causes a slight charring of stubble. You may notice a strong odor of singed hair, which is normal.
How long the procedure takes depends on the area of the body involved. A small area such as the upper lip may take several minutes. A larger area such as the back may require several hours.
After the Procedure:
After laser hair removal, no medications or bandages are necessary. You may notice some redness and swelling for the first few hours. Also, stinging may occur for the first 24 to 48 hours. Some people experience a slight crusting of the skin. If crusting occurs, keep the area moist with petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
• Avoid exercise and exertion for the first 24 hours. Perspiration from exertion may increase irritation caused by the laser.
• Avoid exposure to the sun for several weeks after treatment. After this period, make certain you apply sunscreen whenever you're in the sun. Avoid tanning booths — the ultraviolet light damages the skin.
• Don't wax or pluck hairs for three weeks before treatments.
• Don't pick at or manipulate the skin in treated areas.
• Don't rub or scrub the treated area. You may gently wash the area with soap and water.
Multiple treatments can prolong the duration of hair loss, but hair regrowth is possible. Expect to undergo six to eight treatments spaced six to eight weeks apart to achieve good reduction of hair and slowing of hair regrowth. Then, you will likely undergo periodic maintenance treatments.
Side effects from laser hair removal include, but are not limited to:
• Incomplete hair removal or regrowth. Some hair may be resistant to the laser treatment or may regrow after treatment.
• Darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation). This is usually a temporary condition, but in rare instances, is long lasting or permanent.
• Lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation). This is of special concern with people who have darker skin. Laser hair treatment is more successful on fair skin, but darker skin also can be treated.
• Blistering and scarring. These rarely occur.
• Changes in the skin texture. These rarely occur.
• Crusting or scabbing. If this occurs, it's temporary.
• Hair changes. New hair growth may be finer and lighter in color. In some cases, new hair may grow in areas adjacent to the treated areas. This can be successfully treated with additional laser treatments.
Talk to your doctor about how these risks apply to you.
- Ageless Body Sculpting
1565 North Main Street
Fall River, MA 02720
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