Laser Hair Removal

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Laser hair removal is a noninvasive procedure that uses an intense, pulsating beam of light to remove unwanted facial or body hair. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth.

If you are looking for an alternative to waxing, electrolysis, shaving and bleaching, this is a gentle technique that can treat larger areas effectively with minimal discomfort. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery , laser hair removal is one of the most common aesthetic procedures performed in the United States.

Laser hair removal is an effective treatment if you have unwanted facial or body hair that makes you feel self-conscious or limits your ability to wear certain clothing. It works best for people with light skin and dark hair, although some lasers work on darker skin. You should also have the patience and financial means to undergo the several sessions required, along with occasional maintenance treatments.

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During the procedure, you wear goggles to protect your eyes from the damaging laser rays. The laser is applied directly to your skin using a hand-held instrument and the intense heat follows the pigment of the hair down to the follicle and destroys it. Depending on the area to be treated, it may take a few minutes (such as the upper lip or eyebrows) or a couple of hours (for areas like the legs and back). Pain varies depending on the area, ranging from slight stinging to feeling like a rubber band snapping against your skin.

You might notice redness and swelling for the first few hours after laser hair removal. To reduce any discomfort, apply ice to the treated area. Your doctor might also suggest an aloe gel or other type of cream or lotion. After laser hair removal, it’s also important to avoid sun exposure.

Although laser hair removal effectively slows hair growth, it doesn't guarantee permanent hair removal. It typically takes several laser hair removal treatments to provide an extended hair-free period. Periodic maintenance treatments might be needed as well.

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The risks specific to laser hair removal are:

  • Skin blistering
  • Changes in skin color and/or texture
  • Increased hair growth
  • Eye injury
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