Laser Hair Removal
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a safe and mostly pain-free means of permanently removing unwanted body hair. It works by focusing a laser beam at the base of the hair follicle, eventually dissolving the follicle and causing it to stop producing hair. Although treatments can be expensive, patients usually consider that this is money well spent, in order to avoid a lifetime of shaving, waxing, bleaching, or having to live with uncomfortable, unsightly or excessive body hair.
Laser Hair Removal Comparison Table
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- At the initial consultation the practitioner will examine the area to be treated and determine the most suitable hair removal strategy. The patient may be advised to avoid suntan or sunburn for the four weeks preceding treatment, and to stop using other hair removal methods two or three weeks in advance. Patients with darker skin tones may be advised to undergo a bleaching regimen, since the laser treatment works by targeting the dark matter in the follicle, so patients with a higher contrast between follicle and skin tone are likely to see better results.
- Before the laser hair removal procedure the patient’s deodorant and make-up will be removed, and the area will be shaved. The patient will be given special goggles to protect the eyes from the laser, and the practitioner will apply a cooling gel or anaesthetic cream to the area, particularly in the case of thick black hair, which is harder to remove.
- The laser tool is a handheld wand device, which directs the laser onto a small area of the skin. There will usually be some mild discomfort, and sometimes a slight smell of burning hair.
- After the treatment the skin will be wiped clean with towels. If the patient is undergoing a series of treatments, then an appointment will be made for the next visit.
The most obvious benefit of laser hair removal is that the results are permanent. If the treatment is fully successful then there will be no regrowth, no stubble, and no need for the results to be refreshed or maintained. This is the reason that many people – men and women – opt for this treatment in particular, since many find that the constant inconvenience of getting rid of unwanted body hair is little better than the self-consciousness and embarrassment of leaving it as it is.
Most patients are pleased with the results of their laser hair removal, and many report a relief from their former self-consciousness and low self-esteem, and a new confidence in their appearance, which can make a marked difference to their social, romantic, and even professional success. Laser hair removal is available for all the usual problem areas, including the legs, the arms, the underarms, the bikini area and the face. Chest and back hair removal is also very popular with male clients.
Unlike temporary procedures, such as waxing and shaving, laser hair removal is almost entirely painless, and carries a much lower risk of scarring or damaging the skin while the hair is being removed. It is suitable for all ages and genders, as well as all skin colours, though there will be certain differences in the treatment of people with very dark skin, which will need to be discussed with the practitioner.
Laser skin removal technology is improving all the time and, if they shop around, patients will be able to benefit from the very latest developments, such as the Soprano XL system, which guarantees quicker, safer and more effective hair removal, with a more comfortable massage-style delivery.
Although laser hair removal is generally a safe and straightforward process, a minority of patients complain of side effects and complications. The most common side effects immediately following the treatment include redness, and swelling around the mouth of the follicle, which may continue for up to three days. There may also be some mild pain, tingling and discomfort in the area treated.
More serious side effects include blisters, crusting or scab formation (especially on ingrown hairs), bruising and discolouration of the skin, mild burns, and hyper- or hypo-pigmentation, where the skin is darkened or lightened temporarily by the treatment. Laser hair removal treatments have been known to darken tattoos, and these should be avoided during the procedure, which may mean that it is not possible to remove all of the hair.
In some cases infection may occur where the skin has been damaged, caused by viral, fungal or bacterial pathogens, or the herpes simplex virus may be reactivated if it is already present in the body. Infection can usually be controlled with antibiotics or anti-viral creams, but patients will usually need to consult their doctor.
Many of these complications are the result of using an inexperienced or less qualified practitioner, and it is thus vital that patients shop around for their treatments, and make sure they consult a reputable practitioner who is able to give evidence of satisfactory past treatments.
- I have a lot of hair on my back that I wish to have removed. Will I need to have several treatments over a number of weeks, or is it possible to remove all the hair in one treatment?
- I am prone to keloid scarring. Is there any risk that I could develop unsightly scars during the treatment? Is there anything that can be done differently to reduce the risk of this?
- My skin is extremely sensitive and I am worried that it will be sore or damaged following the treatment. Is there anything I can do to minimise this? Would you recommend a different treatment?
- I wish to have the hair removed from my bikini line and would like to request a female practitioner. Is this possible?
- How much experience and training do you have with laser hair removal? Are you able to provide me with case studies and testimonies from previous patients?
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