Face and body hair can be quite annoying to deal with. With standard hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing, plucking, depilatory creams, the hair keeps coming back! In addition, repeat shaving can irritate the skin and cause discoloration. Depilatory creams contain chemicals that can be harmful to the skin and cause severe burns and skin irritation. Therefore, most people now opt for laser hair removal. This treatment can permanently reduce hair and drastically reduce the need to shave.
In addition, although laser hair removal is more expensive in the short term, in the long run it can save you money. Not only can you save thousands in hair waxing, but you will save you time. More importantly you can save yourself a whole lot of pain with laser hair removal.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment within the hair follicle. This absorbs the laser energy, heats up and is destroyed. As such growth of the hair follicle is either completely eliminated or permanently reduced. Hair that is in the active growth phase (called the anagen) expresses the most pigment and is able to absorb the most laser energy. Therefore, laser hair removal works best with hair that is actively growing.
Are the treatments painful?
The level of discomfort will vary with the type of lasers used and the expertise of your licensed clinician. Cooling the skin makes the treatment much more tolerable. Our laser at AnewSkin MedSpa are virtually painless because we effectively cool the skin to -4C while treating. It is more comfortable than waxing. No numbing cream is ever needed. Other lasers have been described as the sensation of rubber snapping against the skin. Most patients will tolerate treatment quite comfortably.
How many treatments do you need?
The number of treatments will depend on the area being treated as well as the type of hair being treated. It can take anywhere from 5-12 treatments. Standard packages offer 6 sessions. Areas with coarse or darker hair, such as the underarms, lower legs and bikini typically require fewer treatments. The face on the other hand, due to finer hair might require more treatment. Particularly if hair growth is driven by hormones.
How often should treatments be repeated?
This will vary between different patients and different locations. It will depend on how fast the hair is growing. This is because treatment targets the growth phase of each hair follicle. Facial hair tends to grow faster and should be treated every 4 weeks. The rest of the body can be treated every 6- 8 weeks depending on hair growth. The first few sessions can be scheduled every month and then spaced out depending on how fast the hair is growing.
What are the side effects of treatment?
The most common side effects are a slight redness in the treated areas. You may also notice what appears to be goose bumps. This represents swelling in the hair follicle that has been destroyed. These minor effects will resolve within a day. More serious side effects include burns and pigment changes in the skin. These are rare when treatment is administered by trained and licensed practitioners. It is important to select the correct treatment parameters and cool the skin during treatment to avoid injuries.
How do I care for my skin between treatments?
While you are getting laser hair removal, avoid waxing or plucking. Essentially, any hair removal that removes the entire hair follicle will eliminate the target for laser treatment. You should instead shave between treatments. This will preserve the hair follicle beneath the skin that can be targeted by the laser.
Can everyone have laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal has advanced significantly in the last decade. Newer lasers can safely and successfully treat all patients if the hair has pigment. Therefore, people with white hair are the only group that will not respond to laser hair removal. Patients with darker skin have a higher risk of burn injuries and pigment changes and so should seek treatment at centers experienced with dark skin tones. Certain lasers and IPL should not be used on dark skin. At AnewSkin Medspa, we are able to safely perform treatment on all skin types.
What results can I expect?
After a successful session of laser hair removal, some of the hair may never grow back. However, some hair may need to be treated intermittently every year or so. Any hair that regrows will be finer and grow much slower than the original hair but may still need occasional treatment for complete clearance. Patients with skin irritation and ingrowing hair from shaving may see an improvement in skin condition.
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