A medical process that uses a concentrated beam of light called laser to remove unwanted hair is called laser hair removal treatment.
The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the hair follicles that produce hairs. This damage delays future hair growth.
The legs, armpits, upper lip, chin, and the bikini line are the common treatment areas. However, it’s possible to treat any part except the eyelid and its surrounding area.
The success of laser hair treatment depends on the colour and skin type of the patient.
Risks of side effects vary with skin type, hair colour, treatment plan, pre-treatment, and post-treatment care. The most common side effects of laser hair removal are skin irritation and change in skin colour.
The medical history of the patient has to be reviewed.
To prepare for laser hair removal-
- Avoid the sun.
- Any sunless skin creams that darken the skin has to be avoided.
- Other hair removal methods have to be avoided.
- Blood-thinning medications have to be avoided.
- The day before, trimming and shaving is recommended.
This treatment requires a series of two to six treatments. The interval between treatments will vary depending on the location.
For each treatment special goggles have to be worn to protect the eyes from the laser beam. If necessary an assistant might shave the site again. A topical anaesthetic may be applied.
The doctor will press a hand-held laser instrument to the skin. A cool gel might be used to protect your skin and lessen the risk of side effects.
The laser beam will pass to the hair follicles through the skin. The intense heat damages the hair follicles. This inhibits hair growth. The time of treatment depends on the area.
There might be redness and swelling for the first few hours. Ice can be put to the treated area. If there is a skin reaction immediately after laser hair removal, the doctor might apply a steroid cream.
Exposure to the sun after and between scheduled treatments has to be avoided for six weeks or as directed by a doctor. A broad-spectrum sunscreen has to be used daily.
Hairs will not fall out immediately but will shed over days to weeks. The repeated treatments are usually necessary because hair growth and a loss naturally occur in a cycle. The laser treatment works best with hair follicles in the new-growth stage.
For long-term hair reduction, maintenance laser treatments may be required.